Some sales teams complain about everything from marketing to CRM and comps, but if you develop the ability to show your team you care, you’ll overcome the negativity and establish a great work environment.
I’ve worked as a sales rep, as a sales leader, and as a consultant, so I understand that complaints are a normal part of the sales process. In some organizations, though, the sellers don’t complain as much because they believe their managers care about them.
Imperfect selling scenario
It’s tempting to believe that sellers who don’t complain work in better environments. Even if they don’t get great leads, and if they don’t have the best CRM, or if their facility looks outdated, some sales reps enjoy what they do and they enjoy the people they do it with. Because the management cares about their welfare, the sellers are able to enjoy their work.
Although your CRM and your environment are important, culture plays a vital role in helping sellers thrive. In a subpar culture, typically the focus remains on numbers alone.
During the month of August, we’ll focus on sales leadership and the principles that will help sales leaders succeed so their teams can succeed. Of all the things you could possibly do to encourage your team, investing time in them ranks the highest.
Just like a relationship with your husband or wife, the relationship probably won’t survive unless you spend time together. Nice gifts and other symbols of affection won’t overcome a lack of time together. The same is true for your kids.
Don’t base your relationships with your sellers on shiny new CRM or an awesome facility. Instead, demonstrate that you care about their success by dedicating time to help them improve their performance.
Prioritize one-on-one meetings with your sales reps. Although sales leaders get bogged down by countless things that demand their time, you must invest time in the things that truly matter. Log it on your calendar so it won’t get pushed aside.
In my own sales journey, when my own leaders prioritized one-on-one time, they were able to help me overcome challenges that were hindering my success. It also made my sales leaders seem human and it helped me see them as something other than a boss. I see her as a trusted friend and someone I can respect. Leaders who jump into the trenches with you have the authority to guide you.
When my sales leader stopped investing in one-on-one time with me, my sales performance declined, not because I wasn’t doing my part, but because I was able to draw motivation from her experience and example.
Be aware of your team members’ priorities and make sure that the things that matter to them matter to you, too. If my sales rep is engaged to be married, I need to be aware of her priority. I can support her priorities by making sure that she’s earning enough money to pay for an amazing wedding. I must make sure that, during our one-on-ones, I’m helping her figure out how to accomplish her goals.
Better yet, if I know of someone who owns a wedding venue, I can consider connecting the two of them. As a leader, I can provide guidance and resources to help her achieve her goals.
If my leader is willing to prioritize the things I value, I’ll do the same in return: whatever is important to her will become important to me. Whatever she needs me to do in order to be successful, I’ll be willing to do it.
This kind of relationship isn’t intended to be manipulative or controlling. Instead, it’s a natural by-product of the leader’s care for the seller.
Once a month, or on a recurring basis, free your schedule to do site visits with your reps. Don’t go with the intention of taking over the meeting. Evaluate her progress and ask her afterward what she did well and what she might have done better. Help her improve as a seller. Demonstrate to your sellers that you value them enough to share your time.
Give them room to make mistakes and room to grow.
In Jamaica, families frequently send their 10-year-olds to the grocery store to shop for the family. That doesn’t happen often in this country. The opportunity helps children learn from their mistakes and gain valuable experience.
Give room for failure
Don’t jump down their throats when they make a mistake in the midst of a deal or when an opportunity flops. Guide them. Let them know you care. Talk to them and coach them. Then give them an opportunity to try again.
Acknowledge improvement and give your team members room to lead and coach others when they find success. Show them how to become trusted individuals.
“Show Your Team You Care” episode resources
You’ve heard us talk about the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, and we’re offering the first module free as a gift to you. Preview it. Check it out. If it makes sense for you to join, you can be part of our upcoming semester. You can take it on your own or as part of the semester group.
If you and your team are interested in learning more, we’d love to have you join us. Call (561) 578-1729 to speak directly to me or one of our team members about the program.
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