Getting the Most Out of Your Sales Team (3 of 4)

Understand what is not in your control

In this series, we have been talking about getting the most out of your sales team by directing all things that have an impact in the same direction. But it is also important to know what is not in our control and not waste energy or sleep over it. Broadly speaking, things outside of our control, belong internally to a person and are developed and influenced outside of the organization. Here are my top five.

When things are outside of your control, accept it and work around them.
  • Feelings: Everyone is responsible for their own feelings. Some people are more susceptible than others to outside stimulus, but there is no standard. You as a manager should not worry whether a team member is happy, sad, angry or remorseful. Your job is to deliver information honestly and treat them fairly. Furthermore, sometimes people are not happy in general. That doesn’t mean they can’t be a great at sales. A top producer can be going through a divorce and still be excellent at opening doors and closing. As managers, we want everyone on our team to find their happiness, but that is out of our control and not something to worry about.
  • Productivity: Some folks are super productive, and some aren’t. You will always have a spectrum on your team. Productivity tools may improve everyone’s performance, but they will not eliminate the gap between the most and least productive. As they say, a rising tide raises all boats.
  • Motivation: As with productivity, some people are motivated, and some aren’t. Sometimes motivated people go through periods when they are not motivated. You never know what is going on in a team members head. What you do know however is that if you are honest with them, set their goals fairly, and give them eth tools they need, they will get there or suffer the consequences.
  • Philosophy: As I mentioned above, you can’t get into your team members’ heads, and you certainly can’t change what’s there. So don’t even try. You can lead by example, you can make sure they have what they need, but the way they think about sales is up to them.
  • The ability to mind read: Manager’s simply cannot hold people accountable for things that are not articulated clearly. If you aren’t getting what you want, ask yourself if your requests have been delivered in precise, honest language.

An important note: The one-time sales managers do have control over these things is during the hiring process. In an interview we can search for those who think the way we want and pass on those who think differently. So, make sure you identify the traits you value and craft interview questions that will shed light on personality traits important to you and your organization. This is a good time to review your company’s Core Values.

I hope you have enjoyed this post. Make sure you read the ones that accompany it, and please use the comments to tell me what you think or to share your experiences. In tomorrow’s post, the final in this series, I will share examples of putting all these tools into practice.

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