Putting what we can control into practice
In this series, we have been talking about getting the most out of your sales team by establishing common goals, directing all things that have an impact in the same direction, and holding everyone accountable. In this segment, I am going to list how these tools can be used on a daily and weekly basis to affect behavior in the desired direction. These are just examples, and you should riff on them in your own way. The important thing is to remain consistent in communication and action. If there is a shared goal out there, do everything in your power to make it known and to get your team to reach it. Oh, and you haven’t established your shared goal, then you aren’t doing your job.
- Clearly define and publish the company objective – the shared common goal.
- Management needs to talk about the shared objective at every opportunity.
- Set expectations that individual effort on this goal is expected every week
- In weekly sales meeting, openly ask each salesperson if they have made progress and expect a “yes”
- Be prepared to set activity quotas around the goal
- Recognize that sometimes salespersons are going to make up stuff to fulfill the request – and that’s OK. Everyone recognizes BS when they hear it, and that awkwardness that follows is an incentive to try harder next week. But no one will know if the question isn’t asked. So, ask the questions and suffer the awkward.
- Establish honest dialog with everyone regarding the quality of their efforts – call BS when appropriate.
- Kindly draw attention to failings and work with the individual to avoid them in the future
- Congratulate BDMs who find great new prospects early
- Ask the successful BDMs to share how they are succeeding and use that to train
- Make sure all obstacles to this goal are being removed – remove friction from the sales process. If the salesman’s credo is ABC, the sales manager’s is ABRF (always be removing friction).
- Make sure responsibility comes with authority. Empower your salespeople to negotiate on their own. Ensure they know the product and pricing parameters. It is often good for a process to say, “I have gone as low as I can, but I want to make this work so let me see if I can get my manager on board.” But it is bad for the process when the client feels the salesperson doesn’t have the authority to negotiate to a close. It’s a subtle difference.
- Purchase the tools they need to allow them to hit their objectives. If you have a lot of SKUs, purchase and configure a pricing tool from your CRM provider (back to ABRF). If your team need leads, research lead sources, and buy the list most likely to bear fruit.
- Let them control their method, but always be available to assist
- Hold them accountable
- Help your sales team expand their network. There are always more prospective clients to meet. Let them use your person network, or encourage them to join new clubs, groups, or join a charity board.
And everything else you can think of! When shared objectives are clear, identifying ROI on an investment that furthers that goal is an easy task. Spend what you need, support your team, hold them accountable, and keep all the guns pointed in the same direction. If the shared goal is achievable, this is the best, fastest, and most positive way to reach it.
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.