We’ll cover three key reasons why sales managers who build trust with their sales team will come out ahead, and why those who don’t will suffer.
Trust is a valuable commodity for sales managers looking to improve outcomes. Your sales team needs to know they can depend on you, and that you rely upon them to get things done. That sort of trust can be difficult to develop, however, so it’s not uncommon for it to become a neglected aspect of the relationship between a manager and a sales team. In this article, we’ll make the case for sales managers to expend the time and effort required to develop team trust. We’ll cover three key reasons why sales managers who build trust with their sales team will come out ahead, and why those who don’t will suffer.
Success in sales depends on sharp wits, charisma, and diligence. All of these things suffer from low sales team morale. And nothing impacts the level of morale more than a sales team’s trust or lack of trust of their sales managers. Put yourself in their shoes–if you don’t trust your boss to make good decisions, your every effort carries the risk of being a complete waste. A bad sales manager might disregard or undermine success. And perception matters more than reality here–even perfect sales managers can leave such doubts in their sales team if they don’t bother developing a sense of trust.
Working with sales managers they can trust keeps exceptional talent happy with their job. There’s no guarantee of such a relationship with a new employer–many will stick with the company and people they trust to work well with them, even if they might see higher compensation, faster promotion, or greater challenges with another company. A lack of trust in sales managers, on the other hand, encourages any member of your sales team capable of finding another job to do so quickly. No one wants to work under the cloud of uncertainty for longer than they need to. Again, this is a matter of how your sales team perceives their relationship with you (and the company), not a question of whether their worries have objective merit.
When sales managers don’t develop trust with their sales team, team members become far more prone to keeping their head down when problems arise. That means that if something goes wrong, your sales team is going to try to keep it quiet if they don’t trust you. A sales team that trusts sales managers will immediately inform you of failures and issues, giving you more time to resolve them. The best sales managers don’t have to spy on their sales team for just this reason; sales people who trust you to respond professionally and effectively will be eager to tell you everything you need to know to do your job well. Those who don’t develop that trust will find themselves ambushed by issues they could have resolved with a proper heads-up.
So you’ve read our case for developing trust in your sales team and have decided to work on the issue? Fortunately, it’s not particularly difficult. 90% of developing the trust of your team lay in understanding your sales team, clearly conveying reasonable expectations and goals, and responding rationally and confidently to anything that might go wrong. Accentuating the positive and not using failures to perform public executions as object lessons helps too. Overall, you only need to treat your team like responsible, professional adults and they’ll develop trust for you naturally.
Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 11+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and two daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day, tropical vacations and cottaging.