These four tips aren’t guaranteed to make your sales team hit maximum potential–but they’ll each push you just a bit closer.
Is your sales team meeting its potential? Are your individual team members contributing to the whole, making it more than its composite parts? And if not, what are you doing to change that? In this article, we’ll discuss the steps every team leader should take to get the most out of their sales team, to make the potential each sales person showed when they were hired shine, to make their leadership something that improves the bottom line and not just another part of the status quo. These four tips aren’t guaranteed to make your sales team hit maximum potential–but they’ll each push you just a bit closer.
To get your team to 100%, first you need to understand what’s happening ‘under the hood’. That means tracking the hard data–analytics programs can tell you more than ever, used cleverly, so there’s no excuse for a lack of knowledge. You can find out what stage of the sales cycle each member of your team always gets through and which ones most often result in lost sales. You can find out which leads each sales team member closes most consistently, which sales medium they excel in, what demographic they couldn’t sell water to in a desert. Once you know these things, you can set goals, shuffle responsibilities, and start working to improve the entire sales team.
Properly calibrating your expectations to the sales team’s capabilities, then accurately conveying those expectations, will go a long way in pushing your team to its potential. You want to set goals that your team will need to work hard to meet, but can successfully meet on a regular basis. If your sales team struggles only to fail, they’ll quickly stop worrying about succeeding at all–why work for a goal you can’t achieve? Conveying those goals clearly can be more difficult than you might expect, so make sure everyone understands the metrics you’re using and what they should be doing to improve their chance of hitting your goals.
Bad managers focus on the negative and never have a good word to say. Good managers accentuate success and forge a sales team that’s eager to please, that trusts its lead to give solid advice and reward competence. If you want to see what your sales team at 100% looks like, you need to reward success and acknowledge sales team members that do well. Money isn’t the only reward that matters–it’s not even a very good one, according to the latest studies. You want to offer benefits, give people extra vacation days, let them skip their turn to buy coffee, give them access to the company car: things they’ll strongly associate with the work done to earn the reward, not money that will quickly become just another zero in their bank account.
Knowing how to take a failure and use it to boost your long term success rate is pivotal to reaching 100% of your sales team’s potential. Doing so without destroying morale can be tricky–typically, it’s best to just quietly acknowledge the failure, add it to your model, and try something new. You don’t want to fall back on the lazy option of berating an individual in public. Public shaming may teach a lesson to every witness, but your sales team will quickly grow dissatisfied with you as a leader and begin looking for jobs that won’t embarrass them in front of their peers on a regular basis. High turnover, as you might expect, doesn’t help a team meet its potential.
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.