Power Up – Your Team! Business owners and managers especially today are sometimes frustrated when it comes to evaluating sales results – one might say selling is tough, tough on the ego, tough on the energy level, tough to see consistent results.
It’s critical to identify what excites your “Sales Talent” maybe its cash, paid time off, peer recognition or just the love of the sale. I know there is one unifying quality to all successful sales stars “they want to win”
Today more than ever we need to find ways not only to design effective incentives but also effective leadership to support and motivate the sales team to perform consistently. Leaders need to respond effectively not just by offering an incentive to anyone who can hit their goal for the week, or by billowing from the centre of the sales floor, “Come on team…you can do it! To consistently and authentically keep your team motivated leaders need to “get front and centre” to what truly can make or break the difference in seeing consistent results.
Focus on people’s individuality
Think about them. Do you really know what motivates them? Do you know exactly how they want to be lead, motivated, supported and held accountable? If they didn’t tell you, then you could be making a very costly assumption. Your team is comprised of unique people. To inspire and motivate for the long-term, focus on your people’s individuality by asking well-designed questions such as, “What gives you a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day?” “What do you enjoy most about your job?” “How do you like to be acknowledged for a job well done?”
How do your sales Staff want to be managed?
Managers are the first to admit that it’s the tough conversations they tend to avoid when it comes down employee performance. It’s not until they get so frustrated, their positive coaching style gets replaced with destructive reactionary explosions instead. By learning to manage people how they want to be managed, no conversation is a tough conversation. Learn how your sales staff wants to be managed by asking better questions. How can I best manage and support you so that you can achieve your goals?” “What barriers do you need to be mindful of that could get in the way of you reaching your goals?” “How can I hold you accountable in a way that will sound supportive rather than negative?”
Review what is working… not the reverse
Stop magnifying your team’s weakness or failures. Instead, focus on what is working. Most leaders tend inadvertently minimize what their people are doing well while magnifying their faults. As a result, teams learn what their managers don’t want them to do, but never really know what behaviours and best practices their leaders do want them to consistently perform, develop and support.
Turning your focus around converts a culture from looking to avoid the fear driven consequences into a culture of positive motivation towards a shared, collective goal. “Why didn’t you hit your goal?” becomes “How will you adjust your strategy and approach so that you can hit your goals moving forward?” “Why didn’t you close that deal?” transforms into, “What can you adjust or fine tune so that you can achieve the results you want the next time you’re in that situation?”
Encourage collaborative leadership
When team members are connected to the solutions they champion the way. Give them the opportunity to explore solutions and provide input. Relinquish the role of chief problem solver.
“Can you share with me your thinking around that?” Be curious and seek to understand their point of view. Ask questions such as, “What else could be possible?” “Before we make a final decision around this, what other facts might we want to consider?” “What’s the common ground that we share?” “What is the result you’re looking to achieve here?” “What’s another solution or approach that might work in this situation now?”
Leaders create the very problems they want to avoid most. Continually putting out fires and solving their people’s challenges result in the frustration of not having people who are self-motivated or accountable for their goals. Repeatedly providing your people with quick solutions trains them not to be accountable. You send the message to your people that they can rely on you to fix their problems for them–and the real irony is, when your solution doesn’t work, it’s then your fault.