In the last two days, three Sales Managers have given me their versions (ahem, excuses) of why their team isn’t performing at the level they need or expect.
- We don’t have enough support from the company or marketing.
- The salespeople aren’t consistent in their performance or activity.
- I have no time to babysit because I’m too busy putting out fires (or attending meetings).
- Our competitors have: a new product b. surprised us by _____ or c. discounted their prices.
I get it: as a sales leader you have tons of responsibility upward, downward, internally, and externally. Yet with all your responsibilities and priorities, isn’t getting your sales team to sell more at the top of your list?
It should be. Take a hard look at how much daily time you devote specifically to your team. You might be thinking, “I hire the best so they don’t need me.” That’s bunk! Even top performers need time for strategizing, getting resources, and high level problem solving with YOU.
Following are 4 actions to get your salespeople to sell more:
- Schedule one-on-one time with each salesperson— either bytelephone or face-to-face. Reinforce the value and importance of this individualized time by keeping the appointment and not letting other priorities interfere. Give uninterrupted and focused time to them.
- Communicate clear expectations. More than just giving them their numbers to hit, have a conversation with them to review and collaborate:
- Their plan and how will they attack it.
- The type of support they need or want from you.
- Your check-in points (dates, dollars, etc.)
- Provide the opportunity for them to develop their competence in selling. The selling landscape has changed a lot, what worked before may not work as effectively now. Help your salespeople navigate these changes and determine what they need to do to sell effectively today. Share new information/resources with your team: Webinars, books, 15 minute phone conferences.
- Bring your team together virtually or in a A big caveat here: make it meaningful and productive time for them. Ask them what they need or want from these meetings. They will most likely want a combination of: company updates, product information, and training PLUS time to learn from each other.
Your role in building the sales results is critical and may not be what you wanted to read here. You may be thinking, “I don’t have the time, energy, or resources.”
I challenge that: as a sales leader, your team’s output is your job security: when they lose, so do you. When they win, you all win. Isn’t winning worth your effort to find the time, energy, and resources?