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We all know that your sales team is the backbone of your business. But what happens when your backbone is lacking some its core strength? When your sales team isn’t at its best, the whole organization struggles with it. That’s why it’s essential for you to invest in your sales force. Going about that, however, isn’t always a clear cut path. To get you started, here are some practical ways that you can invest in your sales team right now, and inject some muscle right where you need it most!
It’s important to remember that your sales team isn’t like any other one out there. No matter what they’re selling, the individuals on your team bring their own flair to your organization. So if you don’t really know who they are, how they work, and what their habits are, you’re never going to be able to coach them in the right direction. Rory Vaden of Southwestern Consulting shared on American Express’s “Open Forum” blog: “Before we even take on a project, the first thing we do is spend 60 days doing nothing but listening and watching. We spend that much time because when it comes to why they aren’t producing, salespeople can never tell you the real deal; they can only show you.” Whether you’ve got sixty days or sixty minutes, take some time this week to listen to your salespeople: hop on a call, grab drinks, or join one of their meetings. Taking the time to really learn how they operate will give you more space to meet them where they’re at.
Nothing sets a spark off quite like a good battle. Whether it’s putting up a leaderboard in the office to get people excited about prospecting, or banding teams together for a shot at glory, creating competition in the office is simple, accessible, and a truly universal concept. Don’t wait for Year End to dole out the awards: start with weekly competitions to keep people focused on the present. Good sales work doesn’t always produce daily rewards, but a little competition can make those slower weeks of ground work a whole lot more fun.
As history shows us time and time again, the greatest moment of victory are born out of natural leaders rising up. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to identify who the best leaders in your organization are to promote. One article from Gallup says it well: “In too many organizations, star salespeople can only improve their income, status, or value to the company by moving into management. This frequently encourages the wrong people to seek supervisory roles.” If the people you’re bringing into leadership are more concerned about the incentives than they are the people in their team, it might be time to look elsewhere for the right leadership. Bring in a leader who’s got a proven method for leading deals to close — someone who believes numbers match results. When you’re looking at the numbers from your key performance indicators, you’re more likely to be able to repeat the process that brought you to your sales won. The key to good leadership is understanding what works for your team and guiding them through the sales process with clear direction. Creating a strong sales culture may not be as hard as you might set it out to be. When you get down to it, optimizing your team’s strength just calls for a good ear and some nurturing. The next time you’re with your team, take the time to listen to how their sales prospecting activities are going, pain points, and key performance indicators. With that, you can start to tailor a process to build a strong sales culture for your team.