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Teamwork is crucial to any successful sales team—no one person can carry the weight of a business on their own. Yet, it’s still the desire of most to stand out as an individual. To have your work and your progress acknowledged is one of the most meaningful ways to establish employee engagement. But more importantly, there are ways in which a person can stand out at work and still have a strong relationship with their team.
Obviously the most powerful way to shine in your company is to be the most productive and accomplished person on the team. This does not mean you need to be the first person in the office and last person to leave; that is how you will burn out, not rise up. Use a performance leaderboard to guide your own progress without your manager needing to step in and use these metrics to apply to challenging projects outside of your wheelhouse. If you notice there’s an area where your sales team is finding difficult to meet their quota, collaborate with your team and dig into the steps to reaching this quota. What are the roadblocks keeping you from accomplishing your goals? Is it time-management, the approach, or is there an authority figure putting a pause on a task? Whatever it may be, find the source of the issue and tackle it head-on. Whether or not the solution is the right one, you’ll earn the appreciation of your manager and team for taking to time to push the team forward on a project with wide visibility.
With regard to creative problem solving, someone who is able to respectfully articulate a difference in strategy or idea will earn the respect and attention of their peers. In businesses that utilize digital communication forums, the barriers that face-to-face meetings can impose are removed. The fear of being the first to raise their hand or offer a new idea lessens when your team is tracking their strategy and procedures digitally. But simple speaking out won’t earn you points. The people who stand out put effort behind their opinions and offer solutions. Working in sales, framing problems and solutions with the customer’s interest in mind will offset any personal offense someone may take in their project being changed and will prove to your team and manager that you’re thinking beyond your own self interests. Using metric-driven results that are shared digitally company-wide to prove your point give you the validity you need in any persuasive argument. In other words, you should operate as the “internal consultant” your company never knew they had.
If you want your colleagues to see you as a partner and not a competitor, take interest in their lives outside your shared experiences. When your company runs a competition between every department, get to know your team better. Ask what their external motivations to succeed at work are and how they’d like to be rewarded for their success. You’ll find yourself better able to connect and motivate those around you when they become a three-dimensional person. Similarly, if your manager runs daily performance competitions within your sales team, determine a personal way to celebrate the winner. Does an alarm ring when an employee meets their sales goals? Ask to play their favorite song instead as their winning anthem. For you to be successful, your teammates must be successful; and for them to be successful, they need to feel valued.
Everyone needs a niche—even if you’re on a team with more than one person of the same title. No one has the same experience, background, or interests, so in order to get noticed, you need to get to know yourself. Identify your strengths—perhaps with the help of your KPI metrics—and consider how they may add value. Try not to think explicitly within the confines of your role, but what you’ve proven to be successful at in the past and currently. Once you’ve determined implicitly how your strengths can benefit the shared goals of your team, consider how they will take place explicitly. Your strengths can directly benefit an individual member of your team as well. Perhaps there is a new associate who came into a role you previously held. You are already aware of the challenges the role may present and have a great opportunity to mentor and guide a new team member toward success. The most important aspect to standing out and getting along among your team is humility. You can still accomplish great things and maintain a respectable and admirable attitude while doing so. Use your success to push your team ahead without dragging them.