Sometimes even a good car can benefit from a tune-up. The same can be said for any sales team.
When it comes to the day in and day out activities of your sales team, how can you re-calibrate your current strategy and activities to improve your process – and close more deals?
Step 1: Align Behind a Strategy
A sales strategy is a living, breathing document that must be adjusted to fit the strengths of your sales team and any changes that occur in the marketplace. If your sales strategy hasn’t been re-calibrated lately, it may be time for some serious tuning up.
When was the last time you evaluated your process and sales goals as weighed against marketplace trends and the strengths and weaknesses of your own internal teams?
Aligning your sales team behind a strategy should be a constant process because potential clients change – but so the attitudes of your sales reps. If sales reps don’t believe in what they’re doing, they may struggle to get to the close.
Creating a sense of alignment behind a particular sales strategy engages your team in an environment where excellence can happen. If your team isn’t aligned, the internal cultural dynamics may create distractions such as personality clashes, disagreements and misunderstandings within the environment you’re trying to create.
But this alignment cannot occur without reflection and review of the internal values, state of mind, beliefs and identity of your sales team. Understanding the values and beliefs system of a particular individual will affect how you build a sales strategy aimed at achieving a particular goal. If a sales person doesn’t believe in their own success, how will they achieve it?
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Is my team aligned toward one overarching goal?
- Do they understand and “own” the goal as individuals?
- Do they understand and “own” the goal as a team?
- How do they see themselves and where they fit on the team?
- What is important to them?
- Why do they do what they do? What is their mission?
These are all questions that must be answered in order to align your team behind a particular sales strategy. It’s very important to make sure your team embraces the values and mission of your company, as well as with the description of the role and your customer base.
If you as a sales leader don’t understand the internal motivations of each individual on your team, it may be time to “smarten” up your approach. It will enable you to lead your sales team with integrity and commitment.
Step 2: Maintain the Rigor
It’s only after you’ve gotten to the heart of the values, beliefs and mission of the individual sales reps on your team that you can begin to affect their behaviors. Because sales management should be individualized, you will find that some salespeople really don’t need much of a tune up; they have their eyes on the prize and their activities are reflective of this focus.
But you will also find the sales person that has natural skills but cannot get organized or the lazy sales person that lacks motivation, or team members that perhaps even should find a different profession. One mistake leaders make is to treat the entire sales team in the same way; this will create resentment in your “A” players. Human beings are wonderfully diverse; why would you manage them all in the same way? While the overarching sales goals cannot be individualized, how you help them maintain the rigor on a daily basis should vary.
Instead of micromanaging the entire team, try individualizing your approach by managing to the person. You can only do this by understanding the true motivating factors (why do they do what they do) of your team members.
Individually, you can assist the disorganized sales person by holding them accountable to a daily task list, or you can provide sales training in activity-focused best practices for the lazy sales person, or even team up an under-performer with a sales mentor that’s hitting the numbers. The point is that your job is to encourage, cajole and generally motivate individuals so that they embrace and align with a winning strategy. Doing this will help them maintain the rigor of a daily set of activities that will build and maintain a successful sales pipeline.
Step 3: Lead by Example
Now, go back to step one and ask yourself those same questions. The truth is that employees look to their executive teams for direction and for examples of positive behaviors they can model. When was the last time you picked up the phone and joined your team in a cold call? Have you gone out on a sales call lately?
Working alongside your team to help them be successful is about building an appropriate level of camaraderie and respect amongst your team. If you want to understand your sales team, then try walking a mile in their shoes. You will learn a lot about the character of the individual sales person as well as understanding the challenges they’re facing in the marketplace.
How you behave, and your own internal attitudes, values and beliefs, are more visible to the team than you might realize.
How Can We Help You to Smarten Up Your Team?
Aligning your sales team behind a strategy takes real day-to-day effort. We want you to succeed and to help you, we have developed a sales training solution that guides sales leaders and their teams through a hands-on evaluative skills and attitudes process that helps uncover sales team’s self-limiting beliefs and change behaviors quickly.
This training is designed to go below the surface to get to the very tip of values and belief systems that are the underlying causes of surface behaviors that are affecting the success of your team. It was created to help you smarten up your existing team and realign them behind a goal.
Contact us today to find out if the Iceberg Sales Model™ is exactly what you need to successfully execute your sales strategy.
“All successful sales teams resemble each other, but each unsuccessful team is unsuccessful in its own way.” –Alen Mayer