Nov 29 2012
Together, involvement and empowerment create an environment in which salespeople can have responsibility for their own actions.
Responsibility cannot be given – it can only be taken; therefore a sales leader can only give sales people the opportunity to take responsibility for their work demands.
High performing sales teams require clear objectives so they know exactly what they must do and why, good communication and trust so that having created such a situation, a sales leader will let sales people get on with things. These elements build higher motivation because sales teams enjoy having the authority to make decisions and get the job done.
A salesperson’s willingness to participate collaboratively as a team member does not guarantee that the team will create their desired outcome. If salespeople are thrown into a collaborative situation and simply told to work as a team, they will lack the structure to make this happen. After all, why should a salesperson care about their sales team?
Promoting understanding of why salespeople need to be a team is vital. The team needs to understand its shared goals and what each team member brings to the team that is relevant and crucial to its overall successes. Therefore, to optimize the talent capability within a sales team it’s important to identify what each salesperson’s unique ability is, and how their unique ability can be shared for the betterment of the team.
For example; salespeople have their own unique sets of beliefs, some of which limit their potential in sales. For instance, during a recession, some members of a sales force may believe that strong sales are impossible. But if one person increases their sales, what seemed an inevitable fact will suddenly appear more like a thin excuse for poor performance.
Within every sales team there are individuals who hold a number of empowering beliefs. Giving them an opportunity to share those beliefs along with the evidence that supports them can be a very transformational experience for the entire team.
Some members of a sales team may be extremely competent and if they are not stretched there is a danger they could become complacent. Therefore, utilizing these salespeople as coaches and mentors for less capable salespeople produces an all-round win.
Maximizing a sales team around one common goal that creates value for the customer, the organization, and the individual salesperson is the only way to focus the activities of a sales team.
It is critical that each individual is able to measure the value of each activity undertaken during the day and can make the connection to the overarching goals of the organization. If there is no clear line of sight between what they are doing and the value to the customer, obviously they are doing the wrong thing.
When a sales team views mistakes as opportunities for improving their team’s process and results, it’s a sign that the sales leader has successfully created an environment that promotes problem-solving.
People are problem solvers by nature. When they are allowed to create their own solutions (rather than having expert solutions imposed upon them) salespeople are more proactive and engaged. Sales teams also have greater ownership of solutions they discover for themselves. Creating an environment that promotes problem-solving is part of creating an effective sales team structure.
Poor sales team structure can have a negative impact on individual performance, and the cause of poor performance can usually be attributed to a function of the sales team structure rather than individual incompetence. If salespeople are encouraged to be overly competitive with their peers to compete for rewards and recognition, they will withhold information that might be useful to the greater team.
When a sales team has challenges, the effective sales leader will focus first on the team’s structure before focusing on individuals.
News: It feels a little like the lull before the storm, with so much kicking-off next Tuesday. The elves are hard at it – almost round the clock – and I am keeping them motivated by promises of a trip to the pub on the 5th. It is in fact all coming together very nicely, and I think you’ll be impressed.