Quarter four is now well underway!
For many organisations, the last twelve weeks of the year are typically when sales teams are at full stretch to reach or beat the targets for the full calendar year.
Even for those whose years end in April, the run up to the end of year is a key trading period and a critical time to get the pipeline they need to hit their end of year target.
You can’t hit your targets without a sales team which is firing on all cylinders. Here’s our advice on what you can do to inspire a winning performance.
1. Share your strategy
Sales is about making the numbers but those numbers will always form part of a bigger picture. Explain what you need them to achieve, why it is important to the business and precisely the kind of sales you are looking for them to deliver. Don’t just focus on getting money in the till.
2. Communicate with clarity
Be really clear about what success looks like, how it will be measured reported and ultimately, rewarded! Use a variety of channels to communicate this and ensure you validate the understanding of your key messages, whilst also providing an opportunity for the audience so share any concerns they have – now is the time to hear it, not in three months time!
3. Ensure your people are properly trained for the job
Their product knowledge is vital. Do they understand the products/services they’re selling, the competition they’ll face and your USPs? What objections will they face and how will they overcome them?
4. Give your people the right support for the job
What specific support do your sales people need to perform? What are the ‘blockers’ which prevent them from hitting their numbers? Whether it is admin support, a better ability to work on the move or simply more appointments, listen to what they need and, as far as is realistic, support them with what they need.
5. Be a generous and sharing manager
Don’t sit in a glass office barking instructions and foaming at the mouth at missed targets. Spend time with your team. Listen to what is working and what is not and intervene before it is too late. Be generous with your time so they can be generous with their effort. Share your experience and knowledge to help your team develop.
6. Recognise good performance
Pounce on the top performers and praise them privately and publicly for the results they deliver and how they impact on the organisation. Use recognition as a reward in itself and celebrate successes
7. Reward great results
All of your sales people will have commission structures in place, but money shouldn’t be the only reward in town. Prepaid cards or gift vouchers for individual performance, holidays for star performances and other reward for high-performing teams can add an extra dimension to performance and will really drive incremental growth. They should only be part of your approach to motivating your team however.
All of these points are wrapped up in the simple concept of ‘Learn, Sell and Earn’.
Great sales managers live or fall by making the numbers. But there is much more to managing a sales team than using sticks and carrots.