Do you manage a sales team? Do you manage a team full stop? Check this out...how many of these questions can you say YES to?
- Does every member of your team know where they fit in to the bigger company objectives?
- Do you know the higher purpose of each of your team?
- Are your sales peoples’ targets realistic bearing in mind your industry’s current market conditions?
- Do your team members only very occasionally contact you for guidance?
- Do you know the “meta-programmes” of each of your team?
So...how many did you answer yes to? Clearly the more you could answer yes to, the more motivated your team is likely to be.
This morning I quickly jotted down just a few of the many principles that I think are important when it comes to motivating a sales team. Of course there’s many more but I’m pushed for space and you’re pushed for time. So let’s throw a bit more light on these five.
Does every member of your team know where they fit in to the bigger company objectives?
Be sure you’ve explained, individually and collectively where everyone fits in to the bigger company picture. Where is it all leading? Company growth? How much? And what’s their role in achieving that growth – individually and as a team? Make your message clear and simple. No need to complicate matters with fancy charts!
Do you know the higher purpose of each of your team?
Each of your team needs to have identified a higher purpose for themselves. In simple terms do they why they are doing what they are doing? You need to know that higher purpose. Are they working towards a new or bigger car? A bigger house? An engagement ring? To retire early? Find out - and remind them regularly. Help them to constantly make that link between their day job, their target and that higher purpose.
Are your sales peoples’ targets realistic bearing in mind your industry’s current market conditions?
Set your targets too low and it will be feet-up time for everyone. Set them too high and you ‘lose the team’ i.e. everyone knows they’re unachievable, so unconsciously they don’t try. I’m for flexible but stretching targets which take into account the prevailing market conditions, which may well conflict with those the Chief Accountant came up with 8 months ago but which now look pure fantasy. Let him/her explain their budget away elsewhere - in the meantime set stretching, realistic targets which will get the best out of your team right now.
Do your team members only very occasionally contact you for guidance?
If you hired them to do a good job, trust them! Surely they don’t have to ask you about everything? Let them scuff their knees and they will grow into the role. Sure you might have some challenges along the way but you’ll end up with a motivated and developed member of the team – and you get some of your time back too! Read this previous article for more about giving your team more autonomy.
Do you know the “meta-programmes” of each of your team?
Heard of Meta-Programmes? These are the ‘internal wiring’ mechanisms that make up the individuality in each of your sales team. Know these programmes and you’ll never look back in terms of motivating your team. Remember each of your team are different – so your approach needs to be too. Click here for an example of just one meta programme (there are up to 16 in total!). You'll see how useful meta-programmes are for communicating with your team - and your customers.
What about money?
Phew - I’ve ran out of space and I haven’t even mentioned money. That’s deliberate though. Most meaningful research suggests money is only ever an effective motivator in the short term. And that’s usually always confirmed whenever I dig below the surface at the companies I train and when I talk to sales directors and sales teams generally.
For now, work on getting these five right and you’ll have a more motivated team – and more sales.
Until next time
By Leigh Ashton, author of iSell, a speaker, trainer and coach, founder The Sales Consultancy She helps people incorporate psychology alongside technical selling skills – leading to positive changes in attitude, approach and sales results. Leigh has trained thousands of sales professionals and her findings remain consistent...even when outwardly confident, people often lack the inner confidence and practical strategies to achieve great sales results on a consistent basis. She works with sales teams, business owners, directors and managers to identify and eliminate psychological barriers within sales teams and the reasons or excuses used to rationalise their lack of consistently great sales.
Leigh’s mantra is to leave people feeling inspired to take action!