Get The Most Out of Your Sales Team | Stop Managing, Start Coaching
You might use contests as incentives to encourage your sales people to collect more leads or close more deals, but in the end it’s not a competition. The overarching goal is to grow your dealership. It’s everyone’s job to contribute as much as they can. And if you’re the Top Dog in the sales department, your job is to get the most out of your sales team.
Coach. Mentor. Guide. Cheerleader. Teacher. Adviser. All these words accurately describe your job. And, oh yes, “manager” is among them, too. But if you’re focusing too much on that, you’re letting your team down when you should be building them up.
You can’t hide in your office and expect to get the most out of your sales team. No matter whether they’re relatively new to sales or a veteran of multiple decades, every sales person has something to learn. Don’t we all? Certainly, as sales manager you’re ultimately responsible when it comes to making sales projections and meeting them. But you’re working with human beings.
You don’t achieve higher performance without helping each individual develop their particular sales talents and their unique sales persona.
Cookie Cutters Are Strictly for Baking
Every person is motivated differently. Get to know your sales people as people — their outside interests and what’s important to them — so you can encourage and reward them in ways that matter to them.
Within the sales realm, what are they especially good at? Are there gaps in their sales experience you can help them fill? Have they overcome sales-related challenges or made extraordinary sales achievements that can inspire their teammates? Even the most amazing sales person isn’t 100% at every aspect of the job, so encourage your people to help and learn from one another.
Periodically join each sales person as they visit customers or prospects, to see how they handle different situations. Your presence shouldn’t intimidate them, it should be a show of support, because third-party insight is valuable only when it’s offered as suggestions to improve rather than “gotcha” criticism. While you’re with them, keep an eye out for excellent things they do or say that you can share with the rest of your team.
Joint field calls can serve as a “reality check” for you as sales manager, and they demonstrate additional personal service to customers.
It’s also important to get everyone on your sales team involved in regular consultation and brainstorming sessions with your marketing folks. Sales experts bring a different perspective on customers that can help develop effective marketing campaigns, generate content ideas and so on. Helping create marketing strategy enables the sales team to see the broader value of their role and keeps everyone focused on the same outcomes.
Start with yourself to get the most out of your sales team
A self-assessment is the best starting point if you’re interested in building a new road to sales management coaching success. So schedule a sit-down with your people so you can chat. Ask how you can be more helpful to them as a group, but also ask what you can do to assist them one-on-one.
Remember that your job is to see they get the coaching they need, but also to see they have the tools they need, especially the latest technologies that can make them more productive by automating repetitive or administrative tasks.
Of course you have to be honest with yourself, and that means you have to be willing to accept some criticism. Bite the bullet and ask what you should do less of, or do differently. Let your sales people coach you the same as you want to coach them, and you’ll all be stronger for it. You’ll be a better manager, and it will be much easier to get the most out of your sales team.