The Best Performance Advice of 2016 that Sales Leaders Aren't Taking - RDI Corporation - ContactCenterWorld.com Blog
If you think you’ve tried it all when it comes to enhancing your overall sales performance, then think again. We are willing to bet there are a few solutions you haven’t tried — and that will work well for your company. Whether it’s investing in your hiring process, encouraging your management to attend leadership training or getting to know your sales staff on an individual basis, there’s always a new tactic you can implement to improve your team’s performance and grow your company's bottom-line revenue. Even if you're leery about new processes, pay attention to these best practices that will help sales leaders see upward performance growth in 2016.
Surpassing Your Competitors in the New Year
Here are some ways to boost your sales performance in 2016 that you may not have considered before — or that you should consider again:
1. Use emotion to spread your vision. New employees most likely receive training or materials that explain your company’s vision, but are you taking steps to actively check that each team member is invested in it? Doing so is certainly worth your while. The Canadian Professional Sales Association points out that “it’s important for everyone on the team, not just management, to be aware of and understand the overall goals of the company.” Purposefully infuse your vision into your company’s everyday culture.
Furthermore, as Tara Jones of the American Management Association writes, when leaders develop and communicate a compelling vision that inspires people, “employees will be able to connect emotionally with this strong and meaningful vision.” And, when employees are emotionally invested in your company’s vision, they’ll be much more likely to be highly motivated to meet their monthly goals and drive overall company revenue.
2. Invest in your hiring process. When managers take the time and effort to recruit and secure the very best sales talent, your business will grow and thrive. Making an investment in your hiring and training processes may be a good chunk of resources up-front, but it will pay off down the road. As Walter Rogers of SalesForce puts it, “if you want the best, hire the best.” Sure, it can take more time to recruit top-notch talent, but your company will save money down the road in lower turnover costs and higher revenues.
3. Don’t just manage your sales team — partner with them. Ensuring your sales reps are properly motivated to meet their numbers and deadlines is important. But, it’s also important that they know you’re on the journey with them, each step of the way. As Rogers of SalesForce writes, “highly effective sales managers find numerous ways to come alongside team members to motivate and reward them in a social format that brings out the best in them in a way that inspires everyone.” Make sure your sales staff feels not just motivated to sell for your company, but also appreciated as members of your team.
Another easy way to show that you’re a partner in your sales reps’ success is by keeping an “open door” policy that encourages openness and approachability on a daily basis. As the Canadian Professional Sales Association states, keeping your office “door open more often than not [promotes] solidarity among the team.” Encourage your reps and management team alike to come directly to your office with questions that come up, perhaps during an open forum time each week. Physically showing that you’re an invested member of your sales teams will only help inspire your agents to achieve future success.
4. Get to know your sales agents’ learning and communication styles. Although you most likely know most of your sales team on a first-name basis, do you really know what makes them tick? The Canadian professional Sales Association suggests you take the time to uncover their learning and communication styles “in order to help you deliver your sales meetings, coaching, and training sessions in the most effective way.” What’s more, Cobhan Phillipson of Docurated says “when a team knows each individual member’s personality, they know how to effectively communicate and work to maximize team performance.” Commit to being a more effective leader this year by taking the time to facilitate better communication not only between yourself and your team, but also within the team itself.
5. Celebrate wins — big and small. In such a competitive world as sales, it can be easy to lose sight of the everyday successes. But, it’s important that you acknowledge and reward your reps for their success. As the Canadian Professional Sales Association shares, “too often the delivery of bad news or criticism makes up the majority of communication between sales managers and their teams.” Make your reps know you’ve noticed their wins, too. Whether they’ve landed a big account, re-signed with a long-standing customer or tapped into a new market, inspire your sales teams for future success by making them realize how important they are to your company’s mission and continued growth.
6. Remember that managers need training, too. You know the importance of your sales reps receiving ongoing training and coaching. But, don’t forget that the same applies to managers and company leaders. Start the year off right by signing yourself and your peers up for a professional sales management or sales coaching course to help improve your leadership skills and help make your company more profitable.
7. Welcome feedback about yourself. As the leader of both sales agents and managers, you may not be regularly receiving feedback on your own work performance. But, it’s important that you do — not only so you can address weaknesses and make improvements, but also to show that you’re a team player and are willing to accept feedback and constructive criticism just as your sales staff should be. The Canadian Professional Sales Association suggests “The first step in creating a work culture, in which constructive criticism is well-received, is to encourage your staff to give you feedback on your own weaknesses and incorporate that feedback in an effort to improve.” Giving, receiving and incorporating helpful feedback into your daily work is a cycle that is key to overall improvement in your department.
8. Encourage upward mobility within your company. Even if you’re happy with the roles that your sales team members are currently filling, your reps may be restless. Don’t limit sales employees by not allowing them to explore other roles and utilize other skill sets. Instead, explains the Canadian Professional Sales Association, you should “have ongoing conversations about where their skills and interests lie, and help them reach their developmental goals.” Doing so will not only encourage growth and innovation within your company, but will also spur employee loyalty through improved morale.
Putting It All Into Action
If you’re looking to improve your sales team’s performance, it’s time to implement a new solution or two into your department. Spread your company’s vision every day so that your employees are each invested in achieving goals. Partner with your sales agents — both personally and professionally — so they know you’re alongside them, ready to help them hit their numbers. Send your management team to regular training and coaching sessions so they can be more successful leaders, as well. Encourage mobility within your company so employees can reach their full potential and continually feel appreciated and challenged to become even better at what they do. If you proactively implement new tactics to help your department and team grow in 2016, you’re sure to see improved numbers and performance.
Publish Date: January 21, 2016 5:00 AM
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