Is your sales team letting you down? Does the 20/80 rule seem to be more prevalent than ever before? Are you tired of the complaining and sad faces in your sales office?
It may be time for you to become a turn around artist and tap into your leadership qualities and make some hard decisions regarding your sales team and motivating them for 2014. By nature, most sales people are short term thinkers and need assurance that their efforts will produce rewards in the near future. As a leader, your assistance is needed more now than ever. This article is designed to assist marketing managers, mentors and owners to step up and lead their sales team aggressively into the new economy of 2014. As managers, we are concerned about a down turn in sales activity. We want to yell out to our sales staff, “SNAP OUT OF IT” and “Get busy finding more and better deals – NOW.”
The proper actions are most likely just the opposite. As sales leaders, it is time to stand next to your staff, understand their frustrations, help to create a short term and long term business plan, set realistic daily, weekly, monthly goals; offer suggestions, training and encouragement; and most importantly engage yourself into the process. Good leaders need to become marketers themselves. As a leader, you need to dive into the trenches; make cold calls, go on more joint calls with your sales team, brainstorm with your team regularly, share your thoughts, solicit suggestions and become part of the TEAM.
A new approach will be needed in the coming months to take advantage of new opportunities and new customers. As leaders, the best means to determine the path your staff should forge is to explore new paths yourself. My suggestion is quite simple – step out of your office and take residence in one of the cubicles where your sales team resides. Lead by example: build a prospecting list of your own, start making calls first thing in the morning, dig deep with lots of questions and explore new industries and new lessees. Create a simple friendly competition: “Beat the Boss”. Can your subordinates make more calls, find more new potential customers, generate more new proposals, more new applications, or find a larger transaction than you as the leader. Be aware that your team will work harder and smarter if they are assured by your consistent actions that you are willing to do what you preach. I guarantee that after a very short period the words “snap out of it” will be erased from your vocabulary. You will be encouraged that your sales staff has many capabilities and different approaches which will lead you and your company into a very successful future.
I recently had a conversation with a sales professional who was generously optimistic about his fourth quarter of 2013 and more importantly his prospects for a great first quarter of 2014. He also mentioned that the owner of his company was more committed, more positive and more active in the sales process than he had seen in his eight years of employment with this company. He commented that there was no way he wasn’t going to give 100% because he knew for sure his friend and colleague (his Boss) was giving 150% every day to make sure the company was always moving forward.
Therefore, I suggest that leaders “Snap Into” the marketing process. It is everyone’s responsibility to generate new paths, new products and new customers. Your combined efforts will increase the production of the entire sales staff and your team will rediscover the joy of success.