Are You That Someone Else For Your Sales Team?
Are your sales people really listening to you?
By Tony Cole, President, Anthony Cole Training Group
Ever wonder if your sales people are really listening to you? Do they respond and react… or do they sit politely listening and then continue to do what they’ve always done? As a sales manager or sales executive, you have many roles to fill in order to get the most out of your sales team. You must coach them, you must motivate them, you must have some level of performance management and, in some ways, you must mentor them.
When I was coaching at Iowa State University, I was interviewed by a local TV sports reporter about my role as the strength and conditioning coordinator for the varsity athletics. At the conclusion of the interview, the reporter said, “Your job is really one of parent, teacher and sometime psychologist, isn’t it?” “Yes, it is,” I said. Your job as a sales manager is much the same.
If I were to attempt to evaluate your effectiveness, I would look at the following to determine the impact you have had on your sales team:
- Are incorrect behaviors changing for the better?
- Are your sales people all hitting their sales activity goals?
- Is the sales cycle reasonable to the industry segments to whom you market?
- As a team, are you becoming more productive? Is #5 on the team better than #5 from last year’s team?
- Are you consistently improving the quantity and or quality of your pipeline?
- Is your closing ratio improving?
- Is your team selling more today than they did last year?
- How is your go-to-market message – is it consistent?
- Do you have people who work well with your corporate objectives?
My intention here is to help you think about your success and improvement as a sales manager and sales executive. You have an awesome responsibility for the recruiting and developing of your people. Even if you recruit the SUPERSTAR in your market, that superstar still needs a coach – someone to motivate them and keep them on track. The best in any profession are the best because they always work on getting better and most, if not all of the time, they do that with the aide of someone else. YOU are that “someone else” for your sales team.
And so, back to the original question – Do your people hear you when you are attempting to instruct them, coach them or motivate them? If not – how come? The easy thing to do is to blame them. The hard thing to do is to take ownership of the situation and assess what it is about you or your message that isn’t resonating or having the intended impact.
When we evaluate sales management strengths, weaknesses, tendencies and areas of effectiveness using the Objective Management Sales Manager Evaluation, we receive findings in several areas. Some of the usual key findings are:
- Many sales managers believe “It isn’t important for me to understand what personally motivates my sales people”
- Some believe that “It isn’t my responsibility” to raise their team’s self-esteem
- They lack commitment and desire to be successful as a sales manager
- They are not taking responsibility for results
- They are ineffective at giving recognition for success or discipline for failure
- They have a high need for approval from their sales people
If you have a strong ego, it will be difficult to admit that any of these can pertain to you. You may not understand this or accept this, but when you took on the responsibility of sales manager, the focus of the job was to develop your people to be the highest and best they can be. If that isn’t happening, then it’s time to take a closer look and do something about it.
One Up – Contact me directly to discuss the most important sales management tool you can have today to drive sales results. 513.791.3458 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org Put in subject: I want to talk about One Up
Coaching Checklist – Determine who needs what coaching on your sales team