SUCCESSFULLY MANAGING a sales team takes a special touch because great salespeople are just wired differently. Their fearlessness and dogged determination make them stellar at closing business — but these same qualities can also make them difficult to lead. In addition to being high-energy, positive team players, the highest-performing sales professionals often have strong personalities. Occasionally, they can be impulsive and unrealistic. Good sales reps focus on solving problems and generating results, which is ultimately what you want them to do — but they don’t necessarily feel the need to cross every “t” and dot every “i.” Fortunately, there is a three-part strategy you can adopt as a sales manager that will inspire your sales team to achieve even greater results. Don’t preach. Coach. When a member of your sales team has a skill gap, position yourself as coach instead of just telling the person what to do. Present the facts of the situation as a problem that needs to be solved, and then ask for the person’s input — or even better, go on a few calls with your sales team to demonstrate how your strategy works. Once team members see your solution pay off, they will be eager to give it a shot. Put away the rulebook. You need to track sales activity, of course, but beyond basic tracking, avoid creating complex sales processes that could end up tying the hands of your sales team. Find a balance between organization and micromanagement. Celebrate successes. Most good “hunters” may be financially motivated, but that doesn’t mean they are only motivated by dollar signs. Recognition from management, especially in front of their peers, still goes a long way. Beyond verbal recognition at sales meetings, consider small gift cards to their favorite dinner spots as a way of demonstrating that you know their preferences, an invitation to meet with a member of the senior management team, a paid Friday off, or even a high-potential lead hand-picked just for them. You might even consider shifting their least-liked task to another member of the team with a stronger affinity for that kind of work. In the end, there’s no single secret to success. No two sales people are alike, but if you understand what motivates each individual member of your team, you’ll be able to bring out the best in all of them.
This blog was written by RedRover’s CEO & Founder, Lori Turner-Wilson. Read more about Lori and her unwavering commitment to guaranteed marketing results in her bio.