It’s an endless cycle of trying to get more from each person on your team, isn’t it? You can’t take a break from the sales push because of the demands and expectations from your board, stakeholders, team, and maybe even your spouse! So what can you do to activate your team to sell more?
Activate them! Here are three easy A’s to activation:
Managers will say their job is to keep everyone accountable. Yet research from the Objective Management Group clearly shows sales managers are not effective in creating a culture of accountability. They are very accepting of excuse making and finger pointing.
Accountability means your reps take ownership for their results (and so do you). Do your reps own their level of activity, their outcomes, and their behaviors? Or do they make statements like:
- He said he was going to give me an answer last week and hasn’t yet.
- They told me they were making a decision and would let me know.
- She won’t introduce me to the real decision maker.
Can you see how these are all excuses that don’t show ownership of their actions? The elite salespeople take responsibility for their results and don’t make excuses compared to 20% of the bottom performers
What does taking responsibility and accepting ownership and accountability sound like?
- I didn’t get the answer last week and need to get on the phone with them.
- I didn’t secure the next specific call time to discuss their decision.
- I haven’t yet uncovered how to get to the decision maker.
Do you see how much easier it is to identify the next action they should take and get a commitment of when and where they will take that action?
What can you do?
If you need to increase personal accountability among your team:
- Review your role. It starts with you. What is your response when you hear an excuse? Do you accept it or ask for more information to drive an action?
- When you hear an excuse, redirect the rep. “What can you do to move that forward?” “What’s one step you will take to get the answer you need? “What else can you do?”
- Set clear expectations – specifics with timelines, behavior, and outcome.
- Share how you will measure what you expect.
It’s not sexy, ground breaking, or plugged into an outlet. But that doesn’t mean you can ignore this basic sales generator…action. Most teams do not need more technology or tools. What they need it to ACT; to make their calls; follow-up; and follow-though to stop getting stuck in the rut of chase, procrastination, and analysis paralysis
This is where leading and lagging indicators for measurement become such an important piece to consider. Janice Mars wrote a great article here so I won’t repeat. Too often we measure, focus, and reward for the sale in a transaction orientated sales process that works. In most sales processes though, the sale is the outcome of all the important activities that precede it. And if you have more than a two-step process you need to measure those activities and advances through your pipeline for accurate forecasting.
What can you do?
- Review your sales process and identify the key activities that indicate the reps are keeping a full and active pipeline. What activities can you easily measure and report?
- Share the data. Ask your reps about the activity level…what gets in the way of more? When they have good activity levels, let them know you noticed. As soon as you begin to pay attention to the activities that lead to the sale…activity levels will increase.
Your attention and energy is pulled in so many directions that it’s easy to stop making the time to focus on your individual reps. Finding the time to give attention to the people on your team is often a challenge. It’s like the cobbler whose children have no shoes. After all, XX is a top performer, she’ll come to you if she really needs something, right?
Stop that train of thought to nowhere. Your team needs as much attention as your customers and prospects…maybe even more.
What can you do?
- Identify how much time and attention you give each person.
- Add 15 minutes per person per week. Yes, 15 minutes per person a week that is focused on them, their challenges, their goals, and their accounts. Focus your attention on them and what’s in it for them; not your agenda, new policies, etc. It matters.
There you have it: Easy-peasy actions for you to activate your team to sell more. It starts with increasing activity levels, accountability, and engagement.
Their engagement increase in activity will send your sales soaring quicker than any new piece of software.
You Don't Have to Be A "Born" Salesperson
If you're like many of the hard working business professionals we work with, selling was not something you ever thought you'd be doing. Yet, based on business demands, you have a need to lead or influence others to make decisions or take action to:
- Select your product or service over another
- Schedule meetings with them, their family, their corporate team
- Be willing to pay you for the service or product you offer
- Make a referral or connection to someone in their network
The good news is that developing the skill (and confidence) to accomplish these outcomes more easily without becoming or feeling like you are the "sleazy" or manipulative "sales guy" is possible!
How? With Genuine Sales, a developmental process (course) to build your confidence and competence in collaborative selling skills. Genuine Sales includes useful tools and frameworks you'll make your own.
And it's all live and virtual! You'll join a small virtual group with a facilitator from the comfort of your home or office! Click here to get the details.
What's it mean to you? You'll be more productive, increase your close rates, convert more of those hard-earned leads, stop discounting, and feel so much better about it.
Click here to learn more ... you'll be glad you did just like Jane Yoo who wrote:
"I would recommend the course to everyone, regardless of sales experience. The Genuine Sales course provides a sensible framework to approach sales conversations. I also found it helpful to be reminded that it's about the client, not about me. I've already forwarded the registration to my former colleagues."