Do you want your sales team to reach their maximum potential? Of course you do. Unfortunately, we as sales managers often make simple mistakes that cripple the motivation and productivity of our sales force. Here are some of the most common you should guard against.
We are already battling a tough sales environment. Customers are hesitant and fearful. This is lowering the motivation and confidence of your sales group. The last thing you want to do is to add to this negativity and impact sales production. This is why you need to take a careful review of your sales management and make sure you are not making these common mistakes.
1. Avoiding the Truth for the “Corporate Line”: You sales team is smart. They read the news and watch the numbers in your organization. They know if things are good or bad. They hate surprises as much as you do.
So, avoid the corporate-speak and get to brass tacks when you talk to your team. Tell them the truth. Tell them where they need to be. Tell them where the organization needs to be. You will be amazed how often they take you there.
2. Over Promise, Under Deliver: Missed expectations and disappointments are killer attacks on sales performance. Set realistic goals and objectives. Connect them to reasonable incentives. Then follow-through at all costs.
If possible, surprise the team with more on account of exceptional performance or accelerated performance.
3. Pumping Up Some at The Expense of Others: This is a common error. We always preach praising in public, but never do so at the expense or embarrassment of others.
This technique is like comparing brothers on the baseball diamond or using one sisters’ performance in a competition to teach the other–these are recipes for destructive competition.
4. Discouraging Learning & Training: Training takes time and often cost money. This causes a lot of managers to discourage personal development to hit the monthly number.
Remember there are creative ways to work training and learning into every sales meeting, email, and voice mail you lead your team through. Reward and encourage those that take learning and training into their own hands.
5. Leading with Fear: Threats and punitive reinforcement simply backfires. You can’t coerce your team into performing. It will wound your sales team and your customer. Keep your shop flowing with motivation and confident encouragement.
6. Micromanaging: Running ram-shot over your sales team is unlikely to achieve strong performance. And it will certainly never yield remarkable results. Truly amazing performances and mind blowing months are always the result of creativity, innovation, and initiative.
Micromanaging your sales team kills all of these critical factors for unexpected success.
7. High Expectations & No Direction: Putting an arbitrary goal on the leader board does no good. Your sales team needs direction. They need an idea on how to get there. Give them direction that makes them confident in obtaining the prize.
8. Not Leveraging the Experienced: Chances are your sales force is not without a significant amount of experience. Even the smallest shop has that one or two seasoned veterans. Find ways to leverage this experience. Get them to assist with training, motivation, leading. Get all of those secrets to success out of their heads and out on the sales floor.
9. Wasting Time with Voice Mail & Email: An idle sales manager often feels like he or she needs to be doing something. That usually leads to a useless, pointless, lengthy email or voice mail. Save it. Resist the temptation. Your sales team is already overwhelmed with serving new customers, assuming you were listening to 1-8.
Don’t add unnecessary noise to their sales day.
10. Coaching with Negativity: Like I mentioned in point 5, negativity is the bane of any sales team. Keep it off the sales floor. Avoid leading any coaching session with a negative example. Pick an example or scenario where you can teach the same principle, but lead it with a positive result.
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