Sales managers must take ownership of the success or failure of their sales team.
As the leader of your team, it’s your job to educate, motivate, and provide a productive workplace. Good management can massively increase employee performance and develop great team chemistry. This is critical for your company’s growth and success.
If you want to take your sales team to the next level and crush your sales goals, here are the three most effective management techniques that will have your sales team function at the highest level.
1. Make Everyone Accountable
Make sure all salespeople know the rules and are held to the same standard.
When team members act like the rules don’t apply to them, morale and performance deteriorate.
Whether it’s your newest team member or your top salesperson, you want to appreciate their good work as well as provide constructive feedback.
To best do that, make sure you define the rules clearly, and treat everyone equally when giving feedback.
Let’s touch on both of these in more depth.
Define the Rules Clearly
Before you can start praising or critiquing your employees, you need to make sure there is a standard set of rules that everyone understands.
We recommend creating one available resource for your salespeople to know like the back of their hand, such as a printed handbook, PDF team manual, or big office poster with the team’s principles.
What matters most is that the rules are easy to access and are understandable. That way, you’ll have something concrete to refer to when giving constructive feedback.
Treat Everyone Equally
Treating everyone equally doesn’t mean giving everyone the same bonus, it means congratulating good work and critiquing mistakes regardless of who makes them.
Elite football coach Bill Belichick used this technique with great success.Chad Johnson, the former New England Patriots receiver, described Belichick’s coaching style with this story:
“First day, team meeting. Everyone’s coming in and Belichick puts on — first day, no greeting — the loss to the Jets in the playoffs where they went home early. He puts it on and rips into Tom Brady. First meeting, no practice, everybody is there. He’s at Tom’s head, and I’m like, ‘Is this a joke? Are we being punked?’ He laid his you-know-what out…That set the tone for me right there. I was walking on eggshells from that point on.”
Belichick made it known that his famous, beloved quarterback, Tom Brady, isn’t immune to criticism, just like everyone else.
The point isn’t to rip into your best salespeople, it’s to hold everyone to the same standard, even if they are your best workers.
As a good manager, don’t give your high performing sales agents special treatment. When you provide them with critical feedback, you show them that there is always room for improvement and that they have the ability to reach higher.
The same principle applies to newer team members. Provide them a solid foundation that will foster their growth without coddling them. Show them what it takes to be a successful part of the team.
By treating your sales reps equally, you give them the trust, respect, and leadership needed to perform their best.
2. Provide Helpful Feedback
Feedback is crucial for continued growth. Without it, people don’t know what to change or how to improve.
You can’t simply expect your quarterly performance reviews to gear your team for success, you must also engage with them on a regular basis.
Unfortunately, many people find feedback to be a delicate issue. If you’re too soft, your sales agents won’t listen or respect your advice. If you’re too harsh, they get defensive and tune you out.
Instead, follow these steps to give feedback people want to hear:
- Be direct. Don’t sugar-coat criticism. People like honesty, even if the truth hurts for a while.
- Be specific. Vague feedback is difficult to act upon. Be specific and speak only to the exact area of discussion.
- Discuss the next step. Feedback is a means to an end. Once the feedback part is over, whoever you’re speaking to must agree to an action plan. Figure out what steps need to be taken to ensure even higher performance.
For more on this, read How to Provide Effective Feedback to Your Sales Agents.
3. Give Your Team the Right Tools to Succeed
As a leader, you have to prepare your team for success. Because the team relies on your leadership to hit the company’s goals, you must create a solid plan to help develop your team into high performers.
A few ways to do that are:
- Crafting effective sales scripts. A well-developed script will not only have your sales reps know exactly how to sell to prospects on the phone, but will also teach them what words and tones of speech work effectively when closing deals.
- Giving them the right training. Proactively provide further learning opportunities for your team. In order for them to grow, you must continually address your team’s gaps and potentials so that they can continue to produce exceptionally.
- Encouraging mastery. The most successful people are those who nurture their craft and continually seek to improve. Encourage them to read books and blogs, listen to podcasts, and seek out mentors who can teach strategy and mindset.
Ultimately, the success of your sales team depends on you, the sales manager. By employing these effective sales management techniques, your team will be more valuable, prepared, and anxious to grow.
What are some sales management techniques that have been effective for you? Let us know in the comments below!