We understand the stress that sales leaders face every day – coaching, building reports, motivating, ensuring effective communication. We also know that the biggest pressure you face is to ensure your organization’s success by hitting your numbers. You may not be in the field capturing those sales, but you are responsible for helping your team reach their quota. And post 2020, you’re likely dealing with some major adjustments to your pipeline, staff, and more.
In a study by Richardson Sales Performance, “the majority [of respondents] (22%) indicated that prospecting in a virtual setting was the most significant hurdle.” In addition, reps find it harder to identify key stakeholders and get in sync with the buyer’s journey. Then, as in any industry, failure starts to turn into a morality issue.
Here are 5 things you can start doing now to improve your team’s numbers:
Coaching: This is not a new concept. And you may feel that you have coached until you’re blue in the face. But let’s not forget that people short on time tend to fall back into old habits. Without accountability and opportunities for refreshers, you will see a decline in your sales managers’ leadership. Make sure you are reinforcing the methods and strategies that you presented in your SKO. If your team is struggling, find out if there is a common thread and see what you can do to support them.
Account Planning & Execution: We can’t always be chasing the next new deal. You’ve all heard it before, 20% of your clientele is directly responsible for 80% of your revenue. Don’t leave wallet share on the table! Make sure your sales managers are working with their account teams to discover solutions that can add additional value to your key accounts.
Emotional Connections: Buyers are smarter and more experienced than ever before. They’ve dealt with a range of vendors, and they have done their research. You’re not going to get over a buyer with your car salesman pitch. HBR says that an emotional connection is far superior to customer satisfaction. “That means appealing to any of dozens of ‘emotional motivators’ such as a desire, to feel a sense of belonging, to succeed in life, or to feel secure. Fully connected customers are 52% more valuable, on average than those who are just highly satisfied.”
Help Identify Key Stakeholders: In our recent webinar with Mark Sellers, author of Blindspots, he points out that “titles don’t tell us everything. So, we have to get clever; we have to try and give them information to find out who really is driving the decision and who has the influence that I need to get to.” Make sure your team is asking the right questions to get to the right person. Without a key stakeholder, you can be sure that opportunity will be lost.
Motivation: This one might be a bit tricky. And we’re not talking about that that gets the team over the half-time hump. We’re talking about motivating your team with real value. It may be time to rethink compensation. One company had huge success by “basing compensation on [reps’] effort and behavior, not just on top-line sales.” Even our dog trainers tell us that positive reinforcement is your best bet!
It’s time to do a reality check. Are you digging in and supporting your team? You can follow all 5 steps, but the most successful leaders are the ones that empower their teams. Yes, the numbers are important, but if you invest in the people around you, you’ll always win.