This is a guest post from one of our current members Mary Grothe at Sales BQ®.
We’re all human… which means we’re all uniquely different! So why manage your sales team members the same way? Some are naturals in some areas of the job and some not. They aren’t motivated by the same things – motivate them in ways specific to them! Manage them uniquely to the same outcomes.
SKILL 1: BEHAVIORAL INTELLIGENCE
Sales managers who have the ability to observe and understand how emotion and behavior drive outcomes will innately communicate and manage their sales reps differently than those who believe a one-size-fits-all approach works. I’ve seen sales environments where every rep is managed the same, yet outcomes vary. For example, the manager assumes the whole team is motivated by money. The manager causes burnout with a high-pressure, high-expectation culture that is driven with monetary incentives. Successful sales managers manage each rep based on who they are as a person. They use awareness and social / emotional queues to adjust their approach in communication, tone, and types of incentives offered. Sales managers who rank high in the behavioral quotient create high-growth sales teams because everyone feels valued, heard, understood, and cared for. In return, they are inspired by their sales leader and motivated to perform and reciprocate the gesture.
SKILL 2: STRENGTHS-FOCUSED
Sales managers who take the time to learn about each team members’ strengths and weaknesses have the opportunity to mold and shift the individual rep roles to accommodate productive behavior and experience high-growth sales. If a sales role requires 3 main duties, but each rep struggles in one of the 3, and that one lacking area drives down productivity, would it not make sense to carve that out, build a role of their strengths, and enjoy 2x or 3x productivity? We are often asked how this is scalable; individualized sales roles. Look at this example. Rep A: Consistently makes 60-70 outbound calls per day, converts 10% to sales conversations, struggles closing. Rep B: No matter how many times you tell them to prospect, they never do. Yet, they close at 75%. If only they had more at-bats. Shift Rep A to a prospect and qualify role and shift Rep B to a propose and close role.
SKILL 3: EMPOWERMENT
Sales managers who dictate the rules and expectations constantly, potentially creating a toxic culture where reps feel micro-managed and feel they’re never good enough, will lose an opportunity to create a high-growth sales culture. Building on skills 1 & 2, once the manager understands who their sales reps are, how to communicate, how to motivate, and how to shape their role, they must create a culture of ongoing empowerment. A sales manager empowers their team by influencing the environment. They help everyone learn to diagnose and solve their own problems, build positive relationships with others in the organization (especially operations), and create a team that helps and supports each other. By empowering the team to take on these tasks, it frees up the sales manager to focus on coaching and mentoring their reps, not being stuck managing all their problems.
READY TO REALLY STEP UP YOUR MANAGEMENT GAME?
We’ve compiled an excellent guide just for that – Step Up Your Game: The Complete Guide to Effective Sales Management.