If you run a sales team, it can be difficult. This is because sales are the lifeblood of any business. When sales are down, it means that profits and salaries are down (especially commissions). So you need to find a way to snap your team out of the funk and get back to a place of more confidence and sales right away. Here’s how:
Take it Easy
It can be tempting to go in hard on your team when times are bad. After all, the sales team job is to get your numbers up to the quotas you set in the first place. But reality dictates that sometimes you will miss your numbers. That is when it is time to show your true colors as management and go easy on your team. Be critical, but also offer praise.
Reflect on Past Successes
A crucial component of team building is getting your employees to have renewed confidence in themselves. Encourage them to write down past moments when they worked together toward success. Allow them to remember how great it felt. This will bring them closer together and make them more motivated in the future.
Focus on the Future
Speaking of the future, it can be tempting to get caught up in the past. However, the reality is that you can’t change it. Quickly analyze it and figure out what you did wrong, then correct the issue and move forward. This keeps your eyes on the prize.
Bring it Back to Your Goals
A team really stays together when they understand what they’re working toward. Greater revenues and shareholder happiness is not a goal. Be specific. What numbers by what dates are you trying to hit? This focuses your team and motivates everyone at the same time.
In business, it’s natural for people to get down from time to time. Don’t treat your employees like robots. They have emotions. If you want to keep it together, you need to embrace the human side of things. Consider having one-on-one conversations with various employees and try to find out where they are emotionally.
Go the Extra Mile
When your employees see that you’re going above and beyond what you have to do, they will take their own additional actions. It’s hard to keep your team confident if they don’t believe you truly do what you preach. So don’t be a hypocrite, be willing to get your hands dirty.
Brainstorm with Management
Sometimes your team may have ideas they want to get out. When that is the case, don’t just shoot them down based on their position. Sometimes, it just takes one great idea to take your business from where it is now to where you want it to be. And you never know where that next idea could come from: the accountant, sales assistant, or general manager.
80/20 Your Customers
Sales may be down, but that doesn’t mean it is the end of the world. In fact, you still have some sales. So get your team together and do a quick exercise. Have everyone make a list of their best customer. Then, have them map out what the positive characteristics are of this customer.
The next step is to map out what a negative customer looks like. Now you know who to avoid when hunting for new sales. With these two avatars, you can focus on the 20% of current and new customers that will give you the 80% of your business growth.
If you want to get the most out of your sales team, especially when things are not looking good, you need a plan. You can’t afford to let sales continue to slump but you also can’t let your sales team slack off anymore. So use the tactics above and you’ll find that you’re getting the results you need to take your business forward instead of focusing on the failures of the past.
by: Mark Palmer