Sales Directors and Managers are in hot water. Sales performance can seem nearly impossible when markets are shrinking, rising prices, and an unrelenting focus on cost-cutting. Don’t despair! The five tips below can help you buck this trend.
Focus your attention on what you want.
Sales are the most critical area of a business. It can be tempting to let your team strain at each lead. However, this is when your focus should be on the sales you have the most excellent chance of winning. Do not let your attention wander. Which type of sales are you looking for? Whom? What is the size of the sale? These are the questions you need to know. You should only pursue leads that meet these criteria. If it doesn’t, no matter how tempting, you must let it go.
Do not mess with the commission.
If sales are declining but were good before, it is possible that the bonus system that worked before is no longer working. It’s possible but doubtful. It may sound like a simple way to improve performance, but it rarely works. It takes a lot of time to do this, whether it is in consulting people, ironing out wrinkles, or handling complaints, grumbles, and meetings afterward. It takes too much time to make changes (consultations), but it takes even longer to implement the changes once people know how they will work. It also distracts people. This encourages your sales team to focus on their own customers while they should be looking out for potential customers. Your people must be working with customers in order to close sales. They need to start working immediately. Both can be hindered by a change to the bonus system. You have more important things to do than the commission system.
They are making it easier to find new ways of working.
It’s sad how many changes fail. The new way of doing things is more complex, cumbersome, or inconvenient. While people may be willing to try it for a while, once the pressure starts, what happens? People will return to the work methods they feel most comfortable with. Another change will fail. Do everything possible to change the way your sales team behaves.
Establish standards Leadership is defined as the ability to communicate and create a vision and to set and enforcestandards for performance.
Setting and maintaining standards are crucial when it comes to implementing change.
Are you looking for new standards in behavior and performance? These are the standards you need to set and ensure that your sales team understands them. These standards should be held to. You can now measure their performance against these standards to let them know if they’re meeting them. If they fail to meet the standards, address them immediately. Nobody should have any doubts about what is important to them and what they are doing against them.
It is easy to start a new way of doing business, but it’s much more challenging to keep it going. Although your sales team may be open to change initially, they will become distracted and return to their old ways of working. This is true for all salespeople, but it is especially true for those who work in the field. Are you introducing a change that is important? It is, or you wouldn’t do it. Give it the attention it needs. You should create mechanisms, such as regular chats, reports, or meetings, to help you (a) notice when people aren’t doing what you want them to do, (b) notice when they are doing the right thing, and (c) notice how well they are doing it. Your teams won’t see the changes in their behavior if you don’t pay attention to each of these things consistently over time. Instead, they will pay more attention to the things you pay attention to, which is often what you did before you made the change. What are the reasons your changes don’t stick? This is because you continue to focus on the old things and not the new.
Implementing change requires real work. It is not about motivation, although that can help. Nor does it involve vision. It’s about changing the environment where people work so that they find new ways to perform.
It can be brutal out there. But these five tips may make it a little easier for you to get your team where they need to be.