Sales managers can wreck a sales career or launch it. They can motivate reps who seem hopeless or derail the efforts of rising sales stars.
Rene Zamora, a sales management thought leader and this month’s guest blogger, has a unique perspective. He says the foundation of great sales leadership is simple: Believing in your team.
Think belief is too “touchy-feely?” Read what he has to say on the matter:
“There are many ways to improve your sales team. You can (and should) spend money on training, CRM systems, incentives, off-site meetings, and developing better sales processes. But there’s also one free, easy, immediate way to strengthen your team. To be an inspiring sales leader with a motivated, high-producing team, you must let them know you believe in them.
The words you choose when you talk to (or about) them, the faces you make, your body language and tone—these things reflect just how much you support your team. When our teams know that we’re in their corner, that we believe they’re capable of being high performers, they’ll rise to the occasion.
Tell Me About Your Sales Team
Tell me how good your salespeople are … each and every one of them. Tell me:
- What are their positive qualities?
- What did each of them do right this week or last week?
- What are they doing to improve?
- What about them makes you proud?
Now tell me:
- What do they need to fix?
- What aren’t they doing well?
- What frustrates you about them?
- What are their worst qualities?
If it was easier to answer the first set of questions, then you’re on the right track. When you have positive beliefs about your team, they are more likely to reach new heights—to do things they didn’t think possible until you believed in them.
If the second set was easier, then your negative beliefs about them are something they’ll have to work around to be successful for YOU.
Is Belief Really a Big Deal?
Yes, but its power is often overlooked. Consider this: If you have a positive belief about someone sitting at his computer, you might think he’s doing research. If you have a negative belief, you might assume he’s wasting time. Of course, you can clear up any confusion by asking, but we don’t always do that.
Let’s say the person is doing research on a big client or building his network. Then you chime in, ‘Shouldn’t you be out there making some sales?’ Your negative belief could negate the positive work the rep is doing. These little hits can kill motivation and reduce sales. After all, who wants to work hard for someone who assumes the worst about them?
Bringing It Home
Sales organizations will continue to succeed or fail, whether or not sales leaders believe in their teams. It’s only one element of building a winning team, but it’s a cornerstone that strengthens all your other management efforts.
To determine what you believe about your team, and to start thinking more positively, check out this belief exercise. And remember, believing in your team doesn’t cost anything and can make a difference right now!”
About the Author
Rene Zamora, owner and founder of Sales Manager Now, is a pioneer in outsourced sales management for small businesses. He brings more than knowledge; he shares his sales management experience as he continues to work with small business sales teams today. You can find his blog at www.salesmanagernow.com/sales-blog.