Jim was mad.
He had driven 60 miles (One way!) to update the IT system of a store.
And, once again, the left hand had no idea what the right hand was doing. The manager of the location had not been notified. Critical equipment was missing and in the end, the whole trip was a waste of time and money.
To make matters worse, as the low man on the proverbial totem pole, he knew he would be the one to get the blame. Yep, his butt was on the line. He was required to make something happen, but never given the means, the actual tools to do so.
Maybe you can relate.
Do You Feel Their Pain?
Have you ever been tasked with a sales project only to find that it is all goals and no real plan? Have you been asked to perform better, in less time and with fewer resources?
Have bigger territories, more mandatory meetings, expected to contact and keep more clients happy? In short, do you face more demands with less time to actually produce the desired results?
If so, you are not alone. Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the numbers aren’t pretty. According to a Gallup estimate, management skills account for 70% of the variance in employee engagement and performance.
Moreover, productivity, is directly related to how engaged a team member is. In a nutshell, your company will thrive or fail depending on who is at the helm and how they engage and motivate their team.
So how are they doing?
According to the study, only 30% of the 27 million employees (followed over a 20 year period), were engaged. The actual cost of which, is estimated to be between $450 and $550 billion dollars each year in lost productivity and lackluster sales.
Of those surveyed, 52% were disengaged, 18% were actively disengaged. In other words, the vast bulk of all employees (70%) do not feel engaged and therefor they do not produce well. All of which boils down to who is managing and how they engage (motivate) their people.
So how can you motivate your team?
How do you cut through the clutter of endless metrics and actually engage (motivate and empower) your team?
It starts with less management and more leadership. (Ouch!) Simply relying on the numbers provided by metrics is not enough. You cannot lean solely on programs and arbitrary sales goals. If you want your people to perform, you have to come alongside them and help them to do so.
Rinse and Repeat
Sales leaders must focus on providing the tools for their teams. They must create a repeatable process that includes:
- Recognizing what motivates team members on an individual and team level (Believe it or not, not everyone is motivated by a bigger paycheck.) Social recognition can be a massive motivator too.
- The sales team cannot be a microcosm. Sales can’t be off over there, unaware of the overarching goals of the company itself. Fix any disconnects that impact the customer’s experience.
- Build a culture of success that imparts a clear mission. Communication and team problem solving is key. Team members have to be able to ask questions and get clear answers.
- Coordinating team efforts and making sure that everyone is on the same page with identical metrics and feedback.
- Tracking customer buying cycles and needs so that no one misses opportunities.
- Getting the information to the ones who need it, when they need it and in a way that is easily digested.
In a nutshell, sales team members have to be taught a successful process that they can use over and over. Having a consistent process not only helps them perform better, it increases their engagement and reduces their stress. When your people know what to do it frees them up to focus on getting better.
Get This Right or It is all Over
It always starts with hiring the best talent. If you want real success, you have to front load it by taking the time to screen and select the best. Without the right people in place, your company is likely to end up in a nosedive. While it is imperative to lead people, you have to have people that are willing to be led.
For more information on building a better sales machine, be sure to subscribe to our blog. And, if you are looking for those elusive sales rock stars who push your team upwards, give me a call.
Want to learn more about sales consulting and sales strategy? Read about various sales topics in our sales consulting blog.
- Hire Now: Why a Sales Hiring Freeze is the Wrong Move? - April 20, 2020
- Get Employee Engagement Right or It’s All Over - February 28, 2019