Information hits sales managers from all sides on the subject of creating high-performance sales teams. Provide constant feedback, hire the right people, incentive programs, create compensation plans that drive behavior…the list goes on and on.
Given these endless choices, it can be hard for sales managers to figure out where exactly to focus their attention. To make life a bit easier, here is a tip that will greatly simplify your job as a sales leader.
To really motivate your sales team: Train and coach your team and help them get better.
The Importance of Teaching
Let’s step outside the sales world for an example of the importance of teaching.
I live in Colorado, a place where many enjoy downhill skiing. It can be quite exhilarating to go gliding down a mountain, breathing in that fresh air.
For some individuals, skiing isn’t much fun. They’ve never learned how to ski. Instead of gliding down the mountain, they end up in what I refer to as a ‘yard sale.’ They fall and skis, poles and gloves are all over the place. As they gather their equipment, the snow covered individuals say to themselves, “This skiing isn’t enjoyable and I’m not doing it again.” This person isn’t motivated to continue the great sport of skiing because they’ve never been taught the fundamentals of skiing.
‘Yard sales’ occur every day in the sales profession. For some reason, CEOs and sales managers think that salespeople have magically developed the many skills needed to be effective in sales. Take a look at a partial list of attributes and competencies needed to succeed:
- Prospecting skills
- Qualification skills
- Emotional intelligence skills
- Listening skills
- Negotiation skills
- Time management
- Conflict resolution
- Customer service
- Presentations skills
- Building rapport
Whew—that’s a long list. Teaching, training and coaching is the number one way to motivate your sales team to greatness. It’s common sense. When people know how to do ‘something’ better, they enjoy doing that ‘something.’ And when they enjoy doing that ‘something,’ they do that ‘something’ more often.
Salespeople that know how to prospect enjoy prospecting and do it more often. Salespeople that know how to hold a sales conversation with the C suite buyer enjoy those sales meetings and schedule more of them.
Take a look at your calendar. How much time and money is your sales organization dedicating to motivating your sales team the right way by providing them training and coaching? Avoid ‘yard sales’ and apply the number one motivational tool: teach your sales team how to sell and influence.
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