10 Guidelines for Improving Sales Team Management

Managing your sales team involves your communication and collaboration with them. It is not solely based on your individual actions as a sales leader. This is the process of steering a sales team: through the combined influence of your actions, their responses, and their actions, your reactions. It can be described as an ongoing exchange of energy created by mutual efforts.

The steering process consists of four essential components: the initial intention, the corresponding action, and the subsequent feedback and correction.

As you control the helm, you experience the opposing force of the rudder, and you make necessary modifications to your manoeuvres to precisely navigate your intended course. This is where calibration becomes crucial for confident steering. When you turn to the left, the boat should also turn to the left as intended. It is important to avoid both understeering and oversteering and to maintain a smooth course.

If you are a sales leader and wish to guide your sales team effectively, I recommend using a 10-step calibration guide to manage them during periods of uncertainty, which is not uncommon.

Slowly, one nail is being placed at a time

When attempting to bring about a change in behaviour within your sales team, it is important to concentrate on a single objective and remain steadfast until the desired outcome is achieved. It is crucial for your team to understand that they are expected to deliver results without any exemptions. If they feel unable to meet these expectations, they should openly communicate with you. Any affirmation or lack of objection from them is considered a firm commitment.

Be a lightning before striking as thunder

If you need to address a problem and motivate your team members, gradually signal your concerns by raising your hand. It is important to avoid sudden outbursts that catch them off guard. Give them a warning beforehand. It is crucial to handle the situation in a predictable but firm manner rather than resort to tactics reminiscent of a mafia boss.

Customise your tune with a personal touch

Each salesperson has their own unique style. When communicating with them one-on-one, it is important to tailor your message’s tone to their individual receiving abilities. It is crucial to understand what motivates them.

Encouraging statements

If one is not willing to express the positives, they have no authority to acknowledge the negatives. It is straightforward. Take every opportunity to show approval and rejoice. Sales is not a traditional field where achieving results is assumed and silently acknowledged.

Outline your boundaries

Eliminating undesirable behaviours is crucial to fostering a productive sales culture. This encompasses not only the evident and general behaviours outlined in writing but also the organization-specific, principle-driven, and often unspoken ones. It is important to address these behaviours proactively and not wait for them to result in a major issue. Consistently monitoring and enforcing clear expectations is comparable to weeding a garden to create space for desirable growth.

Setting a good example is the best way to lead

Become the embodiment of what you admire and value. Salespeople possess intelligence and can easily distinguish between self-focused speeches and actions worth emulating. Instead of solely focusing on outcomes, effort and behaviours should be prioritised. If your team is unable to produce results, take the lead by experimenting with a new approach. There is a possibility of not achieving success, but demonstrate bravery by trying again with your team.

Ensure the safety of their back

When there is genuine intent and dedication, there are endless possibilities and the option to overlook certain situations purposely. This is what sets apart a true leader: being able to discern when to make significant allowances without causing disruption. Do not anticipate the same level of understanding from your team; instead, refrain from expecting emotional indebtedness and provide support when necessary.

A touch that is both gentle and firm

When holding a bar of soap, it requires a strong rub to use it effectively. Squeezing it too forcefully will cause it to slip out of your grasp. Similarly, when managing a sales team, it is beneficial to apply positive pressure. The goal is to encourage them to step out of their comfort zone without causing them to feel overwhelmed or broken.

Forms of paradigms and perspectives

The behaviour of salespeople is influenced by their perception of the issue and the sales environment. When seeking to change their behaviour, it is important to allow them to express their thoughts and ideas. It is crucial to understand their perspective and work on reframing their thoughts and perceptions. The ultimate outcome of sales is a result of deliberate actions. These actions are influenced by one’s mindset, which is shaped by their perception of the world and themselves.

Gather together in the warmth of a fire

The bond between a sales leader and their team is truly established when they face a common struggle for survival. It is crucial for a sales leader to have experienced the challenges and obstacles of their team in order to understand and empathise with them truly. If a leader has gone through a similar battle, the connection is immediate. However, it is important to remember that every situation is unique and cannot be fully understood through a map or surface-level knowledge. To truly connect with the team, a leader must put on their boots and walk alongside them.

Salesforce Sales Cloud Consultant with 12 years of sales enablement experience. Executed sales turnaround projects to build sustainable revenue streams. A proven sales enabler, sales efficiency, and effectiveness practitioner in complex sales process environments. High-performing sales team builder, customer-centric sales culture transformer and hands-on catalyst move quickly from vision and strategy to implementation.

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