Sales Training: An Investment Not a Cost
To boost staff morale and maximize profits at the same time, the progressive manager should not rely on external incentives alone in order to motivate his team. He should aim to build a supportive working environment in which staff members are rewarded for their successes and given their own autonomy within a set structure, so that they feel empowered and a valued team player. This increases cooperation and the desire to do well within the organization.
Another way you can increase productivity is to invest in your staff and their career with ongoing sales training. This can be done through behavioral observations of individual staff members, skill assessments and targeted coaching such as skill and knowledge based instruction.
Bring in guest speakers.
By bringing in guest speakers from various different disciplines you can ignite inspiration amongst your team. Case studies from other businesses show that when staff have had the opportunity to listen to guest speakers, their performance improves and they are more likely to attain their bonuses.
Use praise to heighten self-esteem.
Just as praise works for people going through school, it also works in a business setting. Effective sales managers use motivational methods like verbal recognition and positive communication to evoke enthusiasm. When combined with prize based reward for salespeople who meet specific criteria, it can increase your sales.
Get your hands dirty.
A great way of building respect in your team is to get your hands dirty and do some of the sales work yourself. By identifying business prospects and using your experience to develop account plans, you can help to close in on a deal. Or you can also intervene in difficult customer phone calls and assist with conflict resolution in a way that preserves the salesperson and customer relationship. This shows the team that their manager is willing to get stuck in and it also models good sales work for them.
Facilitate communication among team members.
As a successful sales manager you would encourage open communication between sales teams to network, share information or any concerns. Holding multi team meetings, collaborative team building activities or mentoring programs is the recipe for having more durable teams.
To summarize, to be the sales manager that everyone will like and for the best productivity in your business you should:
- Provide access to training programs and allow your staff to gain from other’s experiences with guest speakers and other resources.
- Evaluate the behaviors of individual staff members rather than just the team as a whole.
- Boost self-esteem with verbal recognition and non-monetary rewards.
- Make sure your staff are aware of the ethos of your business, its aims and they have a clear idea of what is expected of them in the organization, while at the same time giving them autonomy to make their own choices.
- Make sure your team members understand the importance of ongoing coaching.
- Facilitate an exchange of ideas between different teams—for instance, product development teams and sales teams.
- Take part in field level sales so your team can learn by example and see that you care about the business. You should also develop working relationships with them that embrace two way conversations. This same type of dialogue should be used with other sales managers for a clearer indication of factors that affect sales performance.
Essentially, your business should be an ongoing educational experience for everyone involved in its success.
Alison Brattle is a marketing manager at AchieveGlobal UK, a global sales training and leadership development firm based in London. It specializes in providing exceptional sales coaching and helps organizations develop business strategies to achieve sales success. Alison enjoys sharing her insight and thoughts to provide better sales and leadership training. Feel free to connect with her on LinkedIn.