Have you ever noticed how people who enroll in a weight-loss program that involves accountability and long-term maintenance most often do better than those who try to go it alone? The same is true in sales.
It is not enough to simply “train” your team with a one-shot, one-size-fits-all motivational “rah, rah.” Often, I am invited by a company to do training on a particular discipline with the sales team because there is the feeling that the team “is not closing enough” or “they are not doing enough to drive traffic,” or their “follow-up needs work,” etc.
However, once I begin, I often discover that there is more of a systemic breakdown and that those particular challenges are merely a symptom of a greater issue.
Sales people, like any other, perform in direct proportion to the level of expectations set, and when those expectations are reinforced, coached and inspected. Yet all too often, we leave these sales people out in the field alone without a weekly planned encounter.
We are not working with them on their very specific and time-oriented goals, or even giving them a road map on how to reach those goals and checkpoints along the way where we, as leaders, should be stepping in to guide them. Then, when our sales teams fall short, we start to make excuses for them about what the competition is doing, or they did not have enough traffic. And then we wonder why we are not getting results.
When you hold sales people accountable, they will resist — until they start seeing results. Once those results start to happen, and we celebrate those results with them, the desire sets in to not only repeat the results, but to up the ante. The key is we have to hold ourselves accountable to be the leader our team needs.
Sales results happen in the field, not in your office or corporate headquarters. You must be in the field, spending quality time with your team every week. If you can’t spend at least two to three hours, one on one, with each member of your sales team every week, then either your territory is too large or your priorities are not straight.
You must have, in writing, minimum performance expectations, have each one of your sales staff sign it and have it placed in their files. You can’t make exceptions. Reward not only results, but effort. Celebrate successes every step of the way.
Finally, hiring a trainer/consultant adds credibility to your efforts. This may sound familiar to parents, who often notice how their kids will listen to a teacher or a coach, but the same advice from a parent falls on deaf ears.
Your team can perform at a higher level. Successful teams are focused; they have a plan and they are disciplined in working that plan. They know the only way to get out of a hole is to stop digging, and start filling it in by getting more and better sales!
Realtor Kimberly Mackey is the founder of New Homes Solutions and a Tampa Bay Builders Association member. This post is adapted from a story in the Jan/Feb 2018 issue of Sales + Marketing Ideas. Download the Sales + Marketing Ideas app on iTunes or Google Play to read it.