“The Power of Leadership”
In economic slumps, it’s more important than ever that good leaders are engaged with their sales team. Leaders need to become more active in sales strategy and developing plans with their teams. A Manager must create accountability and streamline bureaucracy that can feel overwhelming as companies respond to changes in the marketplace.
The next few Thoughts come from Dave Lakhani and his recent book How to Sell When Nobody’s Buying (and How to Sell Even More When They Are). Dave’s company, Bold Approach, understands the changing environment of sales today and is a great resource for Sales people and Managers to learn to adapt to it. Dave’s advice…
CALM THEIR NERVES
Sales Managers are people managers and it’s key to calm their nerves when times get tough. A salesperson’s initial reaction to change is often to try and negotiate a change in quota or a restructuring of commission to try and maintain financial stasis.
The fastest way to get a slumping salesperson back on track is to listen to that person. Because sales people are on the front line with customers, they often hear about changes long before management does. Fear of not being heard will fuel overreaction by a salesperson, people panic fast when they feel their income is threatened and they want to share that concern with anyone who will listen. That can mark the beginning of an overall problem on your team. So, apply active listening to have the opportunity to determine whether what they are reporting is real, and if it is, you can begin working on a sound strategy for correction.
It is important that you accurately assess what the salesperson is telling you. Often the reason reported isn’t really the problem at all so it is important that you ask questions and get to the core issue. You have to determine if the problem is a business problem or a sales performance problem to be able to develop your plan for overcoming the challenge. If there is a fundamental lack of understanding or skill on the part of the salesperson, those things can be addressed directly with that salesperson. But also be quick to take responsibility for business issues that are not the salesperson’s job and put the sales staff back to selling!
Reassure the salesperson that they will succeed. The more confident your sales people feel, the faster they can reengage. Don’t forget to praise them for what they’ve been doing well and for coming to see you with the challenge.
“We don’t judge people; we give them an opportunity to prove themselves.” – Paul J. Meyer
Have a great day!
Russ M. Miller, LLIF – Chairman & CEO
Performance Institute (Human Capital Development)
Global CEO Academy (Management Training)
Sunny Hong Zhang – Managing Partner – China
Shawn M. Miller – Managing Partner – USA
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