This blog originally published in Printing Impressions
If you offered unlimited commissions to your sales team, they would naturally all want to sell more, right? It’s clear that some sales people try to max it out each and every year while the majority though, sell just enough to earn what they need or have grown accustomed to. As a business owner or sales leader, how do you foster and encourage growth within your business if the majority are content with selling just enough?
Reliving yesterday’s triumphs
Talking about what led to yesterday’s triumphs gives us all a warm feeling. If yesterday was ten years ago, we should question whether those tactics are still relevant or are they a distraction.
A new day, a new game
When the conditions change, you can’t expect to continue to do the same thing and get the same results. Maybe your market conditions have not changed for you and things are going just fine. If that’s the case, congratulations indeed! Many companies and reps that I speak with have not accepted the fact that a change in course may be needed, or they have not put the effort into mastering the new rules of engagement. I’ve written before about the confusing nature that many years of experience can provide but instead, want to focus on benefits of continual learning as a sales professional. What is your sales team working on this week to get better at what they do? What did they work on last month? How did it go? I recently asked someone what they could work on to get better and his response was, “it’s hard to get better when you’re already the best.” Umm, I guess that throws out the concept of continual improvement.
Teach, support, adjust
Acknowledge that some on your team have either not accepted that they need to change or are unwilling to part with their current ways of doing things. I think that there may also be a third category, those that would like to do better but are just frozen in not knowing what to do or how to do it. Your role as the sales leader should be to recognize where each rep is on this continual learning spectrum and to understand how they learn and will accept new ideas. You can support their journey by either providing the resources they need to move ahead or by showing them how to access the many resources available to a sales professional today. And many of these resources are free to access! Also acknowledge the fact that you may have some reps who are just not interested in doing anything different. Period. You’ll need to understand how they fit into your sales team and what role they’ll continue to play, or not play.
All hands on deck
This is an all-out effort that, and depending on the structure of your business, is led by the sales leader, owner, or president of the company. Tap into the many resources available to you. Set goals for improvement on the many sales tasks that need to be done daily in order to be successful. Make it fun, make it a challenge. Who will be first, not only overall sales but in new business and new presentations to ideal clients and the other various categories that you want to improve on. Yes, it’s additional work. But the rewards are a growing business with motivated sales reps who are at the top of their game. Help them to get there. Good luck and have fun.
Mike Philie can help validate what’s working and what may need to change in your business. Changing the trajectory of a business is difficult to do while simultaneously operating the core competencies. Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the Graphic Communications Industry by providing direct and realistic assessments, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach. Learn more at www.philiegroup.com, LinkedIn or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.