The role of the sales leader at this time of year is to focus on building or maintaining a great atmosphere of success, dedication and fun. All the marketing plans should be in place, sales systems completed and training planned for the next 90 days.
Here are several actions you should focus on:
A shared sense of mission or purpose. Your overall sales goals and “theme” for the year must be reinforced each day, each week, and in every way. Do you have your 2010 theme on posters in your sales areas? Does each salesperson have their “goalboards” hung in their cubes? (These are pictorials of where salespersons rank according to their sales/activity goals, and pictures of your annual sales trip or other goals they have based on their 2010 salesperson business plans.)
Clear and attainable goals. Everyone needs a quota, but high-performance sales teams have “stretch goals,” as well. These must be realistic. Are your compensation plans or sales contests designed to reinforce the stretch goals?
Frequent objective feedback. A sales leader must find the time to coach, mentor and provide insights to keep their sales team focused and constantly improving. Reinforce the positive actions as well as the need to fix the areas that need to be improved. A great phrase you should always use: “If you had an opportunity to make that sale call over again, what, if anything, would you do differently?”
Positive rewards for appropriate performance. Do you have a first-quarter sales contest to start the year off properly? Having a yearly sales incentive trip is a must. Now is the time to design your second-quarter contest to build sales activity and required pipeline to ensure your summer will be successful.
Timely support and help when requested or needed. Sales leaders gain respect when they provide the atmosphere of “being there” for their team. When a salesperson walks into your office or calls you on the phone, your first response should be, “How can I help you?”
Remember, when you walk into your office each day, your body language, your attitude and your actions will be transferred to your team.
Ken Thoreson, president of Acumen Management Group Ltd., “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 12 years, our consulting, advisory and platform services have illuminated, motivated and rejuvenated the sales efforts for partners throughout North America. Move up and move ahead! Acumen Management provides keynotes, consulting services and products designed to improve business performance.