Maneuvering a successful career in sales can be tricky sometimes. Leading a sales team full of people ready to grow and eager to earn more commission can be even more difficult. Don’t assume that your sales team knows or understands your goals for them. Aligning your team’s goals with company goals requires supervisors to be intentional with their feedback and ensure clear communication channels.
Common Problems and How to Solve Them:
Problem: Intimidation. This appears most often with new additions to a sales team, particularly when the team they are joining is full of tenured salespeople. Yes, sales can be competitive and strong personalities can often clash. As a sales supervisor, you need to ensure that you are taking into account all of the personalities on your team. If one member feels intimidated by another member – or feels intimidated to ask for further clarification on a goal – their job may get done incorrectly or you might not see any results.
Solution: Ask and Answer Questions. As a member of a sales team, be sure to approach your supervisor for further clarification on any tasks you aren’t sure about. Once you do this one time, it won’t be as intimidating the next time and you will gain confidence knowing that the task has been completed correctly. As a supervisor, ask yourself if you would be comfortable approaching yourself. If the answer is no, change how your sales teams approach you. Ask if there are any questions after a job is assigned, keep your office door open, and express that you are always available by phone or email.
Problem: Inconsistency. Don’t provide your sales group with a long list of items to complete and then check in daily one week but then give no expectations or check in the following week. Create a “normal” and stick with it as much as possible. Being flexible is a huge part of being an effective supervisor, but maintaining structure is equally important.
Solution: Be Consistent. As a supervisor, your job is to supervise tasks. This doesn’t mean that you have to watch over employees’ shoulders or do surprise visits into their offices every hour of the day. But it is okay to check in on tasks periodically throughout the week, depending on the goals your company has in mind. Supervisors should communicate a clear schedule along with specific expectations (and due dates, if applicable) to your sales team on a consistent basis.
Problem: Lack of Recognition. Your sales team works hard. They’re in the office every day making those calls, closing those deals – and for what? For most people, a paycheck isn’t enough. They want to know that they are appreciated and that their hard work is acknowledged. Without recognition, your sales team will eventually realize they are going nowhere and move on to a company that supports their diligence and encourages them.
Solution: Give Recognition. It’s one of the simplest ways to boost morale in the work place – encourage and recognize your sales team with a Sales Incentive Program. If your sales group is knocking it out of the park this month, call them out! Even better – call them out in front of the company’s leadership team. Your sales team will appreciate that you recognize their hard work and take pride in the fact that upper management knows the value of their job. And upper management will take note that you are doing a great job with your sales team – meeting goals and keeping the team motivated.
Problem: Hiding from Confrontation. If there’s a problem on your team – don’t hide behind a computer screen to talk through serious issues. Not only are you losing time flipping emails back and forth, but tone can easily be misconstrued in email. Discussing issues in person or on the phone allows both parties to have a conversation and find a solution immediately.
Solution: Discuss Issues in Person. No matter what the issue, sensitive situations should always be discussed and handled in person if possible. Don’t waste time beating around the bush or delaying the inevitable. Have the conversation, make the decision and move on as quickly as possible.
Leading a sales team to your success is not always easy. If you need a little extra boost to really incentivize your sales team to reach a little higher, schedule some time with our sales experts to discuss how you can increase motivation and formulate a plan for hitting all of your company’s sales goals this year!