Throughout my career, I have had the honor of leading and building some great sales teams. We were able to accomplish and to exceed our goals while—yes—having fun doing it. Sales organizations tend to focus on the utopian scenario to have all A players. Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen. Upper management ask questions on how to make “B” players “A” players and place “C” players on performance improvement plans to get the desired results.
Want some advice? Focus on building an A team.
For anyone who has struggled in life whether it was in school or sports, think of that one person who made all the difference—good or bad.
In academics, one cannot put a dollar figure for a teacher who is passionate in their field. That teacher can make or break a school year. For anyone who played sports, think of that one coach who took the time to show you the correct form or the right play call for certain situations in order for you to excel.
When a teacher or coach would just tell you WHAT you needed to do instead of the HOW, it probably made the whole experience more frustrating. You already knew the obvious.
Focus on Building an A Team
Focus on LEADERSHIP. Anyone Can Be A Manager
The same applies in sales. Anyone can be a sales manager and point out the obvious for a struggling rep or for that matter even a performing rep: “You’re not hitting your numbers.” or “You need to sell more.” or “You need more activity.” or “You need to do this.” What usually follows from the sales manager after stating the obvious is simple math (which I’m sure the sales rep can figure out): “By x date, you need to close x number of new business.” or “See x number of customers to close x number of sales.” Believe me, it has happened to me while I was an outside sales rep, and this approach usually doesn’t yield any positive results. Unfortunately, this ideology is far too common with most sales managers and sales organizations.
Leadership is about making others BETTER as a result of your PRESENCE and making sure that impact lasts in your ABSENCE.
Focus on the HOW instead of stating the WHAT
Stating the WHAT is always easy. Anyone can do that. Showing and explaining the HOW is where true leadership surfaces. I’ve always allowed my sales teams to show me the HOW and their game plan to make it happen. I simply added strategic input, guidance, and most importantly support to help my team achieve their goals. My definition of a sales leader is: “Leadership is about making others BETTER as a result of your PRESENCE and making sure that impact lasts in your ABSENCE.” This philosophy has worked time and time again.
Focus on Building an A Team
You’re never going to have all “A” players on your team; however, you can leverage the strengths and weaknesses of your team to build a powerful and successful “A” Team. I’m sure you’ve heard or seen the T.E.A.M. acronym: “Together Everyone Achieves More.” When you have an entire team striving toward one common goal, it creates a positive work environment, team comradery, and fun. It’s hard work to get to that point, but once you’re there the reward is indescribable. Here are 3 ways to build a successful team.
So focus on building an A team.