When was the last time you saw a sales rep walking cheerfully around the office, whistling his favorite tune and talking enthusiastically about his day? I’m guessing the answer is – never.
As it turns out, things aren’t much better in other departments. As a matter of fact, according to Gallup research, staggering 70% of workers in the United States feel disengaged at their jobs.
Are You Actually Doing a Good Job?
Now, as a sales manager, your job is basically to make sure your team keeps producing. Status quo is not an option, because most managers need to do even better to keep their bosses satisfied.
This just shows us that most managers are simply driven by their strong motivations for personal achievement. However, this may present a problem for company’s bottom line for a couple of reasons.
According to Hardwar Business Review, this self-motivation and pursuit of personal goals can affect managers’ willingness to:
- Credit and acknowledge other people for the success of their teams
- Demonstrate any patience when it comes to dealing with other team members
- Allow other members of the team to take lead with important customers
But you have to be aware of this difference – an ordinary salesman makes his mark directly through his activates and a sales manager boosts sales more indirectly, through activities of his workers.
As a manager, a big influence on your workers, which means you can easily make both small and large changes in the office and make your team happier, more engaged and of course, more productive.
How Can You Fix This And Positively Influence Your Team?
· Encourage More Individuality and Creative Thinking
So many workers today feel like they are missing on groundbreaking ideas due to mundane details of their jobs that take their time and drag them down (more on this later).
Even though most employers like to think that they encourage creative thinking in the office, in most cases, they simply don’t allow them the freedom to do some personal experiments and try out new things, in a fear of failure and lost revenue.
But if you want every single sales rep in your team to stay invested in his work and emotionally invested about company’s goals, you need to give them more freedom. This includes allowing reps to try out new tactics and giving them creative freedom on the sales pitch.
That’s not all – you have to create an environment where new ideas are encouraged all the time. So give people a chance to pitch their ideas, no matter what you may think about them. Some of them won’t work out, but even this will allow your team members to learn from their mistakes and improve their sales abilities.
· Help the Sales Narrow Their Focus and Abandon Multitasking
Although it has been scientifically proven years ago that multitasking is practically impossible, it doesn’t stop people from trying their hand at it on a daily basis. With all of the technology we have available today, it’s normal for a person to do research during a call with an important client.
Multitasking actually hurts work efficiency by creating constant distractions, because instead of focusing at one thing at a time, and finishing it successfully, salespeople usually focus just a fraction of their attention on a number of things at once.
As NY Times reports, more than two thirds of modern workers say that they unable to focus on one task at the time, because of multitasking. Therefore, you need to stop this practice in your office and force your workers to concentrate on one particular activity at a time.
This will require some additional effort on your part. That’s because you’ll need to set aside a few minutes every day for 1-on-1 meetings with your workers, which focus on one aspect of sale they can easily improve.
· Give Your Employees an Opportunity to Grow More
More often than not, people want to know if they actually have a chance to advance at their companies and the most engaged workers are usually those who are working hard for a promotion. But again, giving opportunities for growth isn’t exactly at the top of the priority list in most companies.
This is why, according to a survey of nearly 20,000 workers around the world conducted by HBR, around 50% of people don’t feel respected by their higher-ups. Moreover, all of those workers like they don’t have any opportunities to learn and cultivate new skills.
If you fail to provide new opportunities, employees will not only be less engaged, but they will probably leave your team after a few months. So you have to encourage improvement of your team members, and remember to reward the most promising sales reps with things like bonuses and promotions.
In addition, it would be a smart idea to talk to your boss and ask him to dedicate a portion of the budget for employee training. Organizations such as sales recruitment firm Pulse Recruitment from Sydney offer online training lessons for sales reps all across the world and may help you groom your talent and keep your team members motivated.
Bonus: Automating the Sales Department
If you really want to make things easy on your and your team, you should consider automating certain aspects of your job, because all of those mind-boggling administrative tasks take up more time than you probably realize.
According to recent estimations, an average salesperson spends only 33% of his or her time selling and communicating with important clients, and more than 50% on administrative and similar tasks.
While it’s not realistic to expect a person to spend 100% of their time – 80% is even pushing it – of their time on sales, the aforementioned number is simply unacceptable. And the easiest way to give some time back to your people is to automate all of these tasks.
Luckily, today you have a number of tools that allow you to automate everything from record creation to lead prioritization and distribution and help your team spend more time on important daily tasks.
And don’t worry, not every managers is completely responsible for his lack of leadership skills. In reality, more than a third of organizations has a big problem with leadership development.
A research paper titled Brandon Hall Group’s State of Leadership Development Study from a few years ago discovered that more roughly 36% of companies today don’t have a leadership development strategy in place.
Furthermore, around 34% of organizations feel like their leadership development are only average. Since a vast majority of companies doesn’t even invest – time nor money – in their up-and-coming leaders, it’s easy to see why so many managers have trouble engaging their workers.
But it’s actually up to you to take initiative and take control of the situation. If you want to take your team to the next level, you have to start thinking like a true leader, and only then you’ll be able to push past the short-term solution of telling workers exactly what to do.