Is it more important to be liked or to be respected? What if you can have both – and all within your sales team? While it’s great to have a smart team that consistently hits targets and helps your business bottom line, that’s not enough to maintain a positive company culture and high levels of retention. To do that, you need to nurture an environment that is supportive, welcoming and ultimately one that your sales team enjoys being in for most of their waking weekday hours. Here are 4 ways to get your sales team to like you:
Spend more time listening to your sales team
Listening is an incredibly overlooked management technique, particularly as research shows that leaders who prefer to listen are viewed to be significantly more effective than those who spend more of their time talking. Leaders who have a strong listening self-preference are better at everything from developing others and building relationships through to communicating powerfully and working as a team. With that in mind, it’s no wonder that your sales team will like you more if you spend time actively listening to them, rather than simply talking at them. Schedule time to have regular meetings with all of your salespeople to ensure they can talk openly with you and air any questions or concerns as they arise. Ask probing questions and check in to see how your team are really feeling about their roles and their daily success. Ask for regular feedback and be curious – you may find your team has as much to teach you as you do them. By being a good listener, your sales team will feel more valued and respect you as a manager.
Say what you’ll do, do what you say
One of the quickest and easiest ways to get your sales team to like you is by following through with what you say you’re going to do. If you promise to action something – no matter how big or small – make sure you keep your word and do it. Your sales team will respect and like you more if you follow through on what you’ve promised, and it will build a culture of trust – something which is vital to the financial success of any organisation.
Start with little steps like sending out meeting notes and action points after you’ve met with your team, reporting back on your progress as you check off items. Be very clear on what you’re promising your salespeople by way of promotions and salaries and stick to it. That means no more vague assertions of a pay rise in the new year – instead, tell salespeople exactly what they can expect and make a point of delivering this within the agreed time period. As the sales manager, it’s up to you to set the culture of the team, and a trusting, action-oriented environment is part of this.
One of the secrets of high performing sales teams is setting clear expectations and managing them accordingly. If your sales team knows exactly what is expected of them and how they can achieve the desired results, they are more likely to be motivated to put in the work to hit their (clearly defined) targets. Experts agree that setting appropriate employee expectations can reduce confusion around what team members need to do to be successful, removing barriers and increasing the likelihood of your salespeople performing well.
Note that managing expectations doesn’t mean micromanaging. Instead, focus on clearly communicating the requirements of each of your salespeople in both the short-term and the long-term. If you expect your team to be hitting the phones every day, identifying one fresh lead a week and securing one sale per month, lay this out to them. By understanding what you want from them and how they can achieve success, your salespeople will be more engaged and motivated – and will likely respect you more as a manager.
Offer constructive criticism
Regular feedback can do more than simply helping your salespeople to like you. It can have a significant impact on whether your team stays at your company. Companies that implement regular employee feedback have nearly 15% lower turnover rates than those where employees receive no feedback, while 24% of workers would consider leaving their jobs if they had managers who provided inadequate feedback. This makes it essential to provide regular feedback – good and bad – to motivate your salespeople and show them you care about their success.
While it can feel difficult to deliver, constructive criticism is key as it will enable your sales team to develop and get better at their job. Highlight areas of improvement, offer training and reward your salespeople when they achieve their goals. This will make them feel valued and like you more as a leader.
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