It’s the beginning of the year with goals and resolutions being set. A common goal is to get physically and mentally stronger by improving health and wellness habits. You know the drill: Eat better, build muscles and lose fat. We’ve all seen how these well intended resolutions start and end….
One of the reasons for lack of success is because most people don’t have a support system or lack the specific skills and knowledge to achieve their goals.
Your sales team is no different.
An important role and responsibility for sales managers is to provide support and teach specific skills that build a strong mindset and selling skills.
Here are three key sales muscles to consider “building” that will help your sales team win more business AND enjoy the profession of selling.
Muscle #1: Resiliency. Everyone’s ability to overcome obstacles has been tested over the last couple of years with the on-going pandemic. Even some of the most resilient salespeople have had their moment of doubt and fatigue.
Continue building your sales teams resiliency muscles by teaching and reinforcing the habit of positive perspective. Resilient sales teams don’t face less adversity. In many cases, they actually face more adversity than other sales teams. (Think of a start-up company with no funding.)
The difference is how they view the adversity, their perspective on tough times. Effective sales managers teach their sales team that every setback is accompanied by a gift. That gift is a lesson learned, one that will help them do better and be better on the next sales call.
Sales managers build resiliency muscles by reinforcing this positive perspective through effective coaching questions.
- What’s good about this setback?
- What’s the lesson learned from this situation?
- How will this lesson serve you on future sales calls?
Build your sales teams resiliency muscles through the development of a positive perspective.
Muscle #2: Continuous learning.
New products and services are launched.
New competitors enter the market.
All of the above changes require that salespeople continue to learn and adapt to change. They must learn new ways to position the company, products and services. They must learn new ways to compete against strong competitors. They must learn new ways to influence and sell.
If you want to have a strong sales team, teach them how to OUTLEARN the competition.
Learning doesn’t happen by osmosis. Salespeople that become experts in their field are also experts at calendar blocking time for learning. They recognize that learning isn’t a “when I’ve got time” activity.
Effective sales managers augment a salesperson’s personal learning efforts by establishing book clubs where information is shared and applied to their specific business.
They bring great TED talks to group sales meetings and discuss how the concepts can be incorporated into a person’s daily and weekly habits.
The best sales managers have transitioned their group sales meetings from operations and complaint meetings to learning and development meetings.
Sales managers that build strong sales teams proactively work on building their sales teams learning muscle.
Muscle #3: Emotional Self-Awareness
I’ve shared this phrase with my clients on more than one occasion. “That which you are not aware of you cannot change. That which you do not own you cannot change.”
The most successful salespeople I know---and enjoy working with----are those that are aware of their personal responsibility in both their successes and failures.
The self-awareness muscle can be built during one-on-one coaching sessions by asking the following questions:
- What part of this recent lost deal do you need to own? What will you change on future calls?
- Congrats on winning this business. What did you do well? How will you duplicate that on future sales calls?
- What areas in your personal and professional life do you see the biggest opportunity for improvement? Emotional intelligence skills? Enterprise selling skills? Negotiation skills? Presentation skills?
As you conduct these conversations, be willing to share your awareness and ownership list with your sales team. Model that you are AWARE that you aren’t perfect. By doing so, you will also model that you are AWARE and dedicated to progress.
Build the sales muscles of resiliency, learning and emotional self-awareness and you will build a strong sales team that wins more business and the right type of business.