Sales managers are charged with leading and developing salespeople. However, they often focus on only developing only “half of the person.” They invest time on sales: Sales metrics, sales pipeline management, and sales training.
What’s missing is the last half of the word: People.
Effective sales managers recognize that in order to develop a salesperson, they must work on developing the whole person, which includes developing a salesperson’s mind, body and sales.
Let’s start with a salesperson mindset, associated emotions and emotional intelligence skills. In my experience, mindset is what drives the actions a salesperson will take or not take.
Has anyone invested in sales training that was never used or applied?
Emotion management and self-awareness are important EQ skills that build the right mindset. A salesperson that allows himself to get emotionally derailed simply isn’t able to say and do all those great things you taught in your last one-on-one coaching session.
As a mentor of mine so aptly stated: When you are stable, you are able.
A salesperson that isn’t stable allows the survival, emotional part of the brain to take over rational thinking. As a result, they aren’t able to avoid defaulting to fight-or-flight responses.
For example, a salesperson that gets emotionally triggered during negotiations might default to discounting. All those good negotiation tactics and strategies walk out the door as emotions walk in the door and take over the sales conversation.
Emotional self-awareness is critical to be successful in sales and life. A salesperson lacking emotional self-awareness isn’t aware that she’s not bringing real world empathy to the sales conversation. She’s not aware of why and when she defaults to instant gratification selling behaviors versus delayed gratification (and big payoff) selling behaviors.
Effective sales leaders coach the whole salesperson.
Let's shift from mindset to improving your salesperson's body, their physical well-being.
When your sales team shows up to work every day, are they bringing their best self? Are they showing up with a clear mind, good attitude and energy? Or are they showing up distracted, negative and tired?
Help your sales team bring their best self to work. Encourage your salespeople to get some sleep!
Yes, sleep is a competitive advantage.
The research is pretty clear. When a person doesn’t get enough sleep, it affects their judgement, emotional equilibrium, problem-solving and creativity.
- Salespeople need to good judgement to determine if a prospect is qualified to either enter or stay in the sales pipeline.
- A good night of sleep goes a long way to prevent salespeople from getting easily offended or emotionally triggered by colleagues, prospects or clients.
- Sales is all about helping clients solve problems. A tired salesperson is likely to propose old, generic solutions that lack creativity, resulting in no sales.
Help your sales team bring their best self to work. At your next one-on-one coaching session ask, “How much sleep are you getting?”
A tired-out sales team runs out of “sales steam” early in the day and the week. Improving this one habit will improve your sales team’s ability to execute consistently and effectively.
Now, let’s talk sales.
Your sales team has the right mindset, emotional intelligence skills and they are rested.
HOWEVER, your salespeople still need to sell and close business!
The most effective sales teams close more business because they follow a defined sales playbook. A study by Harvard Business Review showed that businesses with a standardized sales process see up to a 28% increase in revenue as compared to those that do not have one.
Apply common sense.
A sales manager can’t coach 10 – 100 different playbooks. Athletic coaches have a playbook. The conductor of a symphony doesn’t allow members to play whatever music, whenever they want.
Without a playbook, your sales team can’t help each other pre-brief or debrief calls.
There isn’t a common language or approach to winning business so you have a hard time duplicating best practices.
Here’s the hard reality.
Creating a sales playbook takes time to document selling steps, stages, scripts, value propositions, compelling questions and objections. It’s hard work----that’s the reason many sales organizations don’t have one!
And the responsibility of creating the sales playbook usually falls upon an already over loaded sales manager.
You don’t have to go it alone. Hire an instructional designer or sales consultant to assist in getting those great insights, habits and skills out of your head and on paper.
You will earn the reward of salespeople achieving quota quicker because they aren’t wasting time trying to “figure it out.” A sales playbook provides a shortcut to learning and earnings.
Sales leaders, remember to develop the entire salesperson. Develop your sales team mind, body and sales.