Our goal is to help make great sales managers even better at what they do, creating a culture of performance, recognition and cohesion. So, here are a few quick tips.
Leadership is often talked about but rarely understood. What does it take to lead? What makes great leaders great? How can you set goals, drive performance and make it fun? Do you have what it takes to set goals, measure progress, create vision and reward performance without overburdening your employees?
1. Provide clearly defined goals and expectations
It is so much easier to stay motivated when you know where the finish line is. Providing your reps with suitable quotas, targets and goals is an essential part of sales leadership. If your employees know what needs done, they’ll get it done. Motivation is the backbone of employee success because people who are engaged in what they do will perform at a much higher level than their peers who are just trying to survive the 9–5. If people have clearly defined goals and know what they are expected to achieve, it’s much easier for them to be motivated about their progress and performance. But keep in mind, you’ll need to reward them for reaching and exceeding goals.
2. Show progress
What you focus on is what you get. People want to know how they are performing on the targets that you as a manager have set for them. Goals and expectations are almost useless if you can’t provide progress updates. Leaderboards, metrics, dashboards and as much information as you can possibly provide to them will keep them motivated by allowing them to see exactly where they stand and what they need to do to reach targets. If you want motivated people who are invested in performance, you have to let them understand how they are doing… preferably in real-time.
3. Don't overburden
Ensure that your sales reps' quotas are tailored to each individual’s abilities. If they need to step it up a notch, be sure to provide proper coaching and resources. If you need to raise the bar because they are consistently exceeding quota, then that’s fine too, but be sure to also provide reasonable compensation that rewards their achievements and progress. You don’t need to micromanage and hold hands either. Give them tasks and allow them the flexibility to get it done. The fastest way to burn out employees is by micromanaging them. Instead, set goals, show progress and let them create solutions.
4. Provide sense of purpose
People want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. How does your product solve a problem? What is the bigger picture? How are they making lives better? What is the mission of your company? All of these are vital questions to answer if you want to hire and retain top talent. People work best when they are intrinsically motivated. So, make it clear exactly what you stand for, what problems you solve and what your sense of purpose is. If you can do this effectively, your job as a manager will be much easier. People spend at least 40 hours per week of their life at work so it’s important for them to feel connected to the objectives.
5. Recognize and reward!
What’s the point of setting and reaching goals if you don’t celebrate?!?! Sales reps work hard and are under constant pressure to meet quota. When goals are met and expectations are reached, managers need to properly reward and recognize performance. Sales reps are seeking two main things: money and recognition. Neither one is enough by itself. So, in order to keep your sales teams crushing quota, at the end of the day you will still need to reward properly and publicly acknowledge their achievements. Celebrations should start at the top and trickle down because it’s hard for employees to be excited if managers aren’t. So, get fired up, make work fun and inspire your teams to get in on the action!