You’ve got your number and you’ve got a great strategy to hit your number. Now, how are you going to make it happen? Execution is everything. Right?
What’s Your Plan?
How are you planning on making sure your team hits and exceeds its goals? Setting your number and creating your sales strategy is only the first step. Now, you need an insurance plan for you and your team.
There are two things you must do: develop yourself and develop your team.
It starts with you, your mindset, and your plan to develop yourself as a sales leader. You need a plan to advance your skills so you can fully support your team, be a role-model, and develop a winning team. You also may need some new tools and time to learn how to use them. Here is an easy guide to help you develop your mindset, skillset, and toolset.
- What are the thoughts in your head about yourself?
- What are the thoughts about your sales team?
- Are they negative or positive?
Your journey to success starts with replacing negative thoughts with positive thoughts then turning those into actions. Here are some examples:
- Negative: We will never hit that number.
- Positive: We will hit that number because I have a plan and I am developing my salespeople so that they have everything they need to be successful.
The moment that negative thought comes into your head; you replace it with a positive thought.
Negative thoughts in your head are not helpful, but worse than negative thoughts are negative words.
- This is going to be hard to hit this goal.
- I know this seems impossible but…
- I don’t think my team can do this.
When you say those words to yourself and to your team, you are putting them into action and hampering your success.
What can you replace those words with? Here are some ideas:
- It’s going to be hard to hit this goal.
- I know this goal seems impossible but…
- I don’t think my team can do this.
- They’ve challenged us to hit this goal and we are going to crush it.
- Challenging goals require a great plan and we have one.
- My team can do this because I will give them the training, coaching, and support needed.
This only works if you believe the statements you are saying. If you don’t believe them, you have a more serious issue to deal with. You might need to ask yourself these questions:
- Am I working at the right place?
- Are the people setting the goals living in reality?
- Why do they believe I can hit those goals?
- Have they given me the resources I need to hit those goals?
No one wants to work in an impossible situation – challenging yes, but not impossible. If you can’t flip the negative into positive and believe, then you may be working at the wrong place.
Once you have the right mindset to hit the goal and deploy the strategy, consider what skills you need to be an amazing leader.
Start by making a list of your strengths. Include things that you do very well. Then make a list of what you’d like to improve on in the upcoming year and what resources you can use to get there. This list can act as a map for success. Below is an example.
I feel confident that I do these things well:
- Report to my superiors
- Hold great sales team meetings
- Develop relationships with clients
- Run sales strategies with my team
1 to 1 Meetings
Research best practices
Take a course
Developing my sales team
Talent development manager
For example, if you’d like to have better sales meetings, talk to the other sales managers you know, and ask what they are doing. Or call me and I’ll help you.
I also recommend researching best practices for sales meetings. Here are two articles to get you started.
Look for programs that make it easy to have a great sales meeting. Check out Alice Kemper‘s, SalesTrainingwerks.com. Her program can help you develop a year’s worth of impactful meetings.
Your tools are there to make you more efficient. In this day and age, it’s easy to get “tool overload.” So, decide which tools are most useful and take time to familiarize yourself with your CRM and those other tools. Once you’re familiar with them, the information you need will be at your fingertips when you need it. Then, you can focus your time on the most important thing, which is coaching your salespeople.
Read a book every month – or listen to one. I am sure you are reading constantly but be sure you are reading things that give you new ideas and expand your mind. I find that reading something completely unrelated to work gives me great ideas. I use audiobooks because my schedule has me on the go. However, you do it, be sure you are accessing new information. I have also found that book clubs can be very effective. Find others who want to read and discuss the kinds of books that will further your growth and your career. Then hold each other accountable to try some of the ideas you learn from reading. Here’s a list of a few of my favorite sales books.
The fastest way to develop yourself is to find a mentor or hire a coach (I know a great one!) who has the experience and expertise to accelerate your learning process. Behavior change is hard, but you can do it. If you want increased sales, watch this video to help you change your mindset first.
Develop Your Sales Team
Do you know how on an airplane the flight attendants tell you to secure your own oxygen mask before you help others? Well, developing your team follows the same strategy. Once you’ve begun to develop yourself as a sales leader, you’re more able to help your sales team develop and reach their goals.
It’s your job to develop your team. Not doing so is very risky. You may lose good salespeople and worse, the low performers might stay. Low performers either need to move up or out quickly. Top performers want a development plan. They want to improve; they want your guidance. Middle performers want the same and they need development to become top performers. If you provide them a development plan and they don’t develop, it becomes very clear to all that they need to move on.
There is a lot more to write about developing your team, so stay tuned. But get started today by asking them what they would like to learn, what they would like to become better at, and how you can help them. Determine the best way to help them learn. Then, have them write down their development plan with what they will learn, how they will learn it, and by when. Review it with them frequently and you won’t believe how fast they will start changing and developing into a better salesperson.
Making it Happen
As Nike says, “Just do it,” You have to start somewhere. Choose one thing you will do and get started now.