Every sales manager wants to inspire their sales reps but it’s not always as easy as it sounds. With limited hours and a multitude of responsibilities, it’s often hard enough to just make it through the day, let alone be inspiring while doing it. In order to do this, you need people who are inwardly inspired and motivate to contribute to the organization’s goals.
Put others first
Teamwork is about the team, not your personal ambitions. Leaders who truly understand how to put others above their personal goals are inspiring because they drive everyone to be better as a group, not as individuals.
It’s hard to lead when you are pretending to be someone or something you’re not. If you have flaws or gaps, show them and let others help you. This will not only make you a better leader but it will empower others by allowing them to help you. It will also give the message that it’s okay to be imperfect.
People want to know that they are making a difference and that their contributions matter… but if their managers are not willing to highlight their successes then they are often left wondering why they get up in the morning. Let people know how much you appreciate them and it will inspire them to give more.
Share in the sacrifice
It’s easy for managers to sit back and avoid the hard tasks or to pretend they’re too busy to help but this is far from the inspiring leadership approach that your people need to see. Get in there, lead by example, show grit and fortitude, be the first to tackle tough tasks and your teams will view you as a leader who truly cares and inspires.
Understand what motivates
Every sales person is primarily motivated by two things: money and recognition. Money is pretty straightforward, but it’s not enough. You need to know what intrinsically motivates your people. Why do they get out of bed in the morning? What are their life ambitions? Once you find the answers, reward them with courses, training and other professional development that puts them on the fast-track to success.
Generally speaking, managers in any organization have two primary duties: 1) set goals for each individual or team so that the company reaches its revenue targets. 2) motivate your people so that not only do they achieve the goals, but they are happy to do so. In order to make these two happen, you need to be able to show progress along the way… ideally in real-time.
Implement feedback with 1-on-1’s
People need to know individually how they are doing, what is expected of them and they need either praise or encouragement when aiming for targets. Some people hit targets every time and they just need a quick check-in and a “thank you”. Others may need some coaching and guidance but may feel afraid to seek it out in public. As a manager, it’s your job to be on the level of your employees, ensuring they are seen, heard and understood. 1-on-1 feedback sessions are a great way to accomplish this! Remember, feedback goes both ways, so be sure to listen too!
Your people are busting their asses for you and many have struggles going on at home or in personal life. Instead of riding them hard and constantly pointing out flaws, be thankful for their contributions and productivity. People just need someone to believe in them. Be grateful and show respect and in return you will see abundant growth.
To grow, most people need to spread their wings a bit. Let junior leaders lead meetings. Let non-executives plan the day. Let managers set and be responsible for their own quotas. If you can encourage leadership from the bottom up, you will experience tremendous growth in the talents and abilities of your teams.
Not in a mean way, but in a fun and collaborative way. People will only operate at the level required of them. Often times, by setting the stage, leading from the front and demanding more, you can inspire greater performance which will build greater culture and eventually help you to hire and retain greater talent. Greatness starts at the top and trickles down. It starts with you. So, before you go demanding more of your employees, you need to demand more of yourself as a leader, friend and coach.
By David Smith
Originally Published on Sales Screen