Here’s a quick story that highlights the difference between a high performance sales team and one that needs your constant supervision.
One warm summer day a few years back, I was driving along the interstate heading up to Cleveland. It was one of those days where everyone was at an optimal cruising speed that was about 10 MPH above the posted speed limit.
The current coronavirus crisis won’t last forever. We know that from experience. But we also know that events like these will have a long-lasting impact on the business environment. The question is, do you have the right people in place in your business to navigate these troubled waters? And will they support your market strategy not just in the current crisis, but in the aftermath once the crisis has passed?
There’s no doubt that we’re in the middle of some tough times – a raging pandemic, a downturned economy, rising unemployment… Yes, we can all agree that times aren’t the best right now.
But speaking as someone who has served as a salesperson, sales coach, sales manager, and CEO, I can say that we’ve faced tough times before. And to get through the dark times, we do two things. First, we focus on what we can control and change it for the better. And second, we highlight our accomplishments to carry us to better times. As I’ve coached my team through the years, acknowledge the situation. But work to change what’s in your control and celebrate your victories when they happen.
In the original version of the Magnificent Seven, Yul Brenner and Steve McQeen spend the opening scenes recruiting men to, “shoo some flies away from a little village.” In one scene, they come across Robert Vaughn who is on the run and now looking for work. When Vaughn agrees to join the team, Brenner holds up seven fingers indicating that they now have seven men on the team. McQueen, however, waves his hand as if to say, “hold on.” He has reservations about Vaughn. That’s when Brenner says, “No. No. He’s a good gun. And where we’re going is no church social.”
One of the things that I talk to sales leaders about is the difference between a thermometer and a thermostat. A thermostat can set the temperature and manipulate the climate to get to the desired temperature. A thermometer can only take the temperature. With the business uncertainty in today’s climate, we can only take the temperature and react minute-by-minute to this uncertainty.
When I started assembling my current crew, my current Vice President told me a remarkable story about opening a sales call, displaying exceptional sales acumen for someone who was just starting her sales career.
Looking for ways to boost the performance of your sales team? Want to give your crew some easy wins? Here’s how you can coach your team in their sales presentation delivery that will have a big impact on their closing rates.
I think we can all agree that being a topflight sales rep or account manager doesn’t automatically make you a candidate for sales management. I’ve seen plenty of cases where the people leading an organization took their top sales rep out of the field, where he or she was flourishing, and put them in a sales leadership role where they couldn’t use their favored skills.
Lance Tyson is an industry leader in sales training, development, and management. Selling is an Away Game is a must read for any sales professional, sales leader, or aspiring candidate in the industry.
Chief Revenue Officer, Tampa Bay Sports and Entertainment