From the Center for Strategic Relations, a twice-monthly supplement to Applying Strategic Relations, mailed at your request

Motivate Your Sales Team

You can no longer use your teams skills as an excuse for the lack of performance created with your sales team, especially after the last lesson about creating sustainable growth with the sales and marketing people you already have.

There is a systematic way to get more from the selling team you have , but so many sales and marketing managers just aren't aware of what is necessary to do so. This is understandable because . . .

So many sales and marketing managers today are forced to wear too multiple hats, were promoted begrudgingly from a sales position, or just have no clue what they are doing. What kind of sales manager are you? (The same goes for marketing managers too.)

I certainly hope you are in one of the first two categories, but even if not, today's lesson helps you identify what you must do to be the leader that every sales person wants to follow and please.

Next month let's talk about truly standing apart from your competition. It doesn't matter whether you selling consulting services or other intangibles, maybe you sell a commodity. No matter what you sell to other businesses, there are hundreds of relationship strategies to make you truly unique.

Not unique like a side show attraction, but instead, unique in such a way you become the only logical choice in your market. The choice of real buyers willing to pay a premium for what you offer, over anything else available.

Stay tuned. Wishing you all the best!


Justin Hitt
Consultant, Author & Speaker

Ps. Okay, Okay . . . I'll stop being such a jerk about questions and make it super simple to ask them now. . . in addition to the 24-hour phone/fax hotline, you can now ask questions (and get answers) at my new site

Pps. For GOLD Members my Ask Justin Hitt Blog is in addition to asking your questions on the discussion board, or our coaching calls. After all, GOLD Members get top priority on responses and the special attention you deserve. So ask away.

How To Be The Leader Every Sales Team Wants To Follow And Please

By Justin Hitt, Strategic Relations Consultant,

A certain amount of ego inside every sales manager wants their sales team to admire and look up to them. However, most sales managers get their team laughing behind their back within 4 days of starting any new position. The problem is that many sales managers aren't clear on what their job is, here's how to avoid this secret humiliation.

First, remember your job isn't to be liked, or even respected; it's to create sustainable results for your organization according to business objectives. You also have a responsibility to the sales professionals you hire to (a) create a positive working environment, (b) provide fair compensation for results, and (c) create new opportunity for everyone on your sales team.

Many sales managers mess this up because they still want to be "one of the guys" or even worse, think they know how selling is today. Second, take this quiz to see how your rate as a sales manager:

  1. Do you listen to your sales teams needs? You should be listening for ways to improve overall performance, strengthen weaknesses, and maximize individual opportunity to excel. Listen to remove obstacles, improve lead flow, and make selling more effective; but don't put up with whining and laziness.
  2. Do you set clear quotas with sales people? For today's business-to-business selling team you have two quotas, the one the company needs to keep the doors open, and the one a sales person needs to challenge their compensation. Sales people should be able to understand what numbers they need to produce, on a weekly basis.
  3. Is your compensation plan clear to sales people? The selling personality is competitive, they are driven by what they want, and a clear compensation plan is essential to keeping your selling team motivated. Your plan needs to be based on gross sales, measurable, and understood by every sales person.
  4. Are you improving your communications skills? Most people aren't understood half as well as they think they are. To be an effective sales manager, it's important to work on your public speaking, interpersonal communications, and overall writing skills. Each of these areas will improve your ability to motivate.
  5. Are you letting sales people do what they were hired to do? Don't tell them how to sell when you can show them, after all, haven't you hired experienced selling professionals. Coaching is helpful to encourage, but even sports coaches bring in experts to train on individual skills. Demonstrate what needs to be done, provide training for areas of weakness.
  6. Do you encourage routine and action? This encouragement comes from how you manage your day, schedule meetings, or assign tasks. Selling is a sequential process that can be measured, insist ever sales person takes action daily toward selling objectives, and make it easy for them to have a routine by managing interruptions from other departments.
  7. Is it your policy to get rid of whiners and lazy people quickly? Just a few bad seeds can bring down your sales team moral. The faster you get rid of those unproductive people who blame their lack of performance on the market, competition, and anything but their own skills; the better your team can function.
  8. Do you encourage individuals to grow beyond their best? Sales people want to be challenged but do sometimes find themselves in a slump. A motivated team knows you'll provide the right amount of encouragement and challenge to make each selling day better than the previous.
  9. Are you keeping great records and sharing critical numbers? Those things you measure are observed. By keeping great records about selling performance, plus sharing key achievements, you'll motivate your team to reach further.
  10. Are you removing non-selling obstacles from sales people? Every time accounting sends a sales person to pick up a check, or service wants a sales person to follow up on a problem that is one less moment for generating sales. Play interference sending these low priority tasks back to the departments responsible for them.
  11. Do you work with marketing for hotter leads? It's a sales person's responsibility to follow up on every lead; however, it's your responsibility to find them the best leads possible. Measure results, work with different department, and survey sales people to determine which prospects are best to attract for maximum results.

If you answered "Yes" for 5 out of 11, then you're FAIR; 7 out of 11 is GOOD; and the only way to be the leader that every sales team wants to follow and please, you must score 11 out of 11. It's possible, and really doesn't take that much effort, if you ...

Lastly, take action every day to improve your performance in each of these areas. It isn't easy for professional service firms to attract customers as it may have been in the past, but if you'll do these things you'll attract top performers who will help you create the results you deserve.

© Justin Hitt, All rights reserved.
/ management-strategy | employee-relations /

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