GUEST: Rene Zamora, President at Sales Manager Now
I’ve seen a lot of small businesses struggle with sales teams.
There are several reasons why, but there’s good news…
You can fix all of them.
To explain how and help you get your small business to start generating more revenue, I invited Rene Zamora onto today’s show.
Rene went over:
- The importance of allowing your managers and leaders to do their roles
- Why salespeople exaggerate and complain so much
- The key elements to optimizing your small business’ sales team
A system for attracting and incentivizing the best salespeople
Small businesses are tough.
Often, you have to wear so many hats you might be tempted to become a milliner — but that would just mean another hat to wear.
But here’s the thing:
That’s what’s killing your sales team.
You have sales leaders and managers for a reason: to lead and manage. You need to let them do the roles they were hired to do.
Now, this is Management 101…so why is it such a problem for so many small businesses?
It’s usually because owners don’t believe in their people.
They want to believe in them! It’s just…they’ve just been beaten down by past disappointments.
And what’s causing all of this disappointment is not creating a good system and process for your measuring you salespeople.
“Without a good system and process to feed them good data and metrics, managers really can't confidently say, ‘I know my salespeople are working hard every day and I believe in them.”
So, if you want to improve your sales team, the first thing you need to do is look at your own house.
Figure out what needs to be done to measure your people and instill the confidence you need to be able to get out of their way.
Then you need to get out of their way.
It doesn’t mean you just let them go all Lord of the Flies, though. You need to set clear expectations, meet with them often and have good dialogues with them.
What you don’t need to do is go out on sales calls with them.
Why the exaggeration?
This is one every sales leader or manager has to wonder at a certain point, right?
There is definitely a (deserved) stereotype about salespeople: They complain and exaggerate. A lot.
So, I was particularly interested when Rene said there was a way to make all of that disappear — and it’s pretty simple really.
You just need to listen to them.
“All that exaggeration, extra volume, loudness, complaint — it's all because we don't think our voice is being heard.”
If your sales team is warning you that the planet will literally be devoured by space worms if you don’t fix a problem — today — then you should believe them.
Well, not the space worms part…but there is a real problem. They’re probably telling you the customer is really upset. And they’re probably worried that their reputation will be tarnished and it’ll hurt their future sales.
So, what do you do?
You help them solve the problem. Run through what happens if the customer doesn’t buy tomorrow with them. Don’t just react and do a fire drill.
You need to educate them on how to be business people.
If you take the time to go through that process, they start learning. They start quieting down.
But you have to be consistent.
If you are reactive one week and the next you ignore them, they’ll just revert back to those habits.
It’s no exaggeration to say consistency is how you’ll defeat the space worms. Well, the metaphorical ones at least.
The key elements of sales team optimization
There are several elements that you need to incorporate into your business if you want to have your sales team become a success.
1) You need to believe in your people.
As we’ve already covered, if you’ve got a solid process in place, you’ve already gotten most of the way there on this one.
But you also need to make sure that you turn the page on whatever negative thing you are holding onto about part performance. You need to do a reset.
Can they sell? Do you like them? If so, move on.
2) You’ve got to set clear expectations.
You started the business, so who better to share its vision?
Tell people where are you taking the company. If all your conversations are asking how much your salespeople sold this month, you aren’t covering long-term strategy.
Instead, let people know your plans further out. You can then set long-term expectations that give your team a responsibility to achieve these goals and share in the victories.
3) Create an environment of accountability.
You need regular meetings. Team meetings. One-on-one meetings. Impromptu meetings.
Make sure your people know someone is there to ask them what they are doing and how they are doing. People need accountability and structure to perform at their best.
4) Have quality conversations.
This is in the same arena as nipping the exaggerations in the bud. You need to make the time to talk to your people.
Even if you aren’t immediately available, schedule something. It shows people you think what they think is important is actually important to you, too.
Just make sure you set the right tone for these conversations.
If you let your people know you are going to have a business conversation, look for how to solve issues, find opportunities and align with strategies then they’ll come prepared to do those things.
One final thing — it’s just business.
“Owners don't always treat it like it's just business and everyone is an adult, we just get caught up in our own emotions.”
Sometimes owners forget that because their business means everything to them.
So, set the tone and be consistent.
That’s what makes it easy to manage your sales team.The B2B Revenue Executive Experience. If you don’t use Apple Podcasts, we suggest this link.