3 Secrets That Set The Context For Sales Success

In today's competitive environment, every organization is trying to improve sales results. In every company, the most important ? and vulnerable ? link in the success chain is the performance of their people. As a sales management trainer and coach, I see that managers across every industry fail to take a hard look at the capacity of their people to provide the service -- whether it's to internal or external customers ? that puts them in a league apart from the competition.

As a sales manager, you can set the context for your team to pull ahead, or 'breakaway' from the competition. Context sets the tone and often determines the meaning of events and actions. In business, context affects our vision, motivation, ambition, and follow through.

Some aspects of context are outside of our control. Things happen. Markets rise and fall. Yet some people thrive even in hard times. While these people are the masters of context, I would also argue that the 'climate' in which they work could contribute enormously to the difference between success and failure.

Here are three ways you can take charge of the context in which you create an environment where 'breakaway' results can happen:

ADOPT A 'NO BULLIES HERE' POLICY

Some people use much stronger language to describe the people I'll politely call bullies. You may call them: tyrants, egomaniacs, jerks or unprintable. These are the people whose behaviour leaves you feeling badly about yourself, and feel free to use whatever profanity you want to describe them, because they are real trouble.

Many 'stars' shout, belittle, and make unreasonable demands of support staff and colleagues, while ingratiating themselves with the higher-ups. How people treat both the powerless and powerful is a good measure of human character and the "bully" quotient.

One bully can destroy your team's morale. You and your colleagues will spend inordinate amounts of time and energy dealing with this person, instead of focusing outward on breakaway performance.

HOT TIPS:

- Protect your people. If you are in a position to do so, aim to nourish a culture of decency in your organization. While you may not have a 'no bullies here ' policy in writing, you can have it in spirit. If the superstar you're about to hire has a reputation for being difficult, don't hire!

- Set this ground rule for sales meetings: focus on the situation, issue, or behaviour, and not on the person. This rule translates into not placing blame on people. It safeguards the self-confidence and self-esteem of all meeting participants, and provides a process for regulating out-of-bounds behaviour.

PRACTICE ONGOING REGARD

We all do better at work if we regularly hear that what we do matters, that it is valuable, and that our presence makes a difference to others.

Nearly every organization or team I've been privileged to spend time with under-communicates the genuinely positive and admirable achievements of its members. I can understand wanting to avoid conflict, but avoiding praise is puzzling.

HOT TIP:

Make space at the beginning of a sales meeting for any expressions of appreciation or admiration that anyone may wish to deliver. I recommend that the leader not deliver any of these kudos during the first few meetings so team members get used to practicing 'ongoing regard.' If no one has anything to say, so be it (although I've never seen this happen).

You may find that sharpening your capacity to express genuine appreciation or admiration is vitalizing. It will remind you of why you want to be on your team, and why performing at your peak is important.

CREATE ACCOUNTABILITY

How many times have you said that you were going to do something and then not done it because nobody else would know the difference? Try spreading the word. Just the simple act of telling your plan to another person raises the stakes. Most of us place a high value on doing what we say we'll do. There is something profound about taking our commitments seriously when we profess them to another person or when we join in a pact to reach a common goal.

HOT TIP:

If you are a sales manager, allow your people to tell you how they plan to reach their goals, rather than you telling them how to proceed. Create time, regularly, for them to report what they have been doing and learning. Useful questions to help the discussion are: - What worked?
- What didn't work?
- What happened?
- What would you do differently next time?
- What assumptions are you making?
- When will you do the tasks you propose?
- How will I know you have started the tasks?

If you are a team member, seek out someone you trust and check in regularly. Declare what you intend to do and watch what happens!

'CREATE THE CONTEXT' CHALLENGE

Establish the practice of 'ongoing regard' at the start of each sales meeting. The purpose is to recognize people whose performance and integrity helps the team achieve goals and objectives. Acknowledge that their specific behaviour, and the personal qualities that led to that behaviour, had a positive impact on you, on a customer, or on the team.

For example: "Lee, by delegating paperwork to the summer students and making more face-to-face sales calls you are helping us have a great second quarter. You are resourceful and creative."

It may take a number of sales meetings for the practice to feel comfortable and meaningful. Stick with it.

This article may be reprinted in its entirety with express written permission from Nicki Weiss. The reprint must include the section "About the Author".

Nicki Weiss is an internationally recognized Certified Professional Sales Management Coach, Master Trainer, and workshop leader. Since 1992, Nicki has trained, certified, and/or coached more than 6,000 business executives, sales managers and salespeople.

Nicki guarantees increased sales performance when sales managers become better sales coaches. Sign up for her FREE monthly e-zine, Something for NothingTM, which has powerful tips and techniques for sales managers who are ready to make this transformation. Sign up at http://www.saleswise.ca.

You can email her at [email protected] or call 416-778-4145.

In The News:

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

Ancillary Insurance Carrier Renaissance Expands Sales Management Team
Virginian-Pilot
INDIANAPOLIS, Nov. 15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Ancillary insurance carrier Renaissance Life & Health Insurance Company of America is expanding its sales management team with the addition of group insurance industry veteran John Feeney. With more ...


Facility Executive Magazine

WeSuite 5.0 Sales Management Software
Facility Executive Magazine
WeSuite, a sales management software solution, is purpose built for technology product and service providers. Designed for sales teams of two to two thousand, it streamlines workflow; simplifies the creation of estimates, proposals, and contracts ...


KMWorld Magazine

Fueling Sales and Marketing with Presentation Management
KMWorld Magazine
Presentation management lets companies plan, design, write, produce, distribute, get feedback, and improve crucial business assets while empowering everyone at an organization to speak intelligently about the business—especially in sales scenarios.


Saint Rose launches concentration in sales management
Hudson Valley 360
ALBANY – Recognizing the need for highly trained sales managers and sales representatives in the business world, The College of Saint Rose has become the only college or university in New York state to offer a program in sales. Beginning in January ...


Business Wire

October retail sales see gains - Logistics Management
Logistics Management
Commerce reported that October retail sales, at $511.5 billion, were up 0.8% compared to September, with a 4.6% increase compared to October 2017. Retail ...
October Retail Sales Increased 5.6 Percent Over Last YearBusiness Wire

all 21 news articles »

Healthcare Sales Executive
insideARM.com
Achieve benchmarks set by sales management by obtaining new business including but not limited to identifying, contacting, meeting, obtaining financial information, and presenting contracts to potential clients. Conduct sales activity within defined ...


ATD

Disrupt Sales Management Through Adaptive Coaching
ATD
Are your sales reps anywhere near reaching their quotas? For about half of you, the answer is no. Are you too busy putting out fires, filling out forms, and being stuck in endless meetings to coach your reps properly? For many of you, the answer is yes.


halfwheel.com

Habanos SA Appoints New Control and Sales Management Director
halfwheel.com
Corporación Habanos, S.A., the Cuban cigar company, has appointed Alberto Dónar Cruz Rojas as the company's new control and sales management director, following resolution 127/2018 of the Minister of Agriculture. Null. According to a statement issued ...


Forbes

Macy's Reports Strong Earnings, Redefines Store In A Bold Move
Forbes
In the quarter, the company enjoyed strong sales increases in the Northeast and Midwest. Management was happy with increases in most stores and credited the success to several initiatives they had undertaken. They saw increased sales due to their ...

and more »

MarTech Today

LinkedIn Sales Navigator gets new engagement alerts, Custom Lists, more mobile search features
MarTech Today
LinkedIn announced new updates to its Sales Navigator platform on Wednesday. Since launching the “Deals” features in August, the sales management platform has introduced new engagement alert notifications, added a Custom List feature and extended ...

and more »
Google News

Outsourcing the Sales Function

Small to medium companies that want to increase sales or... Read More

3 Ways to Increase Your Sales

Last week I got a call from Jose, who was... Read More

The Effective Executive

What does it mean to be an "effective executive"? Well... Read More

Online Sales: Secret To Increase Your Sales By Bundling Your Products

Microsoft has used this online sales secret to become a... Read More

The Differences Between A Commercial Collections Agency & Lawyer

If your letter writing and phone calls have all failed... Read More

It?s Time For A Sales Management Revolution

Are you dog tired because of the way you manage... Read More

Commodity Sales Prospecting - How to Stand Out From Your Competitors

I have received a number of requests for advice from... Read More

T. L. S. Part I: Tier Level Selling ? A Penetration Strategy

A number of sales "Gurus" have promoted the theory that... Read More

How to Write a Business Plan Sales Section for a Mobile Service

We all agree one of the most important parts of... Read More

8 Line Items of a Trade Show Budget

Budget Guidelines for Trade Show MarketingB'techa didn't know - Trade... Read More

How Do I Manage Workplace Conflict?

Workplace ConflictConflict is an inevitable part of business life and... Read More

The Spirit Of Change

A Highly Conscious Approach To Business Management. For more on... Read More

How To Become A Better Sales Manager

YIPPEE! Kendra won, or should I say, "She was hired,"... Read More

The Hardest Job Of A Trade Show

You've heard this before: There were four people named Everybody,... Read More

How to Increase The Sales Of Promotional Products

I have searched for a new way to increase the... Read More

Offer Package Deals To Increase Profits And Sales

An effective way to increase your profits and sales is... Read More

Baditude!

As a group of sales trainees took a break from... Read More

Raise Concern About Sales Competition, Not About Yourself

As you are reading this sales article, read very carefully.... Read More

7 Tips for Testing Your Sales and Marketing

One marketing technique may work wonders for someone, but that... Read More

The Product or the Sale

This is a quandary not unlike the chicken or the... Read More

The Get Dangerous Quickly Approach to Product/Service Training

In 2000 a computer distributor hired me to help them... Read More

The Four ?D?s of Sales Management

Recently I stumbled across some notes that I had kept... Read More

3 Steps To Getting A Sales Meeting

The best way to get a new customer is to... Read More

Stop Drowning: Nine Strategies For Managing Your Priorities

I just got off the phone with Susan. She is... Read More

Management From Within

Inspiration and Management from Within ? Part 2.The more you... Read More