5 tips to get your sales team firing

Thursday 24 September, 2015 | By: Default Admin | Tags: sales, leadership

Setting tougher targets isn’t enough to motivate your sales team to do better. What does work? CCIQ board member and founder of Salesmasters International, Peter McKeon, has 5 expert tips to ignite your team.


5. Hire the right people

Peter says building a top-performing team starts with the basics: make sure you have the right people in the right roles.

“Many people join up for a sales role because they can’t get the job they really want. Their best interview is always at the point of application and within 30 or 60 days, people turn out to be a poor fit for the job."

“What the bigger end of town and more innovative SMEs do is they use psychometric assessment tools to work out if someone’s suitable for that role. You also really need to understand the job profile – the key competencies the applicant must have – and make sure there’s a really, really strong induction into the behaviours and outcomes required.” 

4. Appoint the right manager

“Managers blame sales staff for poor performance,” Peter said. “But here’s the truth: A poor people manager always equals poor sales results."

“Managing well is about coaching; leading people in the skills to meet their job descriptions and meet their objectives. Sales leadership is ‘do what I do, not just what I say’ and demonstrating appropriate behaviours.”

3. Be the right kind of leader

“If you want to develop a strong sales culture, you need a particular style of leader,” Peter said.

“There’s no point being an entrepreneur with a strong operational head saying, ‘those people should be selling stuff for me’. It's best if you get very, very engaged with the sales people as a leader, because the majority of your staff will be very, very needy – it seems to be the nature of sales."

"It is what it is, so if you want to succeed, get alongside.”

2. Don’t blame, train

Don’t set your salespeople up to fail by failing to show how it’s done. Peter says teaching by demonstration is a powerful tool to improve sales performance.

“Instead of saying ‘this is what I want you to do’, it’s about showing the team member what your standards are and how you want them to do their job."

“Say your team makes outbound calls. A good manager will sit next to them and make 10 calls with the team member listening in, and then coach the team member through the next 10 so they understand the standard needed."

“Don’t blame. Train.”

1. Develop a winning culture

“Culture is everything,” Peter says. “Imagine if your sales people were part of a company that had a clear vision and objectives, cared about employees' personal and professional development, provided tools to achieve and exceed targets, and facilitated a fun and motivating work environment."

“How would your market share look then?”

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