Building A Strong Culture Within Your Organization

40% – 50% of an organizations profits are wasted when you have a weak team. Weak teams lead to office politics and silos that reduce productivity. Strong teams on the other hand consistently deliver exceptional results.

Unlock Your Sales Potential

Right now there is a minimum of 25% of your sales potential trapped within your organization. No amount of sales training is going to help. When everyone within the organization fully commits to one another people go above and beyond that call of duty. Watch the video to find out more.

Watch this webinar to find out how to build a stronger culture within your organization.

Sell More By Increasing Your Self Esteem

This Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) Technique Will

Boost Your Self Esteem

Salespeople with high self-esteem sell more!

7 Ways Sales Managers Can Improve Their Communication Skills

Each year tens of thousands of organizations fail. One of the contributing factors often cited is poor communication. Your sales team is the tip of the spear for your organization. Its success or failure determines whether or not your organization is going to be around next year. As a sales manager, you have to deliver clear and crisp messages that are believed by your sales team. Your clarity and confidence as a sales leader is the catalyst that ignites the passion and drive within your sales force. Do this poorly and you will douse any inspiration until complacency contaminates your team.

Here are seven ways you can use to improve the power of your communications.

1. Plan it Out

People that are at the top of any profession make it look so easy. The reality is they spent countless hours rehearsing and practicing to get good. They take the time to plan every event they undertake. After each event they compare the results they got against the plan. They make the needed adjustments so they continually improve. This is how they become great!

As a sales manager, you have to plan every interaction with your team members. You have to ask yourself, What is the end result I’m looking for? How will I know my salesperson truly got the message? How do I need to deliver the message so each salesperson knows what’s expected of them? Taking 5 to 10 minutes to plan your interaction can save you countless hours if the communication you want to deliver doesn’t get through.

2. Get To The Point

There simply isn’t enough time to get everything done. Additionally, there are 10,000 distractions that get in the way of you doing your job. This means that we do not have the luxury to take a lot of time to hold lengthy meetings. We need to clearly concise to powerfully get our point across.

Have you ever heard the phrase, “you buried the lead”? In plain English what this means is that the most important element of your message is not front and center. It would be like someone telling you what’s on the menu for dinner tonight before they tell you the Titanic has hit the iceberg and if you don’t get on a lifeboat soon you’re going to die. Tell your salespeople the most important information right out of the gate. This will accomplish two things; it will immediately get their attention and ensure they truly understand the most critical element of your communication.

3. Listen Up

One of the biggest complaints that salespeople have is that their sales managers don’t really listen to them. A critical element of leadership is the trust between the leader and follower. Not listening to people is an excellent way for them to lose faith in you. The lower the trust the poor the performance your team will deliver.

Your brain has the power to process a huge amount of information. The reason listening is such a common problem is a matter of neurology. It turns out that the average person speaks at about 120 words a minute which does not give your brain enough to do. To keep from being bored your brain starts thinking about what you’re going to say next or what movie you want to see this weekend. One way to stay focused on what the other person is saying is to repeat what they are say inside your mind.

For example, if the salesperson says, “they will need their samples in two weeks” you repeat that phrase inside your head a moment later. There is an old joke that speaks to this. Why did God create fleas? To give dogs something to do. Repeating gives your brain something to do so you really listen. When you use this strategy your salespeople will feel that you are  totally focused on them.

4. Confidence

Another critical element of leadership is confidence. Even if what you’re saying is compelling if you’re not confident in delivering it, your sales team won’t believe much less commit to it. Conversely, if your plan of attack may be wishful thinking as long as you deliver it in a confident way your team will storm any castle for you.

This is why the first tip in this article was to plan your communication. The plan becomes your road map for the entire conversation. It shows you what to do if the conversation goes wrong and how to get it back on track. You know what you want to say and you know how you want to say it. To amp-up your confidence use a strong voice and slow down your presentation by 20%. This combination of voice and slower delivery conveys power and confidence to your sales team. If you believe, they will too. Check out this article (link to the article will be added here)

5. Body Language

I’m sure you have come across this chart before. When you communicate with another the words you use are only 7% of the message. The other 93% are a combination of your body language and the tonality of your voice. When you communicate with your salespeople, pay attention to their body language and facial expressions. These indicators reveal if the message is getting across and how well your people are receiving it.

As you get to know each member of your sales team, pay attention to the mannerisms and how their voice sounds under normal circumstances. This is the baseline you can use for comparison. In your future meetings when you share new expectations or demands notice how they mannerisms and voice patterns differ from the baseline. Their body language and tonality will let you know if your salespeople have doubts or are fully committed to making your plans a reality.

6. Only You

I never met the man but people say that President Bill Clinton could make you feel like you were the only person in the entire world. Even people that didn’t like him wanted to do his bidding after an interaction like that. People want to be seen as special but know deep down that they probably are not. When you can create this level of connection with your salespeople they will walk over broken glass to accomplish the goals you set out before them.

The President’s secret weapon is rapport, a skill that most people learn but hardly ever use. As a sales manager, you must strive to build up a strong rapport with all of your salespeople. The easiest way to build rapport is to match the speed and volume of your salesperson’s voice. Pay attention to their word choice and use similar words in your interactions with them. Pay attention to their mannerisms and incorporate those when you communicate with them. These techniques connect you with your salespeople at a unconscious level that makes them feel like they are the most important person in the world.

7. The Power Of Story

In ancient times before there was the written word stories were used to communicate important ideas. People forget data almost immediately but can recall an interesting story decades after hearing it just once. This is how our species survived. Critical knowledge about survival was relayed through story, generation after generation. In schools, we still teach our kids Greek mythology because those ancient stories still apply. It seems that stories are hardwired into our very DNA as a way of remembering important information.

As a sales manager, you need to collect stories about success and failure within your organization. The stories become the folklore of your organization. For example, if you tell a new sales rep that they need to go above and beyond the call of duty it is almost meaningless. On the other hand, if you make the same point but tell them a story about another sales rep within your organization who drove all night to get a client the exact part they needed so the production line wouldn’t shut down. Now that’s a concept that the new sales rep fully understands and will never forget it.

Conclusion

In sales there are so many uncertainties that can get in the way of your team success; missed deadlines from your manufacturing department, shipping issues, revoking of credit terms by your finance department or deep discounts offered by your competitors. All of these types of issues are out of your control.

How you communicate with your sales team is solely determined by you. The stronger and clearer your communications are the better your team will function. When you consistently communicate in a highly effective manner the trust your team has for you gets stronger. Trust is great in good times but is critical in challenging times.

 

7 Innovative Ways To Motivate Your Sales Team

Make no mistakes sales is a battle and the team you put together determines if you are going to win or lose. In this article, you will learn how to get your team to ignite so they close more accounts and do it will higher margins.

Since the dawn of recorded history generals have known that passion, drive, and motivation was the number one determining factor that predicted weather they won or lost. The same is true for your sales team. You can have the best strategy, a ton of resources and a weak team will ensure both are squandered. In military colleges, they still tell stories of smaller armies that had a Never-Quit attitude that allowed them to defeat a larger, better-equipped adversary.

Here are seven easy to implement ways to motivate your sales force that you can put into action today.

1. Trust

The cornerstone of any relationship is trust. It doesn’t matter how much you motivate your sales team if there is low trust the motivation will not help.

When your team trusts you they will do whatever needs doing to get the job done. There are three things to keep in mind when you build a foundation of trust:

  • Walk your talk. Do what you say all the time
  • Set crystal clear expectations for your sales team
  • Be open to feedback so your sales team feels heard

2. The Platinum Rule

The Platinum Rule says do not treat people like you want to be treated. Figure out what works best for them and interact with them in that fashion. As a sales leader, you need to know each team member as an individual. You need to know what inspires them and what causes them dread. Here are three things to keep in mind when deploying the Platinum Rule with your team:

  • Learn what motivates (the carrot) them (cash or recognition or something completely different)
  • Are they driven (internal compulsion) by accomplishment, recognition, avoiding disgrace or something else
  • Figure out how they like to be coached

3. Transparency

Human beings need to feel like they are in control. As a sales leader, you can share your strategies and concerns with your team. This way salespeople know where they fit in. They know when they are succeeding and when course correction is needed. Here are three things to keep in mind when you amp up your transparency:

  • Set crystal clear expectations. What can the team expect from you
  • Outline the consequences of falling short or wildly succeeding
  • Don’t just share your ideas, Let them know the thought process behind the idea

4. Personal And Professional Goals

Way too many sales leaders are only concerned about a salesperson’s professional goals. The reality is we are three-dimensional beings with full lives. Highly effective sales leaders know the personal and professional goals for each team member. Here are three strategies to uncover your team’s goals:

  • Simply ask your team members what their personal and professional goals are
  • Then go deeper by asking why is this goal important to them
  • Ask them how you can help them stay on track so they accomplish all of their goals

5. Are you an away from or are towards person

People fall into two categories. People who want to avoid the negative consequences are away from people. People who want to accomplish a goal are towards people. As a sales leader, you need to know where each individual member of your team falls. Here are three ways to uncover how your salespeople are wired:

  • Ask a team member to tell you a story about a professional accomplishment
  • Then ask them to tell you a story about a personal accomplishment
  • By their answers, you will uncover whether they are towards a person or an away from person

6. The Power Of Incentives

There is a ton of data out there that shows that cash incentives lose their appeal very quickly. The same holds true for negative incentives, “hit the goal or you’re fired.” Nevertheless, incentives are an important part of sales. Here are three ways to use incentives in a more effective manner that boosts team performance:

  • People crave experiences so offer a prize that allows a salesperson to take three of his or her friends on a trip
  • Offer a chance to sit down for a power lunch with the company’s CEO
  • Build a better sales culture

7. One For All And All For One

Teams that have synergy outperform their counterparts. Not only do you have to get your sales team on the same page. You have to get the entire organization to embrace the sales team and their efforts. Here are three strategies to make that happen:

  • Share how a lead turns into a customer with the entire organization so they realize closing an account takes hard work
  • Once a month have a sales movie night where all the salespeople can bond over popcorn and take a lighter look at their profession
  • Problem-solving sales meetings where salespeople can help each other out-think the problem

Conclusion

Your success as a leader depends on how your sales team performs. The way I see it, A sales manager’s job is to get his or her team to let go of any fears or limitation that prevent them from boldly executing their duties. To do this, sales managers have to become masters of trust and influence.

Learn the skill outlined in this article and you will build a stronger sales team that will walk over broken glass to accomplish the goals you set out for them.

You Are The Enemy

All along you thought it was the economy, your competitors, your education or your boss getting in the way.

Then one day you discover it’s you. This doesn’t make 1 ounce of sense.

We spent countless hours working, in dreaming of how we want our life to be. We spend a ton of effort trying to get what we want, in the way that we want so we can live happier and more productive lives.

Why do so many people struggle to build a life that they want?

I’m not sure why that’s happening for you. But I can share what was getting in the way for Marcy (not her real name) one of my clients.

Marcy knew with certainty that she is gonna build a great company. Every ounce of her being was focused on doing just that. She built a good company but nowhere close to being a great company. One day she realized the problem wasn’t external, something within her was blocking her progress.

This is what we discovered…

Marcy 2.0

Marcy knew there was a better more confident version of herself waiting to come out. Marcy 2.0 had an amazing staff around her. People that were committed, people that had passion, people that did whatever it took to get the job done. Her customers loved her and consistently sent her referrals. Her family life was richer and more fulfilling.

Her current reality

Somewhere deep in Marcy’s unconscious mind, she had a belief that was getting in the way. “Who are my I?”, this one thought kept getting in the way of her being bolder. This one thought, caused her to doubt herself in challenging situations. This one thought, made her procrastinate in critical areas. This one thought was standing between her and the amazing Marcy 2.0.

The transformation

Well underneath that thought, “Who am I?” was a belief that “I am a fraud.” If only Marcy had a better education, she would deserve to build a life that she wanted. If only Marcy had better connections, she would be able to get ahead faster. If only Marcy was better looking, people would help her move ahead faster.

Using Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) I was able to help Marcy transform that old limiting belief into a new empowering one. I deserve success, became the new belief that allowed her to set aside the negative dialogue that had been sabotaging her efforts. I deserve success, allowed her to be bolder in her business dealings. I deserve success, allowed her to be more confident with her staff. I deserve success, allowed her to wholeheartedly go after her dream.

I’m not sure where you are in your life right now. But I do know if you are not getting the results you want, you need to figure it out. If you don’t know where you are they have a phrase for that, it’s called being lost. People never have a problem with the destination. They know what the dream is and know they are supposed to get out of it once they arrive. They know how amazing its gonna feel when they do get there.

But if you don’t know where you are you have no idea what direction to go in.

Take my self-assessment quiz and figure out where you are in life right now. From this foundation, you will be able to get the bearings you need to set out on the journey to build the life that you want.

The High Cost Of Office Politics

I had them trapped!

Well, not really, I was leading a breakout session at the Chesapeake Human Resource Association’s Spring Conference (@ChesapeakeHRA). There were about 120 HR professionals attending my session. At one point in my presentation, I asked them to describe a highly effective team. What are the attributes and attitudes that these team members possess that allow them to deliver exceptional results?

This is what they came up with:

A Great Team

Trust
Drive
Love
Respect
Safety
Passion
Common Goals
Focus
Great Communications
Selflessness

Then I asked them what are the attitudes and attributes that best describe an average team.

An Average Team

Keeping the Status Quo
Just Doing the Basics
Complaining
Low Trust
Not Having Fun
Low-Energy
CYA
No Real Leadership
Fear
Office Politics

I shared my hypothesis with the attendees. When a great team takes on a project they deliver exceptional results. An average team will deliver average results on the same project due to team dysfunction. My point here is that team dysfunction (office politic) causes lower productivity.

I asked the attendees to take a quick two question survey.

Question one, what percentage of productivity is lost due to team dysfunction?

Question two, how much does this impact corporate culture (a little, medium, or a lot)?

48 of the attendees took the survey.

Eleven of the attendees thought that team dysfunction cost the organization 70% in lost productivity. Overall the group guesstimated the impact of team dysfunction was 57%.

73% of the group thought team dysfunction had a large negative impact on the organization’s culture. With only 27% thinking there would be a medium impact. No one thought that team dysfunction had a low impact on the culture.

These findings are not scientific but are instructive.  This data came from HR professionals that are on the front lines every day. When we allow team dysfunction to go unaddressed we pay dearly in lost productivity, lost revenue and higher costs. Additionally, it undermines the corporate culture that leads to our best people leaving.

All of this creates a downward spiral that becomes harder to turn-around the longer we allow it to exist.

Take the survey yourself here

Resources:

Building A High-Performance Team

Building A Stronger Sales Team

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