When teams are motivated and revenue is consistently up, being a CEO or Sales Director feels like the best job in the world. You feel proud, you feel confident and you feel like you can conquer the world.
But when the going gets tough and you’re hoping anxiously month after month whether or not the team will deliver on target last minute, you can often find yourself questioning your skills and whether the emotional rollercoaster is even worth it.
And so, as we start approaching the midway point of Q1 and knowing many of you leaders are planning for Q2 pipelines with teams, I thought I’d share 3 practical tips, I’ve learnt (mainly by making lots of mistakes) but also from some amazing leaders I’ve spent time with in the last 15 years (including our very own James White :)).
#1 - Don’t shy away from difficult conversations
It’s easier to brush conversations under the carpet and tell yourself you’ll deal with this another day but it’s so much easier to nip issues in the bud than to let them fester and even escalate.
There’s a way you address difficult conversations and it often needs thought and prep beforehand. I often tell my sales leaders to write out the difficult conversation and what outcome they want and even practise it a few times.
#2 - Don’t stick to a one size fits all approach
Human beings are complex characters. We all have different personality types which means we react and respond to things differently. More often than not, the way you communicate with your team members will influence the outcome of the conversation. Make the effort to understand how you can communicate with each team member to bring the best out of them.
I love the book “Surrounded by Idiots” by Thomas Erikson. Reading this book even improved the way I communicate with my husband 🙂
#3 - Take the time to really get to know your team members.
Look I totally get it. You are spinning a lot of plates. It’s hard to find time with the family, let alone members of your sales team. However, you’ll be surprised how much the level of productivity and motivation will go up if you make some effort getting to know them on an individual level.
James always spends a good 10 minutes before my 121s asking me how I’m doing, what I’ve been up to, what I’m currently reading, and what my plans are for the weekend. It makes me feel like he truly cares and it has genuinely cemented trust and loyalty between us.
You don’t have to go down the pub every Friday or spend an hour over lunch with everyone. It’s the smaller, ad hoc conversations when they really don’t expect it which makes a key difference.