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Want Better Salespeople? Do These 5 Things

Sales team not up to snuff? Maybe it's time to reexamine your leadership style.

Managing a sales team can be tricky. You may not realize it, but the way you communicate and your behavior at work can have a huge impact (for better or for worse) on the dedication, enthusiasm, and performance of your sales reps. Here are five things you should do if you want happy--and overachieving-- salespeople.

1. Show that you care.
Ever work for someone who didn’t care about you? If so, you know it was hard to be an exceptional employee or give the boss extra effort. People want to work for those who genuinely care about them. Take extra care to consider your employees' best interests. When you put people first, you send the message that you care about them.

2. Establish trust.
Trust is a major factor in the performance of your sales force. If the team can’t trust the leader, dedication will suffer, resulting in poor sales performance and high turnover. Keep track of every commitment you make and be sure to keep your promises. Trust, like reputation, is hard to gain and easily lost.

3. Uphold excellence.
Show that you are devoted to excellence in all areas of the business. When leaders start meetings promptly and are prepared, it helps send the message that marginal performance is unacceptable. Leaders dedicated to excellence exude confidence and attract and keep loyal employees.

4. Paint a bright future.
A leader should build confidence in the future of the company regardless of its size. Salespeople want to be associated with a company that has a bright future, and they will excel under those conditions. You should be like the Steve Jobs of your team. His inspiring and visionary presentations confirmed to employees of Apple that the company had a promising future.

5. Remind employees that they are part of that future.
All employees want to have confidence in their future at your company. This is particularly true for salespeople. A rep cannot be a top producer if he thinks his service is tenuous or that management dislikes him. Remind employees that they are valued and have a future with the company by routinely sending personal notes of recognition to deserving individuals.

Last updated: Jun 4, 2013


John Treace, a business turnaround expert, has more than 30 years' experience as a sales executive in the medical device industry. He spent more than 10 years restructuring sales departments of bankrupt companies while generating more than $1.5 billion in sales to position them for successful IPOs. He is the author of Amazon’s bestseller Nuts & Bolts of Sales Management: How to Build a High-Velocity Sales Organization. For more information, please visit Treace Consulting.

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