We tend to bask in the euphoria of our successes and wallow in obsessing about our sales team’s failures. Yet much of this success and/or failure comes as a surprise.
Everyone’s focused on making their numbers. Everyone needs to become equally focused on the individual and team processes that make the numbers happen.
Focusing on taking and maintaining a team asset inventory is a great way to show team members how business and sales conditions fluctuate throughout the year. This phenomenon may come as a surprise to your sales manager, as well!
Your team asset inventory focuses everybody on those team resources which are available to your entire team to assist them in developing business and closing sales.
This strategy expands your peripheral vision. This strategy builds your sales team into a group of individuals who are no longer a team in name only. This team encourages everyone to collaborate as a single unit instead of constantly becoming frustrated and “going it alone.”
Your team asset inventory begins by conducting a reality check around your own business table. No matter whether you are a startup team, a sales team or a pre-sales engineering support team, determine how homogeneous each individual’s skill sets really are, compared with everyone else on the team.
A team asset inventory makes you appreciate team diversity. Diversity is a good thing, by the way. While your team was hired to sell, you are individuals and not robots. Everyone on your team has their own way of looking at a situation. They have their own unique way of communicating and writing, as well.
No matter how much sales training you have thrown at them in the past.
Your team asset inventory continues by determining the specific areas of expertise in each member. In the prior exercise, you found out that there is a lot of diversity in perspective, even though management considers you all to be a “homogeneous” sales team. What happens when you consider team members as experts (a positive approach), instead of individuals chasing after their numbers (an often frustrating and negative approach)? For starters, they become internal resources for the rest of your team. Some the team members are great at retaining customers. Some are wonderful at upselling customers. Some are super at selling new business, but are a disaster at post-sale service. Some folks are amazing at statistics.
Your team asset inventory leverages collaborative processes for developing sales opportunities. The first step is to determine which team member is best suited to collaborate with another member on a successful engagement with the customer. Think what your weekly sales team meeting looks like when you are approaching lead nurturing and business development with a collective team mindset instead.
Make your team asset inventory the fulcrum for your sales management activities this quarter. It will refocus team members on the benefits of learning from and working with each other. A lot of the team in-fighting will dissipate in the process, as well.
The difference is in your team’s business outcomes. Time to think about things differently?
Babette N. Ten Haken is a management strategist and team-building leadership coach. She helps teams, startups and businesses who wrestle with unpredictable revenue streams. Her Workshops and Playbooks create more productive and profitable teams in healthier organizations. Her Playbook on leadership and business strategies, including tools, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com.