Are You in It for The Development of Your Sales Team?July 30, 2020 | Posted by Jeff Seeley in Leadership Development, Relationship Building
It’s a good question to ask yourself. We emphasize this frequently in our blogs because it’s important— the main role of sales leaders is to develop their sales team. As sales leaders and/or managers of sales teams, it is our primary responsibility to help our people succeed. We are inherent “people people.” It’s part of our personality. It’s in our DNA. And, so, it makes sense that our career path has placed us in a role in which the main job requirement is to help other people.
But this is not to say that we don’t sometimes go astray. We can lose sight of what we were placed in our role to do. Maybe we’ve let the development of our people fall by the wayside because we’re not in the same physical location as them anymore. Or perhaps we’ve been pulled into another area of our organization as layoffs and furloughs stretched resources. Or it could even be because we’re struggling to delineate our personal lives from our work lives, and so all our time is spent focusing on how we can find better balance for ourselves.
As people who are hyper-focused on helping others, the challenges discussed above may lead to internal conflict for some of us. We want to get back to focusing on the development of our team, but our job is pulling us in other directions. What can we do to get back to the “people development” aspect of our jobs and make sure we are helping our team members succeed even if we’re stretched thin? Here is something to think about:
Create Digital, Informal Feedback Loops to Develop Your Sales Team
As a sales leader, your people have always looked to you for direction, but they especially look to you for direction today. You, of course, trained your people in product knowledge and sales methodology when you first hired them. This gave them a solid foundation to start selling from and set them up for success. But you also know the learning goes far beyond onboarding because the training and development of your people is a process that never stops.
We often rely upon the informal conversations that happen around the office to contribute to our team’s learning and development. In passing, team members can easily share their successes, failures, and tips with their peers. “I just got off a call, and I found a great way to handle this particular objection,” or “I just got off a call that didn’t go too well, but here’s what I learned…” Encouraging your team to learn from each other by frequently sharing experiences prevents them from working in silos, establishes collaboration, and is a great way to help each of your people grow. But with your team working remotely, these conversations can’t happen like they used to. So, what can you do to establish this feedback loop even with a remote sales team?
One great way to establish an informal feedback loop is to use video! We are all likely using some sort of video tool at work these days, and so we can encourage our sales reps to use video to capture and share their learnings from their sales conversations. Have your team members record a quick video of themselves describing a recent call success, failure or best practice and share it with their peers via your company’s SharePoint site, email, or whatever digital collaboration tool your team uses. Just like in-person conversations, these videos can be very informal. For example, “I got off a call this morning, and here’s what I learned that was unexpected, what worked well, what didn’t work, etc.” The best learning happens through informal moments of connection, and we need to ensure our sales team is communicating, sharing, and collaborating in real-time on a day-to-day basis if we are going to help them succeed in the sales field.
You can’t be the best leader for your team if you aren’t truly in it to help your people. And you can’t fully help your people unless you are creating an environment of collaboration and continued learning for them. Recreating valuable, in-person conversations using video is an effective way to establish an informal feedback loop in the new remote work world, and it’s a simple action step that will help you focus on the development of your people.
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