Leading sales: Your teams need a little love

Sales leaders across industries are becoming increasingly aware that their sales teams need more nurturing, inspiration and high-impact coaching. Sales teams are composed of fiercely independent, motivated and driven professionals, and the psyche of many teams has taken a hit over the past 18 months.

A sales team is the heart and soul of the revenue-generating machine for a business, and without an energized sales group, organizations can struggle to deliver the results required to grow at the pace required to satisfy their customers and shareholders. Savvy sales leaders are taking the time to rethink, regroup and reshape the ways they lead these talented growth and business generators.

As a sales leader, it’s a good time to invest in more one-on-one time with your sales professionals. In our current environment, salespeople are challenged to discover new ways to stay engaged with their team while balancing prospecting, supply chain issues, price increases, compensation concerns, hybrid workplaces and market volatility. While many motivated contributors have pushed ahead with bravado, their sales leaders need to invest more time checking in on their well-being.

It’s smart to ensure that your team feels that leadership recognizes the obstacles they are facing, that the organization has empathy for what they are experiencing and there is a real commitment to rally the resources required to enable them to succeed.

  • Establish “open” Zoom times when sales team members can jump on the Zoom link to have a quick conversation.
  • Schedule 15-minute chats to answer questions and resolve issues, while helping them to feel engaged with leadership.
  • Upskill your team members with next-generation skills. Training on relationship building, advisory thinking, value creation, digital sales engagement, thought leadership, technology sales enablers and social media analytics are important upskilling opportunities.
  • During difficult times, re-establish and communicate the “North Star.” There are competing interests for time, energy and effort, and in a hybrid marketplace, this be paralyzing. This is bigger than hitting numbers; it builds collaboration, provides clarity for priorities, breaks down silos and establishes the direction to pursue.

Sales leaders will benefit by walking through the client journey and mapping out how clients interact with the organization, from acquisition to on-boarding, to customer service, to ongoing relationship management. Fortifying the client playbook with a focus on enhancing the customer journey is about building brand eminence and delivering a higher level of competitive performance.

This playbook ensures customers have a great experience, involves team members in shaping sales strategies and provides structure to consistently deliver an excellent client experience. Review the client journey with your sales team and engage their insights on ways to innovate the customer playbook, which is a dynamic roadmap that will continue to adapt to the evolving needs of customers.

To inspire the minds and hearts of your sales team, show empathy and understanding. Recognize progress, not just performance, and brainstorm ideas to attract and retain customers. Amplify your focus on growth, finding new ways to accelerate talents on the team to make bold moves.

To impact customers, contact top clients to learn what they need and how your sales team can help. Conduct annual customer satisfaction studies to understand how the team is performing and ways to enhance the client experience. Finally, tailor sales activities and messaging to maximize the client journey and create an amazing customer experience. Share the love with your sales team. It’s a rewarding journey.

Judy Bodenhamer is founder & managing director at Client Experience Group