How does the story of Goldilocks relate to the rules of Sales Management? Let us explain.
In management we often tend to take a “hard stance” and focus heavily on the day to day operations. We ask our teams to report data like pipeline reports, opportunity updates, forecasting and time management. This approach is “too hard “and doesn’t produce the long-term results that we are looking for from our sales team.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, management styles can be “too soft” and take the approach of not guiding sales teams and just ask them to hit their numbers. This provides very little guidance and structure for our teams to be equipped to hit the goals set for them. Neither of these management styles are effective in reaching long term results. In fact, they impede productivity.
The “just right” management strategy is somewhere in the middle. The middle consists of strengthening your skills in the below four steps. Let’s walk through them together.
1. Identify Clear Team Goals:
Work with your team to set clear departmental goals. This allows them to have insight to the bigger picture as well as ownership and accountability
2. Make It Personal:
Help your salespeople tie departmental goals to their own personal and professional goals. Humans work harder their own reasons which tie to their own goals.
3. Set Priorities:
It is important to analyze, organize and prioritize goals once they have been agreed upon. Not everything can be top priority and leaders should never assume that the team can do this step alone. Clear communication is key in all steps.
4. Collaborate on an Action Plan:
Last but not least, once you have set goals and have them prioritized, leaders should co-create action plans. These action plans should be set with each individual. Plans should include specific and be detailed with sequence, timelines, measurables and outcomes in mind.
All four steps are key to the “just right” strategy however, step four is where the magic happens. The more detailed the plan, the easier it is for salespeople to stay on target. It also allows for accountability and clear measurables. This allows for leaders to coach, guide, mentor and assist team members rather than looking over their shoulder to ensure they are producing.
Set clear expectations with your team, understand what is in it for them, help the team prioritize and create action plans. Communication will be key in order to effectively execute the “just right” management style.