Believe in Your People

Believe in Your People!

By Chris Lott | Management, Sales | 1399 Views | 3 Comments    

As managers we spend a lot of our precious time locating and hiring the “right people”. Performing interview after interview until we finally find that person that will help take our team to the infamous next level. We onboard them with sales tools and send them on their way. We are fired up and believe they are going to make the difference desired. Then over time things have changed unfortunately. We are now less than impressed and not sure without micromanaging we can trust them to bring in the needed sales. We stopped believing.


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Items that give a manager pause:

  • Promises that were made during the interview process not happening.
  • Hard to get in touch with and low activity during the week.
  • They went from “confident sales pro” to now they seem like a “deer in the headlamp”.
  • Resting on deals that were given to them and bringing in nothing on their own.
  • “Lone wolfing” with deals not closing.
  • And the list goes on…

I had an executive come to me and ask if I would watch a couple of my sales people and as they were walking out the door during the day to spontaneously volunteer to go with them. The trust had disappeared for these salespeople. This executive no longer believed in them. Big problem!

Starting with a new sales team is always a challenge with some teams more than others. Day one I like to find out what makes each member tick and see what hand I have been dealt. Many times it’s pretty clear that many of my new team members aren’t feeling the “love” so to speak. They are pretty sure that they are no longer trusted to be a productive team member no matter what they do. So I ask probing questions to root out their fear. I want to know if they have given management reasons to not believe in them any more. Almost in every case they have and didn’t realize it. So now I work with them to get that trust and belief back.

“Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.” – Sam Walton

The plan to get the belief back:

  • Work together on their branding. They need to become the topic of success in sales meetings.
  • They need to understand what has given management reason to doubt them and change immediately.
  • Clear performance expectations and accountability needs to take place. A sales plan is needed.
  • Get them off the “pity party” and stop blaming others.
  • Help them become a raving fan and evangelist.

Once this is done then it’s time for management to step up and stop treating these sales professionals as a less than part of the team. Many times management and executives have a real problem with this. Regardless, it needs to happen to show others the path to success and belief by their leaders. The good news is ultimately we get the sales people back that we hired and believed in and we get the sales needed. This, of course, is the real bottom line for everyone. Take some time and believe in your sales team members. The loyalty and performance will astound you!

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Chris Lott has this crazy creative side that motivates him to design websites and write articles. He's a disruptive technologist and is passionate about sales, family, and anything related to technology. See what others are saying about his work!.


3 thoughts on “Believe in Your People!

  1. I once took over as manager of a support team and one of the things I was asked to do was to get the help desk in order. The person in charge of the help desk was seen as a poor performer – sarcastic, unwilling to go the extra mile, negative.

    The first thing i did when I took over was to interview everyone individually.When I got to the help desk guy I simply asked him “What’s the problem?” and it all poured out – how the help desk was seen as separate, not part of the team, how they weren’t invited to team events and so on.

    So we included them and made them feel welcome and the performance turned around almost overnight. All it took was asking the question and listening and all they wanted was to be part of the team.

    It’s so easy to blame people for underperforming when it’s the fault of the system, the culture or the company. And so rare to ask them what they need in order to perform.

    If you give them the chance and help them most people want to do well. No-one believes they are “dead wood” or sets out to become that.

  2. I think the most critical element presented in the article is creating a culture of accountability. It’s always important to boost the morale of a salesperson, reaffirm their self-esteem, and help refine their brand as well as how they represent the company’s brand, but all of that contributes toward an accountability-centric team. When everyone knows the goal and what their part is in achieving it, communication becomes exponentially easier. In this sort of environment, the salesperson or manager is more likely to speak first because they realize they’re behind and want help to improve.

    Salespeople are very much like prisms. They may all look the same from afar, but once you take a closer look, you’ll see a myriad of personalities/colors. Managing to those personalities can be laborious, but much less so with the right culture. In many perspectives, including this article, there’s an emphasis on selling to the salesperson. Selling the quota, selling the mission, selling the motivation, etc. I’m not discrediting any of that, but I think it’s important to remember that the product (quota, mission, motivation, etc.) leads to a solution (money) and that it should be a fairly easy sell as long everyone understands their place in reaching the objectives.

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