By Dana Phillips.
Increasing productivity in a sales team is golden! You earn more, they make more, and everyone is happy. So what can you do to increase productivity? Here are a couple of thoughts that have worked for many of my clients who have adopted a coach approach to improving productivity.
- Use bottom-up goal setting. This one is tough because many of you have been giving numbers to hit or goals to achieve. Big businesses often use top-down goals setting where they will assign you a target. Do your best to resist breaking your goals down into what they “need” to do. Instead, spend time with key producers asking what they want to achieve. More often than not, their goals are more ambitious than yours.
- Use coaching to develop action steps. In short, find out what they want and what they will do to get it. Ask more questions to design an action plan with them. This works to help them break down the goal into smaller chunks and even bite-size time increments. You might say, “What are you doing this week?” Follow through with “When do you want to do it?” and express your belief that they will make it happen.
- Find out how you can support them. One of smartest sales leaders I know has said, “Do you want me to push you, pull you, or get out of your way?” Remember you can always check in, change the way you follow up with your team. Allowing your team the autonomy of deciding how you follow up with them fosters independence.
Make increasing productivity a win-win process. Learn what is essential to your sellers and be sure they recognize increasing productivity as a path to achieving the benefits they want. Ask, “What’s in it for the other person to perform well?” and “Why would they care about increasing productivity?” Discuss the benefits openly and seek creative ways to reward desired behaviors.
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PSST: If you have some people on your team that this can help, let them know about the Direct Selling Leaders’ Network.
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