If your sales people aren’t executing either individually or as a team it’s easy to point a finger. But as my husband likes to jokingly remind our family, when you point . . . your other four fingers are pointing right back at you. Many of my sales manager clients complain that critical messages to their sales team go unheeded as exemplified by such things as undocumented sales activities, lack of deal updates, unreliable forecasts, personnel conflicts or unaccounted for time from remote salespeople. If this is true for you, too, then it may be time to exam your communication style or how you are messaging to your salespeople. When it comes to leadership, effective interpersonal skills including oral and written communication are fundamental competencies and key to building sales teams that consistently achieve results.
In evaluating your communication methods consider the following:
- How effectively do you promote the company vision and mission?
- What one on one conversations are you having to develop the individuals on your team and how are they producing job satisfaction, motivation, reducing stress and turnover?
- What activities are you executing upon to develop your team as a cohesive unit?
- Do your communications convey a standard of integrity, trust and fairness?
- Do your conversations equally contain empathy as well as strength of conviction?
- How do you respond to problems and challenges?
- How are you dealing with the pace of your environment? Do you react instead of act in what you say and do?
- In what ways are you fostering individual accountability?
- How effective are you in influencing your salespeople to your or the company point of view?
- How are you setting expectations for rules and procedure?
- How are you advocating for the team when it comes to upper management?
- Does your staff understand your availability and level of support?
Varying methods of communication style may be warranted to match the different personality types on your team. What works well for one may not be a fit for all when it comes to conveying expectations and important information. So explore avenues for further opportunity and growth in your communication skills and that of your entire team. By executing on a commitment to your own communication development you are setting the stage for highly effective leadership especially in time of change -- as well as better driving of results that increase sales and revenue.
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