As we start on this subject, an exciting and well-known saying comes tomind- ”A stitch in time saves nine.” Knowing the factors that impact sales teamdynamics and holistic health will go a long way to putting corrective actionsin place and stopping them from destroying your sales team.
There is no denying that sales are purelynumbers games. Your survival depends mainly on the numbers you hit. In yourenthusiasm to push numbers, are you losing sight of the degrading effects thatcompulsive sales number-focused practices have on the overall health of yoursales team? Will you be able to sustain the same patterns over the long term?Is your workplace culture destroying your sales team?
For the most part, sales leadersand managers focus on improving sales numbers. There are holistic ways, andthere are quick fixes. There are long-term changes, and there are short-termmeasures. Every step you take to improve your sales numbers might not be in thebest interest of your sales team's holistic health. You might get the numbersto meet short-term goals, but in the long run, you might have causedirreparable damage to the workplace culture the team had adapted to over allthose years.
As a business or sales leader, youneed to focus on how things are moving regarding sales processes and practices.You need to have a birds-eye view of how your sales teams are churning out theworkplace culture and put in place checks and balances to put things straightjust when you notice things are going astray. In the following sections, wediscuss some of the most common and seemingly innocuous blunders that salesmanagers and leadership teams make in all their efforts to push numbers.
Sales Workplace practices that Destroy Employee Morale
Unsurprisingly, close to 46% of job seekers valued companyor workplace culture.
Workplace culture is a delicateecosystem that takes years to build but takes only a few seemingly worthwhiledeviations to tilt the balance in the wrong direction. We take a look at someof the most common sales workplace practices that can potentially play a rolein destroying your sales team. Awareness about these sometimes calamitouspractices can help sales leaders identify them and take corrective actions. Businessleaders and sales managers must keep an eye out for these tacit but seriouslydamaging practices in the sales team.
Sales Manager Favourites
Sales managers, particularly the lesser experienced ones, start choosing andpicking out their favorites in the team. This does not go unnoticed and changesteam dynamics. Sales managers have to take care that any selection from theteam should be transparent, openly, and explicitly stating the reason for the appointment.What mature sales managers choose is involving the entire team when selectingpeople for initiatives and giving everybody an equal opportunity to provethemselves.
Having favorites in a team isunavoidable, but a sales manager should ensure neutrality when providingopportunities to prove their capabilities.
Comparing Sales Reps
Sales managers should be able to identify each member’s strengths andharness them to the team's benefit. Comparing sales reps to their peers when itcomes to performance is not a prudent thing to do. While it is natural for asales manager to reach, it is best avoided. Comparing sales reps, like having afavorite in the team, can breed negative thoughts and opinions, leading tofriction within the group.
A sales manager should ensure thatevery win in the team is celebrated, no matter how small it is in the groupcontext.
Burden a few with non productive work.
All sales reps in the team should get a level playing field to prove theirmettle. Overburdening some with too much paperwork and letting others run theshow isn’t a wise approach for a sales manager. As a sales manager, you shouldensure that all tasks are distributed equally among all members as much aspossible. Dumping non-productive work on a few among the team will onlydemoralize them over time.
Taking a round-robin approach whereeach team member gets to pick up the tab when their turn comes is one highlytransparent way of distributing tasks across the team.
Business leaders tend to love sales managers who micromanage as they have tightcontrol of the sales ecosystem. If you deep dive, you will find that such anecosystem is not sustainable and destroys your sales team in the long haul.Such sales managers use an approval system for every step the sales rep takesin the sales cycle. This leaves no room for innovation and creativity and thuskills all motivation dragging their morale down. Sales managers do have to keepthe reins tight but must do so at a much higher level. The activities on theground should be left to the sales rep’s discretion.
Employee Performance Discussion behind their backs
Sales managers tend to have some trusted lieutenants with whom they sharealmost everything related to the team. While this is a good stress reliever forthe sales manager, it can potentially come out negatively, especially when theemployee gets to know from indirect sources. This behavior builds mistrustamong team members and spoils the relationship between sales reps and managers.Sales managers will avoid discussing sales rep performances with fellow teammembers.
Strategic Decisions that impact Workplace Culture
On the other hand, there are strategic decisions that make an impact on theoverall health of your sales team over a more extended period. These decisionsmanifest in changes in workplace culture and the general work ethic. We discussbelow a few of such strategic decisions that can end up destroying your salesteam.
Hiring Lazy Salesperson
While hiring talented but less competitive sales folks seems a reasonableproposition at the outset -given that such talent is relatively readilyavailable and costs a lot lesser than top talent- this can potentially bringdown the overall productivity and efficiency of your sales teams in the longrun. No matter what, your focus should be on hiring top competitive talent insales, with room for minimal compromise. A highly competitive sales rep can bea morale booster for your team, and adding a couple more of such talent canonly make your sales look up north. Once you have acquired enough top talent,you may loosen up and hire above-average sales talent who can be coached tobecome highly competitive players.
Lack of Coaching, Training or Upskilling
You must have a coaching, training, and upskilling program to keep yoursales folks engaged and motivated. They should be able to see a clear linkbetween the training they undergo and their long-term career goals. The overallfocus of such programs should be developing talent to become subject matterexperts or business leaders. Without a robust upskilling/coaching or trainingprogram, sales reps, over some time, do not see any progress in their careersand tend to drop out.
Unrealistic Sales Goals
Finally, one of the most common issues on sales floors-unrealistic orunscientific sales goals. Sales reps are used to being appreciated for everywin they can pocket. Sales reps need to be given attention and need a decentbit of pampering. Setting unrealistic sales targets might work for you in theshort term, but your sales folks will lose the plot over a long period. Theywill lose the motivation to achieve sales quotas. Sales goals designed to allowat least 15-20% of the team to meet targets and about 3-5% to overachieve themcan be motivating enough. At the same time, keeping the apples hanging too lowcan have a flip side. Raising goals too frequently might create discontent inthe team. Defining your sales goals in line with your business goals whileensuring they keep your sales reps challenged and offering rewardsopportunities makes for a competitive sales floor environment.
Sales leaders and managers must be aware of such deviations in workplaceculture and correct them in time to keep their sales teams in good health for extendedperiods. Taking the help of intelligent tools that support your sales team tobe engaged and motivated throughout the year is a good idea. Kennect offers twotech solutions that help reduce nonproductive work for your sales reps andreduce workplace friction. Sales Performance Management and Incentive Compensation Management are independent sales solutions that can work together seamlessly to help youextract the best from your sales folks.
To know more ask for a demo, today.