Getting the salespeople on your team to buy into you and your vision is important to achieving sales team success. Here are three things that I believe can help you do that.
Invest in them
One of the most important aspects to winning over your salespeople is to treat them as just that – people. As a sales manager, it’s easy to get carried away with numbers, goals, sales activity, etc. Make sure you take the time to get to know your staff as people first, what they care about, and what motivates them. If you invest in them on a personal level as well as a professional level, it will help build a much stronger relationship. A great way to do this is by finding commonalities and shared experiences that you can relate to. If you’re invested in them, they will invest back into you, which will make things easier for everyone down the road.
Get involved in the Sales Process
While at the Colorado Avalanche, our Business Development team would take an hour once a week where we’d all get in the conference room for the ‘Ring of Fire’. The Ring of Fire was a hot seat-call blitz where we’d gather around a speakerphone and take turns making new business calls in front of everyone. Our tradition was that I would always start by making the first call. As the sales manager, I did that for one main reason, to let them know that we’re all in it together. If you are leading by example and getting involved with your reps, even if you make mistakes, it’s going to empower them so that they know you’re right there with them. The more you can get involved in the sales process and go on appointments, look over drafts of important emails, etc., the more credibility and respect you will build as a sales manager.
Winning people over starts by helping people to understand what your intentions are. Be clear about what your intentions and expectations are. What does good behavior look like? What does bad behavior look like? What are the priorities? If your staff is unsure about what you’re trying to do, it becomes difficult for them to know what you value. You don’t want your intentions or expectations to be a mystery. When the staff is left guessing, it will breed uneasiness, tension, and will make it difficult for them to engage with you. The more clarity you can bring in, the more it will help bring everyone together on the same page.
Hope this is helpful, thanks for reading!
Thomas Messerich is the Director of Ticket Sales at Minnesota United FC (MLS). He's been in the sports business for 6+ years. He started his career at the MLS sales training center before joining Kroenke Sports and Entertainment at the Colorado Rapids. After a couple of years of sales success there he transitioned at Kroenke to the Colorado Avalanche where he became a premium Account Executive. After that he moved into leadership at the Avs and became their Manager of Business Development.