What your sales team needs isn’t an attitude change or additional training, your team needs to be empowered.
Way back in 1986, Bandura stated that the single most important thing a manager can do to empower others was to help them experience personal mastery over a challenge or problem. You can create a culture of personal mastery by providing your team with the opportunity to accomplish successively more sales that eventually lead to the accomplishment of their personal targets and that of your business.
How to do this in your business
The key is to start with smaller tasks such as authoritatively advising on delivery to an out of town location for example and progressing to being able to make decisions on discounts and commission until the person experiences a sense of mastery over the entire sales function.
Entrepreneurs can help the sales team feel increasingly empowered by helping them develop an awareness that they can succeed and giving them the scope to achieve. On their journey to empowerment, highlight and celebrate individual milestones to strengthen that sense of empowerment.
I challenge you to think about the processes you follow in your day-to-day activities and to come up with potential solutions that will:
- Make it easier for your sales team to do their job and make more sales
- Allow your sales staff to make discretionary decisions within acceptable parameters
- Reduce the time it takes to complete the sale.
Empower your staff a little. Give them the power to make a few executive decisions themselves.
Empowering your sales staff in this way will have them feeling far more respected as the expert in the process. It will also have the customer feeling like they are dealing with someone credible.
Ask your sales team what they would like, how you can empower them to be more effective. Provide parameters for them to operate within (e.g. minimum gross profit). Then hold them accountable to demonstrating creativity and to working within agreed parameters. Start small and build from there.
These are just some examples of the benefits your changes could make. If they work within your team, drive the change further up the ladder and to other outlets.