Stephen Hensley’s 15-Point Manifesto for Sales Performance – Point #7
Individuals thrive with autonomy, but teams thrive with camaraderie
One of the biggest challenge’s leaders face is providing the right amount of autonomy for their sales professionals. If you provide too little autonomy, you’re a micromanager. Provide too much autonomy, you lack control for performance. Therefore, you must leverage camaraderie to bridge the gap between autonomy and performance.
Here are three internal best practices, bringing your team to thrive with camaraderie and build consistent performance.
1st Round Draft Pick
Just like with any major sports team, choose wisely with your draft picks. This is especially true in the first round as you have more choices to get a high-caliber person. Leaders must do the same thing when hiring the right person for the vacant role. The key is to hire a person who will allow for camaraderie to thrive in your organization. This isn’t about singing kumbaya, but really trust each other and know that everyone’s best interest is front and center.
I partnered with a sales executive that had issues building consistent performance with the new reps. When the reps were ready to sell, they were sat near each other on the sales floor. The tenured reps were too busy to help. This is unacceptable. We started layering in tenured reps in to the onboarding process, shadowing, and role playing. We didn’t use the fake role playing; we create role plays that captured what the new reps would endure. This helped build their trust because the tenured reps could share how they once lived the same obstacles.
Feedback is a powerful tool for success if used properly. The problem is that most leaders don’t leverage their team to provide feedback. I’m not saying you should immediately have your team give each other feedback. That would be a disaster. Train your people how to do it effectively. Once you do, the team will receive more timely feedback. They will build more trust and use each other’s best practices.
I worked with a large group of sales reps where we tried this approach and everyone involved saw dramatic results. We uncovered some poor perceptions and shed light on how feedback can have a positive impact. This was great for the leader because she had more time to invest in other areas. The reps appreciated the timely feedback, and it helped their development to move up in the company.
The pole position in motorsports is the position at the inside of the front row at the start of the racing event. This can give the driver with a significant advantage to win the race. Well, unless the driver and crew have miscues. Are you sitting in pole position or do you hang back hoping to come from behind month in and month out? Camaraderie helps your team take the pole position.
Too many leaders rely on individual performance to carry the overall performance for the team. Many leaders worry about their superstar leaving. What will they do then?? Here’s how you get the pole position. Focus on camaraderie! Camaraderie should be inclusive for everyone. I do not limit this to communication, feedback, showing courtesy, build others up, idea sharing, social events, etc. What’s your plan to ensure your team is executing in these areas?