How to build a sales force with an Ironman attitude
An Ironman event comprises of a 3.8 km swim, 180 km on a bike and a 42.2km run. Written like that, it’s a straightforward statement, but to complete one requires commitment and the right attitude.
What’s described above is the same as what goes on in your business. Let’s say you have a target of $5mAUD to achieve this fiscal – you need to know you can count on your team to make it happen, because if you can’t, you may as well go home. So, using some of the knowledge and insights from the Incredibleresults Sales Academy, and my personal experiences of Ironman, here’s 5 quick tips on how to build a sales force with the right kind of attitude.
It’s ok to have different personalities
People who participate in Ironman are just like a sales team. Some will brag incessantly and bore you to death with tales of what makes them so successful. Others will quietly get on with it and accept awards with humility. Some just want to get there faster than the guy 10 years younger than them. These personalities each have the same goal, but they’ll address it in different ways depending on their motivation, the challenge for you is to make sure you understand what that is.
Understand the personalities, and you’ll understand their motivators
Not everyone wants a medal
If you acknowledge that everyone’s drivers are different, increasing every sales person’s quota by 10% may not give you the desired results. Think about who wants to beat their personal best, who just wants to finish the race and who craves the top spot on the podium. Giving each of your sales people a challenge that is truly personal to them will get you the biggest buy-in.
Make the success of the business a truly personal matter
Do your team understand what’s required?
It’s unlikely that anyone’s turned up for an Ironman and been surprised that they have to swim, but lots of people accept sales roles without understanding what’s required of them, and plenty of sales managers hire people expecting them to instinctively know what’s needed. Make sure you are crystal clear when it comes to targets – especially if your sales people sell a range of products or services.
Be clear and check understanding
Have your team got the right skills?
There’s a whole myriad of skills involved in the selling process so make a list of what you expect your team to be able to do – i.e: negotiate, influence, prospect, close. Then look at your team and assess what they can do, and what they need help with. Be honest – it’s not possible to improve if you can never pinpoint areas for adjustment or growth.
Regularly assess your team – even elite sales people benefit from coaching
Practice and predictability creates permanency
Anyone participating in an Ironman will have a series of smaller competitions planned in to improve their speed, strength, stamina and (crucially) keep them in the correct mindset. Help your team get there by making sure you have reviews, training and coaching scheduled in at regular intervals throughout the year – they should not be a surprise. Doing so helps create an atmosphere of continuous growth through personal commitment to development. This generates positive habits in your sales people (and helps you to establish which ones aren’t bringing the right attitude to the table).
Creating a framework for growth encourages the right behaviours
That’s just a few thoughts on how you can create the right kind of attitude in your sales force; to find out more about the Sales Academy (or learn a bit about my Ironman experiences) get in touch