Sales Team Not Working as Well as it Should? Try this…
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Sales team not working as well as they could be? Is it even possible for sales teams to work well together? Yes, of course, they can. They can even be champions for one another rather than competitors and here’s how.

It’s understandable sales teams often find themselves being highly competitive with each other. It’s the nature of the game, particularly if everyone is working autonomously or on a commission. But there is a missed financial, mental and cultural gain that many salespeople and managers are missing by not working together and using Team Intelligence™.

1. Using Team Intelligence to Improve Sales and Performance

Each person on your team from sales to dispatch will have a unique view and understanding of your business. They will also have a unique perspective on how to approach a problem. To get your team to look beyond the obvious day to day actions they need to take on the job, you need to get them working together and drawing out each other’s knowledge.

Taken from our highly successful article on 6 Steps to Team Innovation, here are some ideas to do that:

  • Break the mould and brainstorm! Let everyone be open to speak freely and share their ideas. Break the mould of the environment, order pizza for lunch, sit around with big sheets of paper, markers, post-its and start talking. In brainstorming, no idea is a bad idea so reward them all.
  • Ask for the opinions and ideas of everyone in your team, and if you can, ask them in the presence of each other. Get them understanding each other’s unique perspective.
  • Encourage team breakouts and match unlikely colleagues in order to draw out each other’s team intelligence. Get your engineers together with the customer service team or match the marketing team with finance or dispatch.

But make sure the first conversation, perhaps even the first pizza party, is about WHY And no, we’re not talking about the company’s Why. We’re talking about why your team are even part of the organisation. Let the team get to know one another. One great exercise to find out what is really important to individuals is to ask them what they are grateful for today.

These 5 minute journals are also amazing for getting into the practice of reflection and gratitude.

See, most people when asked ‘why do you come to work?’ Will first answer “money”. But that’s not the real reason why.

That is not the motivation for getting up at 6:30 in the morning, rushing around, organising kids, or ironing shirts the night before. It’s because of the kids, or the house deposit they are saving for, or the next mission to help in a developing country. That’s the why. That’s the why they get out of bed for every morning. It’s what the money can do for them.

And when a team is engaged in each other’s why, they then understand why they should help each other. There’s an understanding of what their teammate is working towards.

This is Team Intelligence at the highest level – understanding each other’s why and helping each other achieve individual goals together. Championing each other to be the best and to have the best.

When you help teams to communicate through their values, you improve trust, which makes negotiations between team members of time, resources and information so much more successful. The conversation becomes one of win-win (the legendary Stephen Covey writes about this in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) but more importantly one of value-value. Here’s more on the mindsets of champion teams.

How to Help Your Team Build Rapport and Increase Sales

Allowing your team to understand each other’s personal values more is how you will build trust and rapport. It is from this space Team Intelligence™ can work on improving client management, customer service and sales. Here is how to help your team build rapport and increase sales:

  • Understand the common goal and align in values

Defining the Why of your company and the right core values is one of the best ways to bring a team together. A while back we wrote an article about how Tesla, Apple, Amazon, Marriott and Salesforce have customer service driving the company’s Success Culture and part of that was discussing their shared goals and values.

Creating a space for shared goals and values can also go further than your organisation. A fantastic example is how the Dubai Airports team not only invested in a customer-service training program for 43,000 employees but for over 39,000 people outside of the organisation with the aim of ensuring consistency in the customer experience at every possible touch point.

This three-year project means every person from customers and employees to suppliers, shareholders and the wider community are on board for success. What an incredible Team Intelligence opportunity to:

  • Dismantle the ‘Silo Mentality’

‘Silo Mentality’, as defined by the Business Dictionary, is a mindset present in some companies when certain departments or sectors do not wish to share information with others in the same company. This type of mentality will reduce the efficiency of the overall operation, reduce morale, and may contribute to the demise of a productive company culture.

We so often work with individuals that are so dedicated to their success and how their success aligns to the organisation’s goals, but they do so without bringing their colleagues and teammates in as well. They have perfect intent but they are running their own race.

  • Bring about a Culture of Accountability

Finger pointing and blame mode occurs when there is no accountability but when teams are backing each other’s success they look for what they can do in every situation. This great video by John Izzo explains this well.

It’s the concept of 100/0. Have you heard of it? This is a fantastic reminder for all of us, especially when things aren’t working the way we think they should. It’s good to remember 100/0 when operations, head office or customer service aren’t thinking the way we are!

When there is accountability the salesperson won’t over promise or over sell because they say to themselves ‘this is up to me’ to know if there is enough product available on the production line, and they won’t be saying yes to clients who haven’t paid their bills.

  • Being Champions not Competitors

Even salespeople with common clients and industries can help each other out. Think back to the best team you were ever a part of, what made it that way? I can tell you it was Team Intelligence.

A space where people pull their weight and look after each other like friends or family, where everyone knows what they have to do and when to help each other out. Sure there are heated debates but also commitments made to move forward and the results and learnings are shared across the team.

The lessons in Legacy, by James Kerr about what makes a truly champion team is a great place to start.

2. Bring The Slight Edge to Sales

I love hearing feedback, especially when it’s about people trying new things, having a stretch, even in the smallest of ways. Small steps really do count and when you tweak them consistently toward your goal, that is The Slight Edge.

By implementing small daily activities, that focus on excellence in team building, customer relations, productivity and profitability, you will see long-term success. The compounding effect will kick into place.

It’s also important to note, that if we are in too much of a hurry to get ahead we can lose the opportunity to create and design. You have to work out what’s working and what’s not first. Nurture and cultivate before you harvest.

Feedback from A Sales Territory Manager from a Sales Team Intelligence™ Workshop

Here’s some feedback we recently received around taking the time for success with The Slight Edge – yes there are Sales Team working on their Team Intelligence and Personal Success Culture:

Hey Gabby,

Thanks for following up!! I had already watched the John Izzo video, and just watched it again. You were right, his delivery was fantastic.

I printed off my list of goals and stuck it on my wall in my office and look at them everyday.

My business goals are a part of my everyday now and it is really working. I am growing the number of contacts within my larger customers and I am seeing increased sales, enquiries & quotes. My personal goals are also on track with the purchase of an investment property a month ago.

I’m currently on annual leave in Fiji. The kids are in kids club and my wife and I are currently relaxing in the adults only pool with a few cocktails and some inspirational reading!

Conclusion

Want to create the greatest Sales team and working environment possible? Create your Success Culture on a foundation of Team Intelligence and the power of The Slight Edge and you will get there.