I have an immense amount of respect for sales teams that are dedicated to honing their craft and becoming the best they can be. After all, customers are the lifeblood of any and every business. Without customers, we have no reason to be here.
Sales managers and their teams have a crucial responsibility to their company, their organization, their CAUSE. This responsibility creates pressure.
The pressure can be utilized as a tool, or it can be debilitating and condemn those with the best intentions straight to the DL list. The best sales leaders learn to use pressure as a tool to inspire action in themselves and their teams.
Want to be the best? This is your opportunity to get started now. And this is the answer to your question - “what’s the one thing my team and I need to know!?”: it’s NOW.
The Answer Is Urgency
Urgency leads sales teams to victory. But it’s a certain kind of urgency I’m pointing to. A self-generated urgency. Not urgency imposed by external circumstance.
Look, I’m not blind to the fact that there is a ton of external circumstance applying pressure to you and your team. There are quotas to hit and there are much needed commissions to earn. We all need to make money.
We who have been in sales for any notable length of time know that both the company and the salesperson need to make money. And we also know that prospects can smell that need a mile away.
How does it typically go for your team when prospects detect that need? No answer needed. You already know.
This is why it’s so important for you to learn a new way to relate to urgency, and for you to train your team to do the same. Because the external circumstance of selling so as to hit the numbers causes a certain type of negative energy.
I call it the ‘I Have To Syndrome’. It’s actually an epidemic plaguing sales teams far and wide. From this relationship to urgency salespeople are taking action from a place of obligation vs inspiration. And that rarely, if ever, ends well.
If you’ve made it this far into the article, you’re probably asking yourself, “how does one generate a new relationship to urgency?” The answer is simple, but not always easily accomplished. The good thing is that anything can be mastered with practice.
The simple answer is that it’s a choice. All you and your team need to do is choose a new relationship to, or perspective on, urgency and own it.
With practice you will start to see different results. Bigger, more frequent wins. And, with time, it will become easier to choose this new relationship over and over.
What New Perspective On Urgency Should I Choose?
I recommend one that creates a fun and exciting experience vs a feeling of obligation. My team relates to our sales quota as a game. We play the game of Urgency On Purpose vs waiting for an emergency situation where we Have To produce results OR ELSE.
Or else we won’t have have enough customers. Or else we have to cancel a program due to lack of participants. Or else we lose our jobs. Or else we lose some teammates.
What we’ve found is that when we play this game urgency on purpose every day then we rarely reach the point of emergency. And if we do reach that point, we know why, and we know how to change it. We simply refocus our intention and recreate our game from choice vs obligation.
When we’re playing the game in this way on purpose it’s fun. When we’re playing the game from a sense of obligation it’s a drag. And our results reflect our experience of it.
This is how we play the game every day. Like it’s our job to find the sale we need today because we want to, not because we have to.
We play to win vs playing from fear of loss or not having enough. We play for the love of the game.
There’s No I In TEAM
Seriously. Get past the annoying motivational cliche and hear my point. The other disease possibly plaguing your sales team is a culture of individuals trying to manage perception.
This is when individuals on your team are playing for looking good. Recognition is powerful and it’s a legitimate need for some. Nothing wrong with that.
I want you to consider that when needing to be the one to be recognized for the victory trumps the desire to see the team win the game, a culture of waiting is created and some team members take their foot off the gas pedal. Some even pump the brakes.
There’s an old saying: ‘Many hands make light work’. When that’s the culture on your team, wins are normal and expected by all. Big wins are no longer related to as unicorns that only special people are able to produce.
If everyone on the team is trained to relate to themselves as the source of the results of the whole, it creates a culture of winners. What you’ll notice is that when people aren’t running point on a deal, they’ll actively go seek out someone who needs support. People will shift roles interchangeably and seamlessly.
This levels the playing field and everyone gets to see that they play an integral role on the team. Everyone feels needed and gets to celebrate all wins instead of only the ones they feel they produced on their own.
They’ll notice the impact you had on creating this culture and they’ll relate to you as a true leader instead of a drill sergeant barking out orders. And they’ll relate to their teammates as partners instead of competition.
What you’re on the way to creating at this point is a High Performance Team. A team that generates more wins, more of the time. Abundant wins. Bigger and better wins.
Your team will begin to love what they do because who doesn’t like playing games? Especially when they win the game more often than not.