Super Bowl LI is set to take place this weekend with our Atlanta Falcons taking on the Patriots. It’s no wonder we’re in the #WINNING spirit here at SalesWise! Believe it or not, sales organizations work much like sports teams. No, you’re not running the field and tackling 200-plus-pound men. But, you are tackling other big challenges in the marketplace, among your competitors, and maybe even within the walls of your own company. A sales leader is much like a coach, guiding his team towards the win. But, how do you ensure you have the right winning spirit?
Step 1: Use #WINNING Words.
We know sales can be tough. Some days you’re up and others you’re down. One of the biggest keys to cultivating a winning spirit for your team is to continuously use winning words. Though the numbers may be low, it’s about looking ahead. The team may have lost the last three games, but to win, they must look forward and never lose faith in their ability to win. As a sales leader, you should point to the positive and/ or the progress you and your team are making. Be sure to devise a plan to keep your team moving forward.
According to Wayne Goldsmith, a sports coaching consultant, effective motivation is a lifestyle, not a one-off speech or promise of gifts or money. Sure a bonus can go a long way as a motivator, but that prize may be a ways off (e.g., end of the quarter or year). Instead, focus on the positive culture you are creating day-in and day-out to inspire optimism and self-motivation for your team. Do you have 50 yards to go, or do you only have 50 yards to go?
Step 2: Have Skin in the Game.
Let’s get real for a minute. Whether you realize it or not, you already have skin in the game. As a sales leader, your success is directly related (probably wholly dependent) on your team’s success. So instead, the real question is: does your sales team feel like you’re in the game with them? Or, just standing on the sidelines?
How do you lead while also allowing your team to feel like you are one of the team? It’s a fine balance for sure. There are some measures you can take. Ask yourself, “What am I doing to personally communicate my commitment and ambitions to my team?” Some of this may be verbal, but much may also be non-verbal. When your team stays late, do you stay late too? Every company is different; so, think about your organization and the ways in which you may show your team you’re in it with them.
Step 3: Always be #WINNING.
You’re probably thinking, “Sure, easier said than done!” But to always be winning does not mean that you’re always “scoring” great leads. Rather, it’s about taking a winner’s approach to every task. New York Times best-selling author and business coach, Suzanne Evans, said it best with her book, “The Way You Do Anything Is the Way You Do Everything.”
In sales, there are no off-days… no losing moments. The attitude of each of your team members must be to always do every task to the best of their abilities. As the sales leader, you must also recognize that abilities are never equal. Be attuned to the subtle differences between “involved” team members and “committed” team members. An “involved” team member will participate in the task at hand. A “committed” team member will dedicate themselves to the task at hand and seek to perform it at a higher standard than what’s required.
Set small goals for your team. Achieving these smaller targets can provide focus and motivation in their day-to-day operations. Over time, the cumulative effect of setting and achieving these daily goals can be significant and lead to greater success. Consider the Olympics. For Olympic athletes, it’s not every four years; rather, it’s every day (W. Goldsmith).
No, you’re not seeking touchdowns and field goals in the 51st Super Bowl, but you are pursuing leads and new customers. How you get there is entirely up to you. Developing a #WINNING spirit is a must and committing to the relentless pursuit of improvement is also most valuable.
For the Atlanta Falcons, we hope that belief brings a win this Sunday. For your team, we hope that means you’ll venture to learn more about SalesWise’s Business Relationship Intelligence by visiting www.saleswise.com/the-platform/. #RiseUp