From today’s mailbag: “How do I get my sales team to care about metrics that they are not incented for, but I am?”
Carson: The short answer: by finding out what they do care about (often their careers and success) and showing them how that equates to all-around success.
Absolutely, we are incented based on a myriad of factors. Often, we as leaders are judged by key metrics in addition to just raw widgets and revenue. However, sometimes these metrics are not extended to our sales teams. When that happens, and they are earning commission and bonuses based on one factor or two (often money and total sales based), we have to find ways to get them to perform in these areas.
The mistake many bosses make is that they think telling their team, “Sell more of this or that” will do the trick! They think that writing people up for not selling these components will work. In other words, they forget the first rules of people management: that the only things that matter are people and process!
You’ve got to get your people to care about the big picture. You’ve got to develop a process to get the metrics you desire. You’ve got to sell them on selling these metrics that matter to you.
The way to make the metrics matter to them can be achieved in a few different ways. When you know your team, you find out their motivation. Some people want to move up in the company; they want to be of value to the company and they wish to be successful. When you’re lucky enough to have people like this, they will often want to stand out in these areas when they understand senior leadership is watching those who do. Also, when you can show these folks that overachieving pays off with promotions or you can run contests to give financial rewards of some sort behind these metrics, you can make them care about something they would not care about otherwise.
Another key way is just visibility of the metric. By showing that people are achieving in this metric and by making performance in the metric common knowledge regularly, people can see that some are achieving and some are not. This can move some to try harder….
… and this can also serve to show you with whom you must work to eliminate objections of selling the product! Take best practices from your top achievers and share them with the group. Spend time with the bottom achievers and find out what reasons or objections or excuses they are using to avoid selling the metric. Develop plans with them to improve their process. Hold them accountable to follow those plans!
Certainly, you cannot force someone or anyone to care about a metric they aren’t compensated for. But what you can do is formulate a process together that your employee commits to following. If they do, you will find success. If they don’t, you know what to do.
Always: With people and process as your priorities, results – in ANY metric – WILL fall into place.
Carson V. Heady posts for “Consult Carson” serving as the “Dear Abby” of sales and sales leadership. You may post any question that puzzles you regarding sales and sales leadership careers: interviewing, the sales process, advancing and achieving. You will also be directly contributing to his third book, “A Salesman Forever.”
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Carson V. Heady has written a book entitled “Birth of a Salesman” that has a unique spin that shows you proven sales principles designed to birth in you the top producer you were born to be.
If you would like to strengthen your sales skills, go to http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ICRVMI2/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_yGXKtb0G28TWF