“The most damaging phrase in the language is ‘We’ve always done it this way!’” ~ Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, 1987
Laziness and complacency. The first one may sound far worse than the second, but they are one and the same when sales leaders fail to motivate their teams. When it comes to sales success, inertia will be your greatest enemy.
The benefits of a highly motivated — and highly successful — sales team should be self-evident. Yet, many sales leaders treat “middle of the road” as an acceptable benchmarks. Others get blinded by temporary success, thinking no improvement is needed. Any small success should be treated as an opportunity for further success. Even Warren Buffett advises for those chasing growth to be “greedy when others are fearful.”
Yet, too many sales leaders let opportunities to push forward dry up, making everyone in the organization suffer. So the next time you think a period of average or even above-average performance should lead you to rest on your laurels, consider the following sales enablement concepts:
Periods of Sales Success Are Your Best Opportunities for Growth
The economic concept of “opportunity costs” tries to measure the things you are giving up when you choose one action over the other. Ironically, when a sales team is at their peak performance, they have more opportunity costs than ever before.
Why? Because just as periods of austerity cause a company to constrict — shedding jobs, programs and averting risk — periods of success can cause a company to grow. New ventures can be put in place that allow a company to expand geographically or within its product offerings. Additional infrastructure can be put in place, such as new employees or new technology investments. New incentives and rewards can allow employees to share in the wealth of the company. New learning opportunities can improve effectiveness across the board.
Since an organization’s spearhead is its sales, sales teams can control the tempo of this growth. Periods of unexpected earnings can mean saying “yes” to more things, like more vacation time or to implementing team building programs that can boost morale and positivity.
High earnings can also provide benefits to fiscally conservative companies, which can pad out their war chest to weather slow periods without having to make unpopular cuts.
Something Working Well Now Can Still Work Better
Another excuse often given when opportunities for improvement present themselves are that “such-and-such is not absolutely needed since we are currently doing fine.” This type of lazy, complacent thinking holds companies back from the benefits listed above while generally shooing away opportunities to make your sales staff happier and more effective.
Carol Dweck, author of the landmark book Mindset, once studied the traits that differed between “good” companies and “great” ones. During this research, she noted that leaders of thriving companies “were self-effacing people who constantly asked questions and had the ability to confront the most brutal answers. [...]They have the growth mindset. They believe in human development. [...]They look squarely at their own mistakes and deficiencies, and they ask frankly what skills they and the company will need in the future. And because of this, they can move forward with confidence that’s grounded in the facts, not built on fantasies of their talent."
You can always be more successful. Your sales team can always learn and grow. They can always find ways to make your prospects more excited about your solutions, leading to stronger relationships with accounts in the long run.
Sales leaders closing their minds off to new technologies, new techniques and general learning during periods of success can actually hurt their company in the long run. Staying put means foregoing the chance to advance, and staying fixed means eventually getting stuck behind the times.
Instead, sales leaders must be willing to be open-minded and innovative.
Empower Your Team with Technology
Your team can make sales staff and client leads alike happier by investing in different video software tools that can alleviate many pain points for your sales people. Like losing a deal because they couldnt reach their prospect until after their competitor did. Our sales team uses our video software tool (2Win! Bridge) which allows them to send motivating and personalized sales video content to client leads while monitoring their activity and intuitively leading leads to the next stage of the sales process.
As more sales teams embrace video content to help them achieve success, the need for a controlled, sales-focused video platform will only grow.