Empower Sales People to Sell More
Sales People Sell More
It is often more difficult than anyone can imagine, for Entrepreneurs and Sales Leaders to empower Sales People to sell more. On the one hand, their business is so personal to them and they are so emotionally connected to the business, they are often unsure that any Sales person can either make a decision or complete any task as well as they can. On the other hand sales people often need more confidence or the opportunity to learn so that they can be empowered and make the decisions or carry out the tasks necessary to do their job more effectively. This lack of empowerment usually results in sales Leaders working ‘in’ the business rather than ‘on’ the business, which inevitably then leads to slower growth. This can be avoided by seven simple steps as follows:
1) Roles & Responsibilities.
If you want Sales People to sell more they need to know where they fit in and what their purpose is within the business and sales team. Use the RACI model to explain who is Responsible for doing the work, who is Accountable for making sure the work is done, who needs to be Consulted before you start the work and who needs to be Informed after the work is complete.
2) Establish Boundaries.
Sales People are more comfortable making decisions when they know what the boundaries are. Boundaries also let sales people know exactly how far they can go before they need to check back with management.
Communication is the key to empowerment, so at least initially, you will need an open door policy as Sales People “find” their feet and they check back with you for reassurance, however this will gradually tail off as confidence grows.
4) Don’t tell, ask.
Involve Sales People in the initial decisions and ask for their thoughts and ideas. Furthermore if Sales People come back with questions do not give them the answer, simply ask more questions to help them decide for themselves the best way forward.
5) Allow Sales People to Fail.
Failure is rarely fatal and more often than not, failure is the best way to learn. Help by debriefing sales people on what went wrong, and help them learn from their mistakes.
6) Coach them.
Empowerment is a journey which depending on the starting point will take some Sales People longer than others. Coach and support your Sales People along the journey to keep them on board.
7) Provide a backstop.
Empower should not be a sink or swim exercise, where Sales People become overwhelmed. Providing a backstop or safety net will give Sales People the confidence to try, and trying is a great habit that you want people to adopt.
If any business is to grow then Entrepreneurs, Leaders and Managers need to give up control and empower their Sales People to sell more. Sales People who are not empowered sit around waiting on directions rather than use their initiative and do something themselves. Sales People who are not empowered keep themselves busy with low value tasks, while they wait for permission to do meaningful work that impacts the business. The best example of how this can damage a business was a Business Owner who believed he was the only person good enough to deliver presentations and close any deals on the software he had created. The sales people never closed any deals, because they never were allowed to give any presentations. The business owner was busy 8 hours a week, but the business never grew. No business can grow effectively without empowered sales people.
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