Summary: Creating Sales Stars By Stephan Schiffman
Summary: Creating Sales Stars By Stephan Schiffman

Summary: Creating Sales Stars By Stephan Schiffman

Breaking Through Their Mindset

1.Salespeople today do not see their managers as the same authority figure that past generations did.

2.Many young salespeople today believe that they are qualified to do your job without having had any experience as a manager.

3.Some salespeople see themselves as your “equal”; in fact, their roles are vital to the company, but you still need to demonstrate leadership to change their mindsets and reinforce that you are in charge.

4.You likely have team members who don’t care how their poor performance reflects upon you, which means you need to associate everything with team success and failure.

5.Salespeople who don’t respect authority and won’t adjust their mindsets are welcome to test their theories out at another company.


Getting Them to Buy In

1.Although you shouldn’t have to get buy-in from your team for your company’s product or service, sometimes you have no choice except to find ways to gain their enthusiasm and support.

2.Millennials tend to care much more about the present than the past and the future.

3.Your team needs your support to help them see the future potential of your product or service.

4.Charity can be a terrific way to get buy-in from your team.

5.Your team must emphatically believe that any product or service—no matter how tired or old—can be reinvented, marketed, and sold with success


Convincing Them They Don’t Need Approval for Everything

1.Recognize that your team’s need for approval is not a reflection on you or your ability.

2.Keep the invite list for meetings small and meeting length brief: unless you are brainstorming or soliciting ideas, you are not there to solicit permission or ask for approval.

3.Guard your team from spending too much time in meetings and getting approval from each other.

4.Accept the fact that not every team member will agree with every decision you make.

5.Be confident that you are qualified and capable and have good judgment, even if your staff constantly questions you.


Training, Training, Training!

1.Today’s sales professionals need, want, and crave training even when you may not see the immediate need for it.

2.Bringing everyone together to brainstorm can help you assess the need for training and, if a case has been made, how training should be prioritized.

3.Let employees own specific aspects of the process to demonstrate their real passion for the training session.

4.Demonstrate active listening at all times with your team members.

5.Make sure to acknowledge and thank team members for having contributed to the process of determining what kind of training is needed.


Inspiring Team Spirit and Unity

1.Millennials crave team spirit and unity in order to succeed.

2.Periodically scheduled and organized off-sites and brainstorming sessions can help feed employees’ need for team interaction and collaboration without derailing regular meetings.

3.Contests and scales scoreboards can be great ways to generate friendly competition in the office and unify your team.

4.If two employees are in a dispute, identify which individual is not focused on the vision, mission, and goals and hold that person accountable.

5.To help people of different generations get along, create a chart highlighting each team member’s strengths. Have each person present his or her respective strengths with a real-life sales example.


Assigning Sales Mentors

1.Encourage your Millennial employee to enter a relationship with a mentor.

2.If you have any say in the matter, set up your Millennial with a seasoned salesperson.

3.Allow the employee the space to develop her own goals with her mentor.

4.Try to serve as a “consultant” to the mentor/mentee relationship, but don’t overstep your bounds and interfere—especially when it comes to information the two have shared in confidence.

5.Pay attention to “learnings” from the mentor or mentee that could help you manage the latter better.


Conveying Their Targets

1.Set aggressive sales targets for your team that are doable but won’t “break them.”

2.Present the quotas as early as you possibly can and with believable conviction.

3.If management handed down the quotas, take the time to explain them to the team and give everyone the opportunity to process them and ask questions.

4.Always back up how the targets were created with real data.

5.Constantly remind the team of the quotas and why they are important.


Guiding Them on Prospecting

1.Appointments give you Prospects which give you Sales.

2.E-mail should not be the sole method of customer outreach for appointments.

3.Train your team on cold calling—odds are they have no idea how to do it.

4.Make a contest out of cold calling to show them its merits.

5.Encourage the reps to use e-mail, texting, and social media as follow-ups—but not to replace speaking by phone as a communication method.


Applying the Right Pressure While Appreciating Their Work/Life Balance

1.Work/life balance is critical for Millennials.

2.You need to hire and retain the best people possible, so accommodate work/life balance requests the best you can—even if they impose on you and involve overcoming interdepartmental office politics.

3.Millennials work 24/7 and don’t require an office environment to feel like they are working.

4.If you are able to offer flex and/or off-site privileges to employees, make certain they follow the ground rules at all times—especially being “on call” and adhering to the “calendar.”

5.Like it or not, in order to build a cohesive team when you have a mix of people on-site, off-site, and doing flex hours, you will need to work harder and take extra steps for community building.


Leading by Example

1.Always “walk the walk and talk the talk” when it comes to setting an ethical standard for your team.

2.Millennials have a strong ethical sense, but they won’t tell you where they draw the line.

3.When you are facing murky, gray areas of “truth-telling” in sales, over-explain your strategy to your team upfront and have them help you come up with alternate solutions if they don’t buy into yours.

4.Be transparent with your team at all times; if you aren’t, it becomes nearly impossible to earn their trust.

5.Recognize that your Millennial reps are judging you as much on your ethics as they are on your ability to lead and direct the team.


Teaching Without Preaching

1.Never tell your team stories of the “old days” of sales. They hate them.

2.Recognize that you still have to teach Millennials on occasion—even when they think they know everything.

3.Be careful to avoid seeming to pander to Millennials who are needier than your other team members.

4.Make any and all instruction quick, participatory, and fun.

5.Wherever possible, try to create “teachable moments” on the fly—even if a mistake hasn’t been made. Everyone will appreciate that you saved the team boring meeting time.


Helping Them Make a Good Impression

1.Visible tattoos and piercings should be avoided by your sales team if you want them to look professional and not risk losing sales for a reason within their control.

2.Customers do notice the presentation of your reps and may have hidden biases against certain types of clothing and adornment; professionalism is always the best bet.

3.If your company does not have a dress code, work with your HR department to create one; if it does, enforce it.

4.When it comes to professional appearance, lead by example.

5.In order to get “buy-in” from Millennials with regard to professional appearance, appeal to their sense of loyalty.


Coaxing Them to Do Stuff They Don’t Want to Do

1.To help your sales team focus on the important tasks they don’t want to do (i.e., selling!), start out by finding out why they don’t want to do it.

2.Try the What if exercise to determine the worst-case scenario by allowing your team members to bend or break rules and enable them to do their jobs better.

3.Hire enough sales support staff to handle the clerical/administrative stuff and free up your salespeople to sell.

4.Don’t micromanage your team members—meaning, don’t tell them how to do an action or second-guess them.

5.Provide constructive feedback to support team members’ confidence: praise them in public and in private, but criticize only in private.


Showing Them How to Make a Difference to Their Customers

1.Always strive to help your reps feel like they are making a difference with their customers.

2.Your reps can serve their customers by finding out what they do on any given day, uncovering their pain points, and connecting your product or service with the solutions to those problems.

3.Your reps need to pay attention to their customers at all times and remember everything they say—including details of their personal lives.

4.Reps should always connect with their customers for both the happy occasions (e.g., birth of a child) and the tragic ones (e.g., death of a loved one).

5.If a customer gives your rep an idea for a product or service—or even just an improvement—make sure the rep appropriately acknowledges the contribution and thanks her for it.


Encouraging Them to Make Deals and Close FAST

1.When you need to close sales fast, target the customers who buy most frequently, generate the most revenue, take short-notice appointments, and make deals quickly.

2.Clear as many menial tasks as you can off your team’s plate, so they can focus on bringing in maximum orders when you need them.

3.When approaching a frequent customer, the rep should never start off with “the big pitch,” but rather ask if he has any issues with your products. After that, the rep can solve the problem that same day while offering other products for immediate shipping that fill their other needs or wants.

4.Set up a follow-up “check-in” meeting with your team at the end of the week to see how everyone is progressing toward achieving the target.

5.At the check-in meeting, praise their efforts while having them carefully examine their metrics to identify what is working and what is not; this will help guide the team on how to close the sales gap.


Ensuring That They Feel Appreciated, Respected, and Valued

1.Salespeople will not remain with a company for long if they don’t feel appreciated on a regular basis.

2.Embed appreciation in your department culture by celebrating work anniversaries—whether it’s the first year or twentieth.

3.Showing appreciation doesn’t require spending a lot of money: a $10 gift card or even a handwritten note will suffice.

4.Be spontaneous with compliments—mix up the how, when, and where and do not play favorites among team members.

5.When showing gratitude, try to tell a story about the employee’s accomplishment, as it demonstrates authenticity.


Providing New Opportunities and Future Challenges

1.Make time in your schedule with your direct reports who are meeting or exceeding expectations to share long-term personal and professional goals; this will help shape a development plan.

2.Encourage and facilitate growth areas—even those that might be outside an employee’s job responsibilities.

3.Avoid judging the outcomes of an outside training session attended by an employee.

4.Separate out development opportunities from activities intended to resolve areas of improvement.

5.Empower your employee to share her findings from a recent development activity, but don’t pile on excessive summary-report writing, either.