We are amidst a very exciting time where work life and work culture paradigms are undergoing a phenomenal shift. For some, these changes are challenging, for others, they are not limited to just being challenging but educational as well. The latter segment of people are the ones that can be categorised as the resilient folks. Teams consisting of such members are advantageous to organisations with their never-say-die attitude and perseverance. With this outlook, they are not only improving the organisational productivity but also enhancing personal attributes of themselves and those around them.
However, with a wavering economy, growing pressure and many other reasons, it is very easy for any team’s resilience to erode. However, it is important to note that resilience encourages confidence; confidence gives way to success and success builds confidence. This interloop can be imparted to a sales workforce which is the backbone of any organisation.
Unfortunately, the salespeople are some of the most dejected professionals in the talent force due to high pressure and need to create profits. To let the matter sink, around 73% of professionals consider sales as one of the most stressful jobs. The stress brings a crack even in the most talented of salespersons.
The dejection is mainly due to the lack of an organised work methodology that often leads to miscommunication and opaque processes. It is important to clear the clutter for the sales professionals so that they can boost their performance, and in turn, increase their confidence and resilience.
How do we achieve this organised transparency? Informed Decisions.
Data-driven decisions are the best strategies for the sales team as they help
- Assess and analyse sales strategies.
- Nitpick the recurrent mistakes and eliminate them.
- Be more process-oriented instead of going by the book.
Let us incorporate data-driven processing in all the elements of the sales procedure and try to understand how it helps build a self-resilient sales team.
Set Individual and Group Goals
The first step to a confident team is to ensure that its individual member is confident about his abilities. Chart out a clear goal for your employee and help him achieve that, with personal as well as a professional development plan. Furthermore, empower him with up to date training programs and tools that help him stay abreast of the project in concern.
Such individual professional goals can be defined by Key Performance Indicators and therefore, be used for assessment and evaluation of their performance as part of a closed feedback loop.
Implement these practices on a large scale for a highly trained team and connect a seamless communication platform that will allow the members of the sales to interact with each other for greater productivity.
Build Positive Work Culture
A confident and resilient team has the ‘can-do’ attitude which penetrates into the work atmosphere and creates a positive culture. Resilience leads to optimism and optimism gives way to a better attitude.
Build a Process For Decision Making
We now know that informed decision is at the crux of a successful sales strategy. But, how we do arrive at it? In simple words, by building a process which is reinforced by data, decision-making will guide as well as inspire sales professionals to execute their tasks effectively.
Even our Captain Cool, M.S Dhoni lays special emphasis on being process-oriented. His mantra is to focus on preparation, take care of every little detail and figure out the knots that lay in-between before jumping to the final product. This is a detailed approach to problem-solving which also adds a learning curve.
A Well Defined Process + Transparency = Work Nirvana
In the corporate world, by building a process, companies do not merely pass an instructional manual but focus on the ‘why’ of the entire sales strategy. The ‘why’ quotient becomes a critical factor that motivates professionals to keep going even under the duress of fluctuating economy and volatile regulations.
A well-defined process for decision-making is half the battle won and it should be implemented in the following steps:
Step 1: Identification of the Root Cause
In order to achieve targets and convert leads, sales professionals often overlook the nagging problem that is hindering the entire process. They seek an alternative or completely bypass it in order to focus on raising profits. In the hustle, the root cause gets hidden under layers of negation and becomes a pea under the mattress.
The solution lies in creating a transparent platform that keeps tabs on all the activities within the sales process and figures out knots that might be disrupting the workflow. This way, the organisation can make informed choices and function accordingly. A digital sales interface that tracks the activity from A-Z is perfect for identifying the root cause to unlock potential and add a layer of resilience to the salespeople.
Step 2: Corrective Actions
Now that we have zeroed in on the root cause, the next step is to deploy corrective actions to resolve it. Sales professionals need to track their activities right from the initial stages and implement the corrective measures to counter the root problem.
For instance, if the sales professional missed out on any information about the client, he can retrace his steps back to the problem and resolve it then and there to nip the problem at the bud. Since these corrective actions resolve the issue in real-time, it smoothens the entire process and builds the team’s confidence and resilience.
Step 3: Evaluation: Positive and Negative Instances
Evaluate the corrective actions and check whether they were the right path for problem-solving. Consider the process to be a test and the steps that salespeople undertake to perform these tasks are subject to evaluation. For example, if the research on clients scored more than the pitch, the professional can pay special attention to his shortcomings.
A virtual tool can be handy to track these activities and display results that point out the good as well as the non-satisfactory properties of the salesperson. With scope to rectify their mistakes, team members can now grow into better professionals who are confident in their abilities and determined to achieve their goals.
Step 4: Identification of Early Symptoms
Analysing each and every step helps determine where one might have gone wrong. By placing automated alerts, the system can pinpoint the tell-tale signs leading to a negative conclusion and set triggers to enable preventive actions.
For instance, an intuitive system can assess the data that is being entered and tally it against the given information about the client or the sales strategies to check for the one wrong step and alert the user.
This way, managers can plan their course of action and create a safety mesh that will allow the sales professionals to execute their tasks in peace.
Step 5: Preventive Measures
A smart team is a prepared team. Now that the intuitive systems are able to predict the right and wrong processes, the sales team will now be armed with pre-planned preventive measures which will help save time and improve productivity.
As a stitch in time saves nine, preventive measures in sales strategies will plug as many loopholes as possible and allow the sales team to undertake their tasks without glitches. A smooth workflow will dramatically improve the professional’s self-belief and make the entire team more resilient against adversities.
Step 6: Keep Track
Excellence is a continuous process and in order to achieve a commendable result, staying abreast of every tiny detail with respect to process/strategy is very important to maintain quality work.
Keeping a track also builds in responsibility and accountability within the team members who can now assess their actions and enhance the good parts while working on the shortcomings. This makes the team holistically capable where they are ready to take on any challenge thrown at them.
Inspiration and Success Stories
While a defined process is important for building a talented and resilient team, it is equally important to take note of the success stories and encourage them. With the data in available automated systems, it is easy to assess the performance of each sales professional and celebrate a job well done.
This can also act as a guide for those starting out or looking for means to improve their results and achieve their targets. The assessment can be a repository of key takeaways and also be a shining beacon for others to know that they too can achieve such goals.
Today’s corporate world is no less than a battleground and requires a warrior-like resilience of the team members to approach the situation head-on and keep going. Interestingly, sales technology is a great enabler of streamlining the processes and bringing all the stakeholders together to simplify sales strategies and increasing competence.
From managers to the on-field sales professionals, building team resilience is a collective process which has the scope for continuous improvement and growth.
What are your thoughts about team resilience? Is it more of a leadership approach or something that should be ingrained in the team members, or maybe a healthy mix of both?
What has worked for you? Let us know!