How should an entrepreneur manage the pressure on the sales team to help them perform better?
We are living in a pandemic. While I write this I don’t know whether I will be fine tomorrow or not — The uncertainty is a silent killer. And on top of that entrepreneurs have to make sure that there is enough revenue/profit to keep the organizations afloat while taking care of their employees. But good leaders know “In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity”.
I have seen leaders who would use the “old school way” of managing the sales team — pressure tactics. And I have seen the ones who empower you — In both cases, results are achieved. But the sales team always goes an extra mile for the leader that respects you. So if you are an entrepreneur what should do?
Be the mouthpiece of your sales team and start talking to your customers. This is time the customers and the sales team would need more of you.
Set targets for the sales team that are reasonable and needed for the organization to survive (not grow).
Talk to the sales team frequently. Ask them about their well-being before order status.
Analyze the performance of the sales team on a regular basis. Give more time to the underperformers.
Relook at your market segmentation — try shuffling the sales team — The rejection is at its worst at the moment so the sales team needs some out-of-the-box thinking.
Get authentic customer’s budget/spend data and rework the sales strategy if needed. These times need us to be flexible and accommodative and that's what a good leader would do, and not wait for the financial year to end to make a decision.
The sales team needs a support system, especially in these times of economic crisis. As a CEO the best you can do is review teams (multiple people responsible for the same deal) so that the stress gets distributed and am sure you will see a miraculous result.
I have seen the kind of motivation a CEO/Entrepreneur can create by just communicating effectively. Most people in the sales team are self-motivated — and the magic the leadership team can create even by writing a single-liner email a day is humongous. As Bob Burg says “All things being equal, people will do business with, and refer business to, those people they know, like, and trust.” As a philanthropic leader help your sales team members to be those people and I bet you will never see a challenge in reaching your revenue goals.