My sales team is flat and de-motivated. Got any inspiration?
When a sales team is flat this is usually a symptom of flat leadership and lack of support.
The team members are not engaged and more than likely not getting the sales results and feeling devalued as a consequence.
The first thing you need to do is get the team to buy-in to their role and the unique ways they contribute to the business. This is achieved by setting-up a collaborative session that allows all team member to voice their opinions on the team's performance and to put all the concerns, issues and challenges each person is facing on the table. Often this is not a pleasant exercise, but like lancing a boil, the initial pain is nothing compared to the pain of letting the situation go untreated.
Once all the juicy problems are on the table - this allows you to treat them accordingly and put a plan in place to move the team forward. In most cases, team members simply want to be heard and appreciated. They also need to know that their leader cares enough about them to listen and take on board constructive feedback. If you are asking for your team to take on constructive criticism you also need to demonstrate this ability yourself.
Sacking the sales manager is a quick solution to this problem; however all this does is removes a symptom without addressing core issues relating to the team and company culture. As a consequence the next sales manager is set-up to fail by taking on a new role and probably not knowing much about the past other that what the sales team is comfortable revealing, or worse just the negative elements.
There is an abundance of creativity in our world. Humanity is replete with inspirational people who have enormous value to contribute in their own ways - yet most are never seen or heard. As a collective society, we seldom encourage others to take a path of innovation because it's untested, risky, and breaks convention and related reputations.
Most of us are trained to do things based on what's already been done, and that's ok, but being led to believe it's the best and only way- isn't. I'm here to say, there's always a higher and more powerful way if you dare to jump off the cliff of ‘certainty' into the unknown realms of ‘possibility.'
Next time you're in a team meeting and a colleague offers an ambitious idea -before you shoot them down in flames, take a moment or two to put some creative thinking around their suggestion. I encourage ‘you' to encourage a team culture that supports, not only each other, but the development of bold and ambitious goals.
You don't need to have your head in the clouds all the time, but being on the ground all day doesn't serve you either. You need to have a balance, foresight and vision and see things from a higher perspective. This is the only way you will rise above ‘what is' and see the path that leads to ‘what can be!'
What holds many people back in life is their unwillingness to share more of themselves and their value to others - because they don't feel safe enough. These people feel they are not good enough and fear being judged as a consequence. So, it's up to you to inspire them and others like them so they can see more, feel more, and be more in life.
Why is it up to you? Because you're a leader and that's what real leaders do!