Benchmark Business Group

Is your sales team thriving?

May 23, 2019

In the Financial Services industry, the conversation between sales teams and managers is often informal and even casual. We often hear, “We’re a small business, we know what’s happening.” Yet, we find that many financial services professionals are not having the right conversations with their sales team.

Yes, they talk every day, maybe even several times a day, but is it the right conversation?

The conversation is often rushed. Attention is divided. And while some elements are covered, a lot of the needed information is missed or skimmed over. This often leaves the sales team without the support they need and leaves the business missing vital information. It also makes it difficult to take advantage of the knowledge and experience that the sales manager or business owner has that could help the sales team thrive.

We believe there’s a better way to drive the right conversation and create a collaborative environment. Our Inspired Action Series, From Management to Self-Management, provides a framework for establishing effective employee development meetings. Even for small agencies, we highly recommend weekly scheduled one-on-one meetings with each salesperson. To get you started with designing the right conversation in your agency, here are two tips that will help create the right conversation.

  • Hit the right metrics. In sales, there are a lot of numbers that you can go over. And there’s a time and place to dig into the numbers, but on a weekly basis you need to hit the highlights. Typically, the highlights include: did the salesperson have the right activity and did they achieve their results? It’s not uncommon to focus on the results, but skip over discussing the activity. Always start with the activity.

Adjusting the activity will drive results. To change activity, you need to block more time and spend it on prospecting. To change sales skills takes a more in-depth look and often training. You will see results faster if you first make sure activity is at the correct level. Then, work on training the sales skills needed to be even more effective.

  • Focus most of the meeting on what’s coming up, not what’s happened. You can’t change what did or didn’t happen, yet many meetings get stuck talking about the past. Instead, focus on the past only to establish a gap between where they are and where they need to be. The real focus of the meeting should be on closing the gap or getting even further ahead of the goal.

Get right to what’s going to be different. Focus on how this week is going to get us closer to the end results. Don’t forget the first point. Activity levels must be a part of this plan.

Pro Tip: One of the “secrets” to effective meetings is to flip the energy of the meetings UpSideDown, by giving your sales team a structure to take ownership and complete accountability to lead the meeting. Learn more about this method in our Inspired Action Series, From Management to Self-Management.

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