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As a sales team manager or salesperson, you are constantly concerned about improving your sales performance and increasing your bottom line. However, when you approach sales from an “I have a product for you” perspective, you miss the opportunity to solve your customer’s pain.

Rock stars don’t sell albums, they don’t sell concert tickets, they don’t even sell music. Rock stars sell emotions. They sell an escape from the grind of everyday life. People need a break from their daily lives and their responsibilities. Music allows them to forget about their problems, even if just for a few minutes.

So what are you actually selling? And how do you make the most out of a solution-focused sales strategy?

What problems do you solve?

Let’s use cars as an example. Almost everyone has had to purchase a car at some point in their life. Have you ever walked into a dealership and been offered a large hunk of steel? No. Car salespeople know that drivers have pains that they can cure. Such as:

  • No one likes to take the bus because it takes a long time and doesn’t work with your individual schedule. They provide convenience and the ability to travel whenever and wherever you’d like.
  • People are concerned with the wellbeing of their loved ones and themselves. They sell peace of mind and safety in the case of an accident.
  • Some people see their car as an extension of their personal brand. They sell social status.

What problems do you solve?

In order to answer this question, you must first talk to your clients to determine what problems they have. Once you understand the pain points they experience, you can offer the solution.

3 Tips for making the most out of your solution-focused sales

1) Listen to your customers: You can’t solve a problem you don’t understand. Take the time to speak with your prospects about the issues they are facing and most importantly… listen! Take notes of how they explain their struggles and what they are hoping for in terms of a resolution.

Marvelless Mark® suggests that in order to cultivate loyal fans or customers you need to develop an in-depth knowledge of your fans, first as a demographic, and then as people.

2) Use your marketing materials and communication opportunities to show that you understand their pain points. Whether you are writing an email, creating copy for a brochure, or sitting across the table from a potential client, show them you understand and sympathize with their challenges by using their own language. When done properly, potential customers will think “They really understand my problems and I think they can resolve them.”

3) Highlight how you are different from other solutions. No matter what pain points you solve, there are probably other companies and other products out there that claim to do the same thing. If your client’s issue is thirst, you could offer them water, however, there are sports drinks, colas, juices, flavored waters, etc. that could potentially all do the same thing. What makes you different? What makes you better? Understanding your unique value proposition or unique selling proposition will go a long way to overcoming objections and differentiating yourself from the pack.

“You do not merely want to be considered just the best of the best. You want to be considered the only ones who do what you do.” – Jerry Garcia

Solution-focused sales will help you identify your customer’s pain points and then provide them with a product or service that eliminates (or at the very least minimizes) their problems. If you truly want to be a rock star in sales, you must sell solutions, not products.

Mark Kamp® aka Marvelless Mark® works with organizations who want their teams to achieve immediate rock star results. A Keynote Speaker/Entertainer/Author, Husband, Father, and child of God, his primary message, “Opportunity Rocks®” gives attendees a fresh new perspective on Sales, Marketing, and Employee Performance. Fun and engaging, Mark combines the success secrets of your favorite rock stars with just the right amount of entertainment to transform your employees into business rockstars. Learn more at www.OpportunityRocks.net.

 

 

Often times, when we seek to improve our team’s sales performance, we focus on ways to attract more customers. While it’s important to bring in new customers, one of the best ways to increase your sales performance is to keep your existing customers happy.

Rock stars are constantly cultivating their relationships with their fans. It doesn’t mean that they don’t strive to attract new fans, but rather that it’s important to nurture the people that already love you.

How do you improve your customer service so you can improve your bottom line? Adopt a customer-focused culture.

Marvelless Mark® tells his clients that rock ‘n’ roll stardom, much like any other business, is built on brand loyalty. He calls this “Vitamin F” and tells his clients that without fans you won’t have stardom.

Develop your Buyer Personas

In order to serve your customers, you need to understand who they are and what they want from your company. The more you understand about them, the better you can be at tweaking your product or services to cure their pains.

Rock stars know who they are singing to and it helps them understand what the fans are looking for in an album or a performance. Have you ever listened to a song and felt as if they were speaking directly to you? Understanding your customers will help you “speak” directly to them, making them feel special, heard, and in need of your service.

Give them what they need, not what you want

Train your sales team to understand that the sale isn’t about them… it’s about the customer. In order to meet their needs, members of your sales team should be listening more than they are talking. When they can more clearly identify and understand the customer’s problems, they can find more appropriate solutions.

“People say we are marketing geniuses, all we do is listen to our fans.” – Gene Simmons

Include customer service metrics

You already know this but it bears repeating: Happy customers will come back and send you referrals. Unhappy customers will never darken your doorstep again and they’ll let all of their friends know how you wronged them.

Include customer service in the metrics that you focus on. This can include:

  • Customer satisfaction
  • Average Reply Time
  • Average Time to Resolution
  • Resolution Rate
  • and many more.

When you already have a relationship with a customer and have already established trust, sales become easier. Loyal fans pay your salary when they buy what you sell, and they keep you and your business going by spreading the word.

Reward customer service above sales

Successes should be celebrated, however, they shouldn’t just revolve around sales quotas. Did one of your team members receive a touching Thank You letter? Has a customer or client reached out to say how impressed they were with their experience?

When you celebrate the customer service wins along with reaching sales goals, you communicate to your team that treating the customer well is more important than closing a sale and then dropping off the face of the planet.

Continue communication beyond the sale

Your customer may have been pleased with the service, but will they ever hear from you again? Following up after a sale provides you with the opportunity to foster a relationship, learn more about their needs, and eventually offer future products or services.

“Real musicians and real fans stay together for a long, long time.” – Bonnie Raitt

Cultivating a customer-focused culture will help you develop devoted, enthusiastic fans who will sing your praises and ensure that you’re team doesn’t become a One Hit Wonder.

Mark Kamp® aka Marvelless Mark® works with organizations who want their teams to achieve immediate rock star results. A Keynote Speaker/Entertainer/Author, Husband, Father, and child of God, his primary message, “Opportunity Rocks®” gives attendees a fresh new perspective on Sales, Marketing, and Employee Performance. Fun and engaging, Mark combines the success secrets of your favorite rock stars with just the right amount of entertainment to transform your employees into business rockstars. Learn more at www.OpportunityRocks.net.

It stands to reason that when you are looking to improve your team’s sales performance, it would be helpful to have more prospects. Yes, cold calling is always an option… but it’s a painful option.

Think about it. Rock stars don’t pick up the phone and randomly call people to buy their albums. They get out into the world, playing gigs, doing interviews, and meeting the fans. The same goes for your business. The best way to meet more potential clients, and more potential brand advocates, is to network.

“Fans are my favorite thing in the world. I’ve never been the type of artist who has that line drawn between their friends and their fans. The line’s always been really blurred for me.” – Taylor Swift

But your sales team is tired, and after a long day at work, they just want to go home and be with their families. How do you convince them that networking will help them reach their goals? Here is a guide to discussing networking with your sales team.

Why Does Networking Work

You’ve probably heard the old adage “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” This couldn’t be any truer. The more “connected” we are through social media and electronic means, the more we yearn for actual human interaction. Networking provides the following benefits to  salespeople:

1) New business either directly with your networking contacts or through referrals.

2) Connections to people that you wouldn’t normally have access to.

3) Learn new skills. Whether you connect with a new mentor or learn best practices from someone in a similar position, you can really rock your sales.

4) Improve self-esteem by stepping out of your comfort zone and speaking to people you wouldn’t normally speak to. This will boost your confidence for making those dreaded cold calls, and making sales presentations to interested potential customers.

5) Create friendships. While the end goal may be to connect with potential clients or customers, you never know when you’ll actually be connecting with potential friends.

5 Tips to Network Right

Now that you’ve convinced your employees that networking will improve their sales and help them reach their goals, it’s time to provide some tips for your sales team to make the most out of their networking time.

Listen more than you speak

Some people feel the need to fill periods of silence and some just talk when they’re nervous. But speaking more than you listen is a sure way to bomb at your next networking event. When you listen, you learn about the other person and what pains they are experiencing, not to mention what clientele they come into contact with on a daily basis. You’ll learn if you’re talking to your ideal client, or if they have access to them.

Connect on a human level

If you approach someone as a salesperson, the only impression you’ll make is “annoying.” If you connect with them on common interests or experiences, you will be remembered as likable and friendly. This opens the door to sales and referrals at a later date.

Ask what you can do for them

It’s always better to give than to receive. Ask the person who they’d like to be introduced to. Who is their ideal client? How can you help them to increase their business? The more helpful you are, the more likely they will be to refer you at a future date.

Tell them specifically how they can help you

If you’ve taken the first 3 tips to heart, the person you’re speaking with will likely ask how they can help you. The easier you make it for them, the more likely they will be to identify and introduce your ideal client. Be specific. What industry do you prefer to work with? Demographic? Problem that you solve? Marvelless Mark® tells his clients that you need to be able to answer the key question: “Who wants what we have to offer?”

Follow Up

You’ve made a great connection at an event. Now what? Instead of just drowning in business cards and considering it a success, email or call the people you’d like to get to know and invite them out for coffee. The stronger the relationship you build, the more help you can be to them and the more likely they’ll be to help you with your business.

When done properly, networking is one of the best ways for your sales team to meet their goals, increase their sales performance, and reach the rock star results you’re looking for. Stop selling and start building relationships.

Mark Kamp® aka Marvelless Mark® works with organizations who want their teams to achieve immediate rock star results. A Keynote Speaker/Entertainer/Author, Husband, Father, and child of God, his primary message, “Opportunity Rocks®” gives attendees a fresh new perspective on Sales, Marketing, and Employee Performance. Fun and engaging, Mark combines the success secrets of your favorite rock stars with just the right amount of entertainment to transform your employees into business rockstars. Learn more at www.OpportunityRocks.net.

In order to improve your team’s sales performance, you need to examine what is and is not working well and communicate that to your employees.

In the music world, feedback can cause an epic fail during a gig. In the business world, feedback takes on an entirely different meaning. Providing useful critiques of your employee’s performance can mean the difference between your band reaching the top of the charts, or never releasing a single.

How to Provide Feedback

Providing feedback, however, is often a sensitive and emotionally difficult conversation. If you truly want your employees to reach their full rock star potential, it’s also a necessary conversation.

Here are some tips to help you approach this conversation with confidence and ensure that the outcome is positive.

Show respect

The most basic rule of engagement is that you bring the love you want to receive. That means making eye contact, smiling and engaging, and asking questions (and then listening to the answers!).

Begin with a compliment

It may seem counterintuitive, especially when your employee isn’t reaching their sales goals. However, when you open the conversation by focusing on something your team member is doing right, you pave the way for a more productive meeting. When you dive into what they are doing wrong your employee will likely throw up their defensive walls and nothing you say will register.

Ask how they think they’re doing

Often times, an employee knows that they aren’t quite cutting it. In fact, they are probably much harder on themselves than you would ever be. There can be many reasons for this and asking them about their performance gives them the opportunity to express challenges that you may not otherwise know about. You might find out that they are experiencing difficulties in their personal life, that they aren’t comfortable with their role and need more training, or that they have no passion for what they’re doing but would be a better fit in a different position or department.

Inspire excitement and energy

Being a rock star at work means having passion, vigor, and enthusiasm. This means you! You can’t expect your sales team to be energized about their jobs if you have a negative attitude. This lack of enthusiasm will spill over to your team spelling disaster for your sales goals.

Marvelless Mark® tells his clients that “Rockstar energy is a well of inspiration and a source of drive. It is also the ability to share that power with others; it’s highly infectious, it spreads like wildfire, and it makes amazing things happen.”

“Once you get that two-way energy thing going, everyone benefits hugely.” – James Taylor

Ask for feedback

The hard truth is that sometimes, employees weaknesses are a reflection of management. In order for your employee to step up their game, you may need to step up yours. The only way to improve is by asking your band members for feedback.

Be honest

Yes, you want to be tactful. But if you aren’t honest and straightforward, your employee may not understand what they are doing wrong and what they can do to improve it. By being open and honest about their performance, you improve the chances that they will learn from the conversation and make the necessary changes.

Provide the opportunity for improvement

Instead of pointing out what your employee did wrong, reframe the feedback into what they can do better. Be specific about behaviors that need improvement rather than making sweeping statements about their characters. Behaviors can be changed. When giving feedback, always remember to end looking to the future. “The past is behind us and the future lies ahead.” – Former VP Dan Quale.

Making regular a feedback a part of your sales culture will go a long way to improving your employee’s performance and helping them create hit after hit. As the bandleader, it is up to you to feed everyone’s commitment to the vision, get everyone working every day to hone your chops, and write songs you believe in.

“You learn from a conglomeration of the incredible past – whatever experience gotten in any way whatsoever.” Bob Dylan

Mark Kamp® aka Marvelless Mark® works with organizations who want their teams to achieve immediate rock star results. A Keynote Speaker/Entertainer/Author, Husband, Father, and child of God, his primary message, “Opportunity Rocks®” gives attendees a fresh new perspective on Sales, Marketing, and Employee Performance. Fun and engaging, Mark combines the success secrets of your favorite rock stars with just the right amount of entertainment to transform your employees into business rockstars. Learn more at www.OpportunityRocks.net.

All the goal setting, networking, feedback, and sales metrics in the world won’t help improve your sales performance if your team members don’t have the skills and education necessary to do their jobs.

Now that’s not saying that you shouldn’t use each and every one of these methods to bring out the inner rock stars of your team members, but in order to ensure that your sales team meets your expectations, you must first give them the tools they need to do so.

You wouldn’t expect a band member to hop on stage and show up Jimi Hendrix on the guitar if they’ve never learned how to play. So why would you expect it from your sales team? Read on to learn tips and tricks to properly train your employees whether they are new to your team or have been there for a long time.

Utilize in-person training and online training

There are many methods for delivering training materials and depending on their learning style, your employees may respond better to one than the other. Incorporating both in-person and online methods will ensure that you reach each one of your employees and can help them improve their sales performance and reach their goals.

Encourage hands-on training

Can you learn to play guitar without ever picking up a guitar?

Most often, learning by doing helps individuals make the most of their training experience and internalize the lessons presented. However, learning by doing wrong doesn’t help in the long-run. Make sure that you work very closely with your employees so that they learn the proper way to contact potential clients, present the information, ask for the sale, handle objections, and follow up with customers.

Only train employees for their specific job

When you start a band, you don’t ask the drummer to learn how to play bass.

Depending on how your department is set up, each salesperson may not perform every function throughout a sales cycle. If this is the case for your team, train them on the necessary skills to perform their job and really focus in on perfecting those skills rather than giving them a blanket training.

Provide mentorship from senior or top-ranking sales agents

Chances are that you’ve got a few sales people who stand out above the rest. They have a great deal of knowledge that can help your newer team members thrive in their positions. Organize formal mentoring relationships, or provide the opportunity for those who are crushing their goals, to address the team during meetings and guide them to better skills and best practices.

“The greatest education in the world is watching the masters at work.” – Michael Jackson

Bring in an outside perspective

Sometimes, no matter how knowledgeable your employees are, the team needs to hear advice from an outside source. A professional speaker or trainer provides not only education but motivation and can bring out the best in your team and help them reach new levels of success. Marvelless Mark® tells his clients that before you can party like a rock star, you must first learn to perform like a rock star.

There is nothing more frustrating than being asked to do a job that you aren’t trained to do. Avoid setting up your sales team for failure and instead invest in educating them to reach their goals and unleash their inner rock star.

 

Mark Kamp® aka Marvelless Mark® works with organizations who want their teams to achieve immediate rock star results. A Keynote Speaker/Entertainer/Author, Husband, Father, and child of God, his primary message, “Opportunity Rocks®” gives attendees a fresh new perspective on Sales, Marketing, and Employee Performance. Fun and engaging, Mark combines the success secrets of your favorite rock stars with just the right amount of entertainment to transform your employees into business rockstars. Learn more at www.OpportunityRocks.net.

You’re hosting meetings with your team to improve sales performance, but they never go quite as planned. Time runs over, attendees are focused elsewhere, and there’s always that one employee who hijacks the meeting. You’re beginning to think that sales meetings are just a waste of time.

When meetings are executed properly, they’ll help foster rock star results from all of your employees.

What Sales Meetings Accomplish

Sales meetings are an excellent way to stay on top of your sales team’s performance. They are like creative jam sessions. In addition to keeping you aware of their goals, meetings also:

  • Create a safe space to communicate issues: Give employees the opportunity to air grievances and rather than defending your position, just listen. “We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.” – Bill Gates
  • Identify where changes need to be made: If you wait until quarterly numbers are in, you may waste time with practices and procedures that don’t work. Checking in regularly will help you identify and fix these issues before they make a dent in your sales performance.
  • Teach sales skills and best practices: Continuing education should be a part of every sales team.
  • Change perspective: Bring in employees from other departments, customers willing to share their experience, or experts to dive into specific topics. This will help create mini-mastermind groups and identify vulnerabilities and solutions faster. After all, none of us are as smart as all of us.
  • Celebrate successes and failures: Meetings are the perfect time to highlight employees meeting their goals, and stepping out of their comfort zones for the good of the company.
  • Encourage your employees to work as a team: Your sales team is like a band and in order to make beautiful music, they need to learn to play together. As Robert Plant once said: “I owe everything to the musicians I work with.”

How to Have an Effective Sales Meeting

The benefits of sales meetings far outweigh the negatives. These tips will help you make the most of your time.

Schedule Regular Meetings

When you call an impromptu meeting, it can throw your employee’s schedules off kilter and cause resentment among the team. Even worse, employees often feel like they’re being called into the principal’s office and that they did something wrong or are about to get bad news. This puts people in defense mode. No way to start a meeting.

Create an Agenda

When a band plays a gig, they have a set list ahead of time. This gives them the opportunity to practice and prepare for the performance. When you create an agenda and distribute it to your team in advance of the meeting, they know what to expect and can come prepared with any numbers, concerns, or questions that pertain to the meeting.

Be Clear About Your Purpose

When you plan and execute your meeting, stick to under 3 major points for discussion. Any more than that and your message will get diluted, your employees will get confused, and any calls to action will be ignored.

Stick to the Schedule

Set a non-negotiable start time and a hard end time for the meeting. Your employees are busy people and no one needs to lose an afternoon to a sales meeting that’s gone rogue.

Don’t Allow Solos

You are probably already thinking about the guilty employee. They monopolize the floor, go off on tangents, and don’t let other employees, or you for that matter, get a word in edgewise. One way to handle this is to provide “Tangent Flags” to meeting attendees. If someone hijacks the meeting, anyone in the room can wave the Tangent Flag and bring the meeting back to order.

Create a Technology-Free Zone

Unless you intend on having attendees utilize their phone or iPad during the meeting, ask that they leave it at their desk. This will cut down on distractions and keep your employees focused on the discussion.

Be Choosy About Who You Invite

There’s nothing worse than being forced to attend unnecessary meetings. It would be like having musicians on stage who aren’t playing anything. Decide what personnel needs to hear and weigh in on your message and let the rest of the employees continue on with their regularly scheduled jobs.

As Marvelless Mark® says: “Your business, just like the music business, isn’t rocket science, it’s Rock-It science.” Regularly scheduled sales meetings done right will help you create the rockin’ results you are looking for from your sales team.

Mark Kamp® aka Marvelless Mark® works with organizations who want their teams to achieve immediate rock star results. A Keynote Speaker/Entertainer/Author, Husband, Father, and child of God, his primary message, “Opportunity Rocks®” gives attendees a fresh new perspective on Sales, Marketing, and Employee Performance. Fun and engaging, Mark combines the success secrets of your favorite rock stars with just the right amount of entertainment to transform your employees into business rockstars. Learn more at www.OpportunityRocks.net.

You’ve been working hard to improve your team’s sales performance, but how do you know if it’s really paying off? Are your employees reaching their goals?

Obviously, you can look at your weekly sales numbers and see if they are increasing as quickly as you’d like. But, there are other metrics that you need to consider to bring your team to the rock star status you’re looking for.

What Are Sales Metrics?

According to Hubspot, sales metrics are “data points that represent individual, team, or company-wide performance. Sales leaders use sales metrics to track progress toward goals, prepare for the future, adjust sales compensation, award incentives and bonuses, spot problems before they get out of hand, and more.”

Sales metrics allow you to create a data-driven culture where you can identify the products, processes, and employees that aren’t quite making the grade. From there, you can make informed decisions about sales strategies and objectives.

Following sales metrics is important to the well being of your business. But first, you need to know what metrics to track.

What Sales Metrics Should You Measure?

There are several types of metrics that you need to follow. Two of these are: Sales and Activity

Sales Metrics

The following metrics can be used to identify individual weaknesses (or strengths) and those of the company itself.

  • What is the total revenue for the week, month, or year?
  • What is the average deal size?
  • How long does it take to close a deal? (sales cycle)
  • What is the response time between when a lead is received and when they are contacted?
  • How much time is actually spent selling?
  • What is their Opportunity Win Rate? (How often a deal makes it to the closing stage)

Rock stars measure how many albums they sell, how quickly their concerts sell out, and much more. Are your employees hitting the top of the Billboard charts with their performance?

Activity Metrics

Ever wonder what your team members do every day? While it would be great if 100% of their time was devoted to selling, there are other tasks that are important to sales.

In order to get a good idea of where their time is spent, you should measure the following:

  • How many calls do they make each day?
  • How many emails do they send?
  • How many sales conversations do they have?
  • How many meetings do they attend?
  • How many sales presentations do they make?
  • How much time do they spend learning and improving their knowledge base?

While it may seem like time spent learning is time not spent selling, this isn’t necessarily true.  Rock stars don’t learn a song overnight and they don’t hop on stage at a sold-out show and play brand new material. Rock stars practice. They learn new skills and techniques, and so should your sales team.

When you properly measure both the sales metrics and the activity metrics of your sales team, you approach your sales goals from a new, powerful position. You know what’s working and what’s not and can make necessary changes to improve your team’s sales performance. You may discover that you have an issue within your sales process, that one of your employees is better suited in a different role, or that your sales team needs more education. With sales metrics, you’ll be able to create the rock star results you’ve always dreamed of.

“At the end of the day, it’s not the person with the most toys who wins, it’s the person with the most memories.” – Jon Bon Jovi

Mark Kamp® aka Marvelless Mark® works with organizations who want their teams to achieve immediate rock star results. A Keynote Speaker/Entertainer/Author, Husband, Father, and child of God, his primary message, “Opportunity Rocks®” gives attendees a fresh new perspective on Sales, Marketing, and Employee Performance. Fun and engaging, Mark combines the success secrets of your favorite rock stars with just the right amount of entertainment to transform your employees into business rockstars. Learn more at www.OpportunityRocks.net.

The reports are in and your team’s numbers don’t look so hot.

You need to improve sales performance, and you need to do it quickly.

As a sales manager, you are like the lead singer of a band, tasked with inspiring your bandmates to reach their full rock star potential. But how? There are systems in place to help your team reach their goals, but what once worked, no longer does.

Marvelless Mark® always tells his clients, “When we start thinking about big, visionary, and unknown things, we associate with it fear, failure, and… well, hard work.

It’s time to get creative, develop new processes and ideas, and celebrate failure.

What is Celebrating Failure?

Celebrating failure isn’t about giving your employees bonuses or pats on the back for not meeting their sales goals or doing their job. Celebrating failure is about encouraging your team to step outside of their comfort zones and use creative thinking to accomplish their goals.

Celebrating means redefining the construct of failure as we have always understood it. Failing doesn’t mean you didn’t accomplish something, it means that you tried something new and learned something along the way.

Why You Should Celebrate Failure

No one ever hit the top of the Billboard Charts by playing it safe. Rock stars play full out. When faced with a problem, they approach the solution with creativity, ingenuity, and guts.

When you ignore (or even worse punish) failure, you send your employees a message that in order to succeed, they have to play 100% by the rules. If you want a different outcome than you’ve always gotten, you need to use a different method than you’ve always used.

Learn from mistakes

Thomas Edison is quoted as having said: “I have not failed 10,000 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 10,000 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work.”

As long as you keep trying, you haven’t failed at all.

Foster resilience

When we encourage experimentation and celebrate the failures that produced new learning, we inspire our employees to stand up and try again. When they try again, they’ll eventually succeed.

How to Celebrate Failure

There are a variety of ways that you can celebrate failure in your office:

  1. Admit when you’ve failed: If as a leader, you hide your failures from your team, you communicate that failures are full of shame and should not only be hidden from others but avoided altogether.
  2. Ask your employees an important question: “How did you fail today?” Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx had to answer that question every night when she spoke to her father. She credits some of her success to this practice.
  3. Display failed ideas just as you would goals that have been met or exceeded: Do you have a board in the office where you celebrate successes, highlight the employee of the month, or congratulate the team for a job well done? Include a section (or give failure its own board) and give credit to the team members that are taking risks.
  4. Reevaluate your goals: Are your goals based solely on deals closed or money earned? When you encourage risk-taking for improvement, you need to incorporate it into your goal setting.
  5. Apply the lessons learned: Perhaps an idea didn’t work out exactly as your team thought it would. That doesn’t mean that what was learned can’t be used in another manner. Brainstorm with your team to determine if they’ve just failed their way to success.

If you truly want to improve encourage your team to improve sales performance and reach their rock star potential, it’s time to take the stigma out of failing.

“We all fail somewhere along the line. … It is what you learn from your failure that makes all the difference.” -Jon Bon Jovi

Mark Kamp® aka Marvelless Mark® works with organizations who want their teams to achieve immediate rock star results. A Keynote Speaker/Entertainer/Author, Husband, Father, and child of God, his primary message, “Opportunity Rocks®” gives attendees a fresh new perspective on Sales, Marketing, and Employee Performance. Fun and engaging, Mark combines the success secrets of your favorite rock stars with just the right amount of entertainment to transform your employees into business rockstars. Learn more at www.OpportunityRocks.net.

You’ve just finished quarterly reviews and your team’s sales performance isn’t quite what you’d hoped for. Your team members are stressed, overwhelmed, and disheartened by their numbers and they are looking to you for support and motivation.

Thankfully, there are steps you can take to improve your goal setting process and help your team uncover their inner rock stars.

Step 1:  Set SMART Goals

One of the best methods for setting goals is the S.M.A.R.T method. This means that your goals will be:

  • Specific: Exactly what do you want your employees to do and why is it important? When goals are vague, they are impossible to reach. Being clear and specific helps your team members zero in on exactly what they need to achieve.
  • Measurable: Ask yourself: “How will I know when they achieve this goal?” How many new customers each month? How much revenue should they bring in?
  • Attainable: Is this goal possible? While it’s important to push employees out of their comfort zones, if you set goals that are impossible, you set them up for failure and disappointment.
  • Results-focused: Your goals should measure outcomes, not activities. If each member of your sales team makes 100 calls a day, but the calls don’t result in any sales, the goal has not been met.
  • Timely: An open-ended goal will never be reached. Set a date by which goals will be met and you will create the sense of urgency necessary to motive your team.

Now, this isn’t to say that this should be your only goal. Marvelless Mark® advises his clients to also set a Big Unreasonable Dream (BUD). This is also known as a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) and it dares organizations to dream big. KISS wanted to create the greatest and most raucous band in the world. The Beatles wanted to be bigger than Elvis. What is the very best outcome for your organization?

“We’re trying to do something new; we’re trying to be the greatest group in the world, and that also means the biggest. At the same time, we’re trying to be radical-I mean, we never want to be really respectable-and maybe the two can’t coexist, but we’ll try.” – Joe Strummer, the Clash.

Having both SMART Goals and a BUD will make you Wise-er along with allowing you and your team to reach heights you’ve never imagined.

Step 2: Check In

“If you’re climbing the ladder of life, you go rung by rung, one step at a time. Don’t look too far up, set your goals high but take one step at a time. Sometimes you don’t think you’re progressing until you step back and see how high you’ve really gone.” – Donny Osmond

As you and your employees reach for your goals, you need to check in with each team member on a regular basis. This is not only important to keep them on track, but also to keep them happy. Striving for sales goals can make a person singularly focused, and push all other elements of a well-rounded life out the window. You want to make sure that your employees are taking care of other aspects of the business (like customer service and admin responsibilities), but also that they are taking care of themselves. When an employee forgoes personal relationships, self-care, and downtime in favor of working round the clock, their emotional and physical well-being suffer (and so will their work performance).

Step 3: Celebrate Progress (or as they say: “Party Like a Rockstar”)

Have you ever visited a recording studio? If you did, you probably noticed that the walls were lined with gold records. Rock stars know the importance of celebrating their successes and you should as well. Do it lout, proud, and often.

You don’t have to wait until you reach the BUD to celebrate. Recognize little wins along the way. Make sure the whole team knows when one of your salespeople reaches a goal. Create awards to recognize your team members who are really rocking their goals. Monetary awards are great, but a simple certificate can go a long way. This will not only encourage the winning employee to keep reaching for the stars but will inspire your other team members to step up their performance to receive the same accolades.

Rock stars celebrate along the way, everything from the new releases to the gold records.  It motivates you to keep doing the right things and moving forward.

 

Setting SMART goals, checking in regularly with your employees, and celebrating their progress will help keep your sales team on track and motivate them to reach rock star status.

I just think if I can go from being a homeless kid with a dream of being in the biggest band in the world and making that happen, I can do a lot of other cool stuff, too. –  Mötley Crüe

Mark Kamp® aka Marvelless Mark® works with organizations who want their teams to achieve immediate rock star results. A Keynote Speaker/Entertainer/Author, Husband, Father, and child of God, his primary message, “Opportunity Rocks®” gives attendees a fresh new perspective on Sales, Marketing, and Employee Performance. Fun and engaging, Mark combines the success secrets of your favorite rock stars with just the right amount of entertainment to transform your employees into business rockstars. Learn more at www.OpportunityRocks.net.

You know that when the quarterly or yearly numbers are in and the books are examined, the success of the company will fall on your shoulders as well as your team’s. You want to please the higher-ups with sales performance, but with a constantly changing economic environment and a sales team made up of different personalities, it can be a challenge motivating them to produce.

How do you educate and inspire your team to improve their work performance to improve their sales?

Fortunately, there are 9 steps you can take today to help build up your team and unleash their inner rock stars.

1. Set Goals

Madonna once said, “The self-confidence one builds from achieving difficult things and accomplishing goals in the most beautiful thing of all.”

Having goals is important in life and business because it gives us something to work towards and the ability to know when we are accomplishing what we are meant to do. Though it may seem contradictory, there is freedom in structure and your employees will appreciate knowing exactly what is expected of them.

Communicate Sales Goals

Do your team members know what their sales goals are or do you leave them reaching and striving for nothing? When you set clear goals and share them with each team member, your employees will be happier and more driven to produce.

Involve your team members in the goal-setting process as they’ll be even more engaged when they have a say in what is expected of them.

Do you Have a BHAG?

Every team should have a BHAG – a big hairy audacious goal which represents the very best outcome for your organization. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have smaller more attainable goals along the way (and you should), however, little satisfaction comes from achieving a goal that you know is within reach. The true excitement, the true rock star feeling, comes from crushing something you had no idea if you could ever accomplish.

Your team might even surprise you with the BHAG they are willing to take on.

2. Celebrate Success… and Failure

“Don’t be afraid of failure – embrace that too. Dare to fail. If you never fail, you’ve never taken risks, and that’s no way to take on this life.” – Richie Sambora, Bon Jovi

Chances are that you take the time to celebrate successes (if not, it’s time to start!), but do you celebrate the failures? Do you take the time to recognize your employees for stepping out of their comfort zones and trying something new? You should. Even when they fail.

When you not only embrace failure but celebrate the courage required to strive for something bigger, you give your employees the permission and the encouragement they need to grow.

3. Utilize Sales Metrics

Management guru Peter Drucker once said, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.”

Incorporating the use of sales metrics into your business will help you to measure every aspect of your sales performance. This allows you to see what is and isn’t working, and to adjust accordingly. It also gives members of your sales team a more concrete idea of how their performance measures up to others on the team, and to the goals.

4. Improve Your Sales Meetings

Most employees consider meetings to be a waste of their time. However, when run properly, sales meetings can offer valuable insight into the processes that are in place, the challenges that are arising, and the benchmarks that are (or are not) being met.

In order to make the most out of your meetings:

  • Set a time limit for the meeting as a whole and for each member to give their report.
  • Keep a positive atmosphere based on the opportunity to improve rather than disappointment with unmet expectations.
  • Create an environment where employees feel safe sharing not only their wins but their difficulties as well.

5. Focus on the Customer

If your sales team believes that their goal is to sell a product, set them straight. Their primary goal should be to serve the client no matter what your company produces or provides. While it may seem counterintuitive, focusing on the customer instead of the numbers will actually improve the numbers.

You can shift your focus to the customer by:

  • Understand their customer journey: Identify each touch point they’ll encounter along the journey. This will give you insight into the challenges they may encounter along the way so you can adjust to create ease.
  • Ask for feedback: If you don’t learn what you are doing wrong, you can’t improve.
  • Learn about your customer: Instead of diving into what you can do for the customer, ask them what they need – and listen!

“Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens.” – Jim Hendrix

6. Be Problem and Solution Focused

When your team members make a sales pitch, do they lead with the features of the product or service, or do they lead with the benefits?

Remember that you are in the business of solving problems. When you train your team to design their proposals, make sure that you focus on the pain points your product solves rather than the actual products. When your potential customer feels heard and understood, they are more likely to purchase.

7. Encourage Networking

Potential customers are not sitting outside your office just waiting to find out what you have to offer. They are, however, out in the community. Your sales team should be as well. Encourage your team members to visit networking events, attend conferences and trade shows and join organizations like your local Chamber of Commerce.

The more time they spend in the community and the more relationships they build, the higher the likelihood that they will meet potential clients and brand ambassadors.

8. Provide Regular Feedback and Encouragement

Sales team meetings are important, but they should never replace one-to-one feedback. If an employee only receives feedback during quarterly or even annual reviews, they won’t have the guidance necessary to improve. Schedule weekly or bi-weekly meetings to discuss their goals, processes, challenges, and anything else that may influence their sales success. Much like the sales team meetings, these should be kept positive and focused on what they are doing right and how they can improve, rather than harping on what is being done incorrectly.

Marvelless Mark® tells his clients that you have the power to inspire, encourage, and unleash your team’s inner rock star.

9. Motivation and Education

Does your team have the skills to implement your vision and reach that BHAG?

Often times, employees want to succeed and further the company’s goal, they just haven’t been given the tools to do so. A fully educated employee will have the confidence and the know-how to take the company to new heights. So how will you support them?

When you hire a motivational speaker or trainer to present to your team, they will introduce a new (outside) perspective to your employees, teach them actionable steps that they can implement the very next day, and provide the motivation your employees need to rock their sales. What would your bottom line look like if you had a fully prepared, inspired team of salespeople?

Improving work performance, increasing sales, and ultimately affecting the bottom line can be a challenge for any company. However, when you follow these 9 steps which include: setting goals, celebrating failure, and educating and motivating your team, you will bring out their inner rock stars and achieve your wildest dreams.

“Dream until your dreams come true.” – Aerosmith

Mark Kamp® aka Marvelless Mark® works with organizations who want their teams to achieve immediate rock star results. A Keynote Speaker/Entertainer/Author, Husband, Father, and child of God, his primary message, “Opportunity Rocks®” gives attendees a fresh new perspective on Sales, Marketing, and Employee Performance. Fun and engaging, Mark combines the success secrets of your favorite rock stars with just the right amount of entertainment to transform your employees into business rockstars. Learn more at www.OpportunityRocks.net.