Ensuring your staff really functions as a team
November 6, 2006
Why are some salespeople considered prima donnas? What is the reason for the conflicting feelings between inside and outside sales?
Why must salespeople always be concerned when they take a customer out for a round of golf? They have to keep things in perspective - they are just a member of the company team.
Each employee is as important as any other member, including the owner. The difference is the owner has a stake in the company.
Nothing happens until a sale is made. Perhaps this is where salespeople got this false sense of importance. Many salespeople spend time inside doing work that they feel wouldn't get done otherwise. Teamwork requires every team member to understand his or her importance and to do the job assigned, to the best of his or her ability.
Losing sales requires having something or someone else to blame. So you hear, "There's no backup for me in the field," or "I lost the job because our price was too high." You never hear that single sale was lost because the person didn't have any drive or enthusiasm or their self-confidence was low.
Inside each thoughtful salesperson, the real answers are stored. Most have lost sales where another 1 percent or 2 percent of effort could have closed the order. Every salesperson goes through the highs and lows of being "out on the street." They need to find ways to pick themselves up and start all over again.
Share the enthusiasmOne of the best ways to recoup lost energy is to share highs with inside-sales people. Start by saying to yourself that the inside-sales team is not your backup group. How would you feel if you were inside doing a lot of day-to-day work, only to be called a "backup"? Team players do not think or act this way.
Look at any team, any good solid team, and watch how each member of the team is complimented after a great play. Listen to the quarterbacks give credit to the linemen and listen to the great running backs who know that without other members doing their jobs they would not be what they are today. From this positive re-enforcement, more spirit is developed and the team becomes stronger. This will never happen if there is continual bickering and the constant finger pointing. Think of the company as a big boat and all the employees are rowers. If some of the rowers are not pulling their oars with the same strength as the others, the boat could end up going in circles.
The key to creating team spirit is good communication: Two-way feedback from the field and from inside staff.
Find someone doing something right and go to that person and tell him or her how much you appreciate it. Treat people at the office like you treat the customers or even better. Don't wait to communicate your approval of something that pleased you. You need the inside-sales team blocking and passing to you but remember when you score a sale who helped you make it.
None of us are prima donnas and there is no reason for anyone to have that impression. It's up to you.