Working in sales can be stressful – a competitive environment and pressure to succeed are part of the nature of the job.
But if you do it right, it can be intense, exciting and rewarding, says our in-house Sales expert, Adam.
Use the pressure in a positive way
“To be in sales and to successful you have to be extremely motivated and thrive under the pressure,” says Adam.
“Each person will deal with pressure in different ways, but it is what drives sales teams to achieve positive results.”
If you alter your perspective, can turn pressure on its head; creating a positive motivator instead of a stressful trigger.
Look to find your colleagues’ strengths
While pressure is a great motivator for some people, for others it can be helpful to take a more measured and tactful approach. The sales profession is a team game, but individuals are different. By identifying an individual’s strengths and weaknesses, you can help to motivate them in different ways.
“Motivation is key to keep people performing at their best. Regular one-to-ones help to identify areas of strength and potential areas of weakness,” explains Adam.
“This is very much an individual thing… Constant monitoring and encouragement, along with monthly one-to-ones allow us to give tailored support, build good relationships and an open and honest environment.”
Put a carrot at the end of the stick
Adam also thinks that incentives and rewards are a great way to encourage healthy competition and to build team spirit.
“We use incentives when there is a particular area that needs focus. They are used to encourage competition, rewarding results.
“The best performing salesperson gets a mention in the following mornings’ brief; the winner of the year gets their name engraved on the ‘Sales Shield’, a trophy we have to celebrate our most successful salespeople.” It’s not just a bit of fun; it’s also a way to actively acknowledge somebody’s efforts.
There are plenty of inventive ways to encourage and reward good performance in sales, and it’s important to foster a good team culture which is competitive and supportive; “Ultimately, the strength of the team makes a good sales person a great sales person.”
There is no one-size-fits-all approach
Reading from a script? It’s the last thing you should be doing if you want to get ahead, says Adam.
“People buy from people. The most important thing is to be adaptive; you need to be able to listen to a customer and adapt your approach to them.
“You may speak with 100 different customers a day and your approach will need to be different each and every time. Showing your industry knowledge, and knowing where you trump your competitors is vital when it comes to instilling confidence in the customer.”
Remembering you’re selling to a human being is one of Dale Carnegie’s top tips, who built a somewhat legendary status in the Sales world.
Ultimately, Sales is an intense profession where you’ll need some key skills to survive and thrive – you’ll need to be inventive and personable; a team player as much as a star individual. As part of a tight-knit team, you need to be able to offer support and reward your best performers.
So what can you take from the above? We’ve summarised some of the key points that will help you to cope in a Sales environment.
- Incentives: Rewarding success is important and will help to inspire each member of your Sales team to perform to their best.
- Flexibility: Recognising the circumstances and limitations each customer faces, and working around them, is essential.
- Pressure points: Figure out who thrives when under pressure and set them higher targets. If others struggle with pressure, find out how to make them comfortable in a high pressure environment.
- One-to-one meetings: While Sales is a team game, one-to-ones can help everyone to build an open, honest and trusting culture.