Establish Sales Team Expectations
Clearly understood expectations set the foundation for accountability
The foundation of an accountable environment is clear expectations. If what to do, how to do it, when it should be done and the level of results produced are not defined and agreed upon accountability is elusive or inconsistent. When we are hired as the sales manager our aim in the first couple of months is to begin understanding and then defining clear expectations.
What You’ll Get
If you want everyone on the team rowing in the same direction with the same effort we focus on the following areas to clarify that. Company, team, and individual expectations are defined, documented and communicated so they are understood by all.
- Company goals, vision, and strategies
- Department goals
- Job Descriptions
- Sales Process
- Individual sales plans and expected results
- Team culture and attitude
- Inter-department support
The Sales Process and Individual Sales Plan are monitored most frequently. In addition, what is expected to be entered into the CRM to provide proper reporting is covered as well. The Getting In Step phase of a client engagement helps us get in tune with the current level of expectations and in the Tunning Up phase we update, tighten up and share with the team to gain agreement and establish an accountable environment.
Setting goals and sharing expectations has always been part of how I operate but I had always taken it for granted until one of my managers answers a question of mine. Let me share a real-life example of why it’s important to communicate with your employees about your goals and expectations.
In 1999 I was working in the cellular phone industry and took over an underperforming market with the charge of getting it on track. We did a lot of things in the first six months. We improved coverage, set new service standards, had employee meetings, addressed pricing, and kept score on the most important business objectives. We had a daily report, weekly report, and monthly meeting to review our results. After seven months we started hitting our sales objectives. We hit them eleven out of the next twelve months. Previous to that time, the team had hit their goals only once out of twelve months. I pulled my sales manager, Bill, aside after our string of successes and asked him what he believed was the most important thing we did to help us become consistent in reaching our goals. His answer floored me. “Well Rene, we now know what the goals are. We know what’s expected of us.”
It seems so simple and it is to a degree. It’s simple to think or verbalize expectations and it’s another thing to make sure they are clear and understood by all so they can then work to achieve them.