(By Lisa Thal) “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.” How many times in your career have you heard that saying? This is to say that, unless you measure something, you can’t manage improvement.
Sure, it’s our responsibility to make sure we are taking advantage of all the systems available to help us measure our team’s effectiveness, but how do you measure your sales team’s emotions? Emotional intelligence is the fastest way to increase any company’s top line, but technology has greatly impacted how we manage. It has shifted many leaders to spend more time in front of their computer screens and phones, while less time is spent growing their number one asset — human capital!
I can remember my first management position, over 20 years ago. I had a tremendous amount of sales experience and was transitioning into a management position. In our industry, there was little to no formalized training programs to become a manager. You simply learned on the job. Since I was fortunate to have gained insight into my career from those that led me, I based my managerial style on those experiences.
What I found from those experiences was when the manager was more engaged with coaching me along the way, I generated more revenue. And when a manager isolated themselves with facts and figures, I was less engaged and therefore generated less revenue.
I found that since I played sports growing up, a coaching style was a more effective way of inspiring me. I believe that there is a great difference between coaching and managing, and a great manager will develop into a coach. A coach realizes that everyone on the team has a voice and wants to be heard, and a coach knows this insight will make the team better.
Here are five tips for coaching your team:
1. Know the way. You have the knowledge because you have been there. You are always looking for solutions to help your team. You discover the most efficient way to get them to their outcomes, but more importantly, you know the way to lead your team. You invest your time in getting to know them, you have a meaningful relationship with them, and you see what inspires them. This all helps you to better understand when your team needs accountability or support.
2. Go the way. You hold yourself accountable. You make commitments to be there with your team. You are fearless and you accept responsibility. You understand it takes a tremendous amount of time and energy to lead others.
3. Show the way. You inspire your team to succeed and you provide them with the necessary skill sets. This earns you their respect and trust. You listen and challenge your squad to learn something from each experience as you guide and coach them along the way. You engage them in thinking about all the possibilities and solutions available to them. You give them a sense of ownership.
4. Know that time is money. You sell various lengths of your time each week to advertisers and companies. Be mindful that you don’t take time away from your sales team. Be aware of projects you delegate to them that could steal valuable selling time away from them.
5. Connect with your team each week. One of the most important things you can do is to build comradery with your team. I do this in my weekly sales meetings. Seeing how Nike has resonated with millions of customers using just three words (“Just do it”), I created a simple strategy to engage, inspire, and empower my team using three words. I found that this approach can keep your team focused on what needs to be accomplished. By using words like “Find a way,” or “It’s all possible,” you also create a platform for your team to share how those words could impact their clients and business.
We are all experiencing more responsibility and accountability than ever before. We are expected to find better ways to create top-line revenue for our companies. Let’s realize that our number one asset is our team — our human capital! We are coaching emotions, passion, and pride. So, start managing the metrics and focus on coaching your team!
For more ways to help coach your team, visit threewordmeetings.com .”
Lisa Thal is the General Sales Manager for Hubbard Interactive Cincinnati. She’s also the author of Three Word Meetings. A simple strategy to Engage, Inspire and Empower Your Team. Get it on your Kindle HERE.