Sales Management Tip of the Month: Walking the Talk: Working Side by Side with Your Sales Team
Without a doubt, there is no substitute for experience. Getting out there and actually doing it – whatever the “it” is at hand – is the best way to develop a skill and build confidence. As a leader of senior living sales in your organization, you have almost certainly spent years in the various sales positions that you are now managing others to succeed in. You’ve answered thousands of inquiry calls from prospective residents, made thousands of professional outreach visits, and conducted thousands of tours. The experience you’ve gained through all of that activity has led to your present level of sales mastery. Put your experience to use in a positive way as you mentor others in your organization to achieve their own success: take the time to walk the talk by working side by side with your sales team.
Don’t reinvent the wheel
It’s common for a newly hired sales professional to want to deviate from your organization’s sales processes and systems. The reasons all sound something like, “I want to figure out what works best for me,” or “we did things differently at my last job and it worked fine,” or “sales systems sound like scripts, and I want to sound genuine.” Working side by side with a new sales professional is a great opportunity to establish that reinventing the sales wheel isn’t necessary. It also reinforces the use of your organization’s systems and senior living CRM software and builds their experience and confidence with them. Finally, it encourages feedback and respect if the feedback isn’t implemented due to a difference in opinion.
Sympathize – and encourage
The sales professionals you manage will have their ups and downs, just like you did. Remember back to the times in your own career when weeks went by without closing sale, and use those experiences to sympathize with their frustrations. Then offer them encouragement, reminding them that the sales systems and processes work, and results will happen as long as they continue to add new leads to the pipeline and move them along the sales cycle.
When you’re out there working side by side with your sales professional, there will be instances when all the pieces will fall into place for them. They’ve moved a prospect through the sales system: from the initial inquiry stage, through follow ups, to a tour of the community, and then the hard work pays off when the prospect puts a deposit down on an apartment! While you could certainly have offered your congratulations to them by phone or email, the fact that you were there working with them makes the success a reason to celebrate!
Just as there are successes, there will also be failures when you’re working side by side with your sales professional. Failures can include mishandled leads, forgotten tours, not following the sales system, or not meeting sales activity expectations. Take the time to turn a failure into a coaching moment by calmly explaining it to them, and setting an expectation to correct and improve what went wrong. Remember: celebrate in public, coach in private. An example of coaching is walking through a workflow with them. Start the day with them so you can see how they strategize, and provide your feedback. For example, if they have a call or tour in 30 minutes, what are they doing to prepare? Are they reviewing the prospect’s profile in the CRM and reviewing the recording of the last call with the prospect? If they’re not, take the time to coach them so they will do it better next time.
Depending on what level of sales management you hold, taking the time to work side by side with your sales professionals on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis is time well spent on the health of your sales organization. Share your experience and use it to mentor others as they create their own success.