I am currently in the South of France near Toulouse. Photo below is in Saint-Criq-Lapopie, one of the cutest towns in the region.
This week’s newsletter has taken longer.
I have been working on a video for you on Building Rapport, Speaking Confidently, and Creating Impact with your prospects and clients using the API and EDISC framework. Unfortunately, my broadband connection is not good enough, so my loom video is not working well. I am back home in my home studio in Auckland next week, so this has to wait until then!
But, I did not want to miss sending you the newsletter this week, so instead, I would like to answer a question from one insightful sales leader I met on LinkedIn. She is a sales leader in one of Asia Pacific’s most prominent tech hardware and software. Let’s call her Anne.
Here is Anne’s question.
My personal challenge is aligning resources with the organization’s culture and values. While it may appear easy to make sales, it takes patience and discipline to strike that balance where management trusts sales and sales genuinely contribute to the bottom line because they are truly invested and want to make a difference.
Sales would have to personally “own the business” and vicariously go through experiences that make them want to help the organization. Not because they have to but because they want to.
Achieving alignment between sales teams and management is one of the most challenging roles of leaders and founders, particularly in sales. The sales team is responsible for delivering results, while management needs to support and have confidence in their sales forecast, abilities and capability to execute.
How to achieve alignment between your sales team and management
1/ Incorporate Value-Based Training in your team
Training that focuses on company values can motivate sales teams and instill the company's culture in them. Run training programs or workshops designed to align with the company’s ethos and strike a balance between achieving sales targets and upholding the company’s values.
Here is a step-by-step process on how to run a “Values” workshop with your sales teams:
Reflect on your company values and personal beliefs: Take time to think about your company values and your own personal beliefs and values. Consider what is important to you and what guides your decision-making. Write your top twelve values.There is no right and wrong.
Identify your core values: Identify the core values that resonate with you the most. Choose your top three.
Prioritize your values: Once you have identified your top three core values, prioritize them based on their importance. Determine which values are non-negotiable and should always guide your actions and decisions.
Define each value: Write a clear and concise definition for each value. Describe what the value means to you and how it influences your behaviour and choices.
Provide examples: To make your values more tangible, provide examples of how you demonstrate each value in your daily life or work. This helps others understand how the values translate into action.
Review and refine: Review your list of values and definitions periodically. Your values may change or become more refined as you grow and evolve. Adjust as needed to ensure that your values align with your beliefs and goals.
Writing values is a personal and introspective process. It helps clarify what matters most and guides you in making decisions and navigating challenges in life and work. And if you and your sales teams want to go deeper, check-out how to write a “Sales Statement of Intent”.
2/ Foster Ownership
Encourage sales teams to ‘own’ their tasks. This can be done by involving them in decision-making, celebrating their successes, and acknowledging their contributions. Doing so makes them feel invested and motivated to contribute positively to the bottom line.
In your weekly sales meetings instead of asking the status of each deal or opportunity, ask your sales teams to individually provide you a report in the following format in five or ten minutes. Make it snappy and focus on outcomes.
Discuss current numbers to date. Actual vs Target.
If they are below target, what actions have they planned to get back on track and what support they need.
If they are on target and confident to achieving their numbers, ask them to share the factors of their success and how they will celebrate.
3/ Align Incentives with Values
Align incentive structures with the company’s values. This can help sales teams understand the importance of these values and encourage them to uphold them in their dealings.
4/ Promote Open Communication
Open dialogue between management and sales teams can build trust and facilitate alignment. It allows sales teams to voice their concerns and ideas; likewise, management can provide feedback and guidance.
One effective way to promote open communication is by implementing regular feedback sessions. Sometimes called “Fire Side Chat”, this could take the form of weekly or monthly team meetings where everyone is encouraged to share their experiences, challenges, and suggestions.
These sessions allow management to understand the on-ground realities and empower the sales team to voice their perspectives and ideas. Open and consistent communication can foster a trusting and transparent culture.
Last year, we had a fantastic turnout for our webinars, and two of them were my favorites: "How to Navigate Complex Deals" and "Elite Sales Athletes: Winning High-Value Enterprise Opportunities."
I am planning to organize a webinar this October. Which topic would be worth attending a 45-minute webinar for you? Would love to hear from you.
Just hit reply to this email.
My friend and top coach, Mary Mcnevin, just published a fantastic article on Harvard Business Review: How to develop a 5-year career plan.
Planning your career is crucial for personal and professional growth. It provides a roadmap to guide you towards your goals and aspirations. However, we often get busy with the day-to-day work, and without a coach and mentor, it can be very difficult.
Mary has outlined an actionable and clear 5-year career plan that helps you set clear objectives and milestones, allowing you to focus your efforts and make intentional decisions throughout your career journey. Enjoy!
Do you have any questions or sales challenges? Send it through by responding to this email, and I will respond back. And if you are up for it, connect with me on LinkedIn and let's exchange ideas and insights.
Thank you for reading and being part of the Sales Curiosity Club, I appreciate you!💜