Guest Blog Post from Gaia Hawkes
In this week's blog post, guest blogger Gaia Hawkes offers her insights into leadership development within sales organizations and explains how taking a mentoring approach can lead to positive outcomes and increasing sales.
In sales and sales coaching, the process of mentorship is crucial to passing on expertise and knowledge to more junior team members. It enables sales teams to drive growth and success, leading to increased performance and sales across the board.
In a previous article on growing a successful sales team by Tony Cole, he describes how certain weaknesses in your sales team can lead to dissent and chaos. For instance, prioritizing your own agenda and being a bad team player can impact the team’s overall success. To remedy this, leaders should act as mentors to improve and change their attitudes. Maryville University explains how a degree in organizational leadership can help you introduce positive change through superior employee training and collaboration.
Being a strong leader and mentor will help your team follow your lead when it comes to driving sales productivity. With that in mind, here are some ways in which developing a mentorship program can greatly benefit your organization.
Identifying strengths matters
If you don’t know where your team members excel, you’re not working with them to achieve their true potential. It may seem basic, but conducting personality tests conducive to learning your salespeople’s unique strengths can give you key insights moving forward. For instance, if a particular salesperson excels in nurturing and providing for others, you can put them in a role as an onboarding companion for hiring better salespeople.
In addition, you can find ways to help them use their empathy to work with clients. Ensuring that everyone feels appreciated and valued will help your employees feel like they are a key member of the team. In the long run, they’ll be more willing to step up and take on greater responsibilities to help increase sales within your organization.
Why empathy matters
Because selling is a numbers-oriented business, sales leaders might put pressure on specific goals and money milestones within the organization. On the other hand, Kevin Kruse describes why successful sales leaders need to show that they care. He explains that apart from dealing with the tasks at hand, you should also take the time to get to know and interact with your team members.
Address them by name, greet them every morning, learn about their families, and ask about life outside of work. Sometimes, outside life gets in the way and affects productivity, but if you’re understanding and approachable, you can help your team members get over these road bumps more quickly.
Why feedback and recognition matter
Without assessing your team’s progress and providing regular opportunities for candid feedback, improvement will be a slow process. An Entrepreneur article on the art of mentorship explains that one-on-one time between a mentee and a mentor is crucial to adjust targets and modify goals if necessary.
Creating a well-designed plan involves identifying the issues at hand, setting realistic sales goals, and providing actionable steps to meet them. Growth can be a challenging process, but by giving recognition and praise where it’s due, you’ll keep your mentees motivated and energized to meet and exceed expectations.
Ultimately, mentorship programs not only steer team members to success, but sales mentors are also rewarded with the fulfilling experience of seeing their mentees succeed. In fact, a 2018 research study on Business News Daily found that 76% of respondents considered mentors important to their success. If you don’t already have one, it’s better late than never to start implementing a mentoring approach within your sales organizations.