Get Your Sales Team to Embrace Accountability

Ever seen a new sales rep come aboard with lots of energy, only to run out of gas? Why is that? Is it peer pressure from fellow team members, fearing the new sales pro is outshining them?

Or is the newbie, in regard to himself, thinking, “Hey, I’m the only one working my tail off around here! Maybe I should slack off and join the pack.”

When new sales pros arrive and see their colleagues’ pace, they tend to adapt to that speed — monkey-see, monkey-do.

Embracing accountability

How can you, as a sales manager, get your team members to embrace accountability? Indeed, how can you hold them accountable unless they know exactly what they’re being held accountable for? To get the best results, make sure your employees have a thorough understanding of how their duties fit with the corporate goals.

Few things take the wind out of a good sales rep’s sails more thoroughly than being trapped in a corporate culture that seems to reward mediocrity. This can make even the most gung-ho team member feel like he’s unappreciated and wasting his time in this workplace. What’s the point of trying to be a “cut above” when you’re held accountable to the exact same standards as the people who consistently do as little as they can get away with? Most people want to be held accountable, especially if they’re doing a good job and want to be recognized for it.

Ways to Encourage accountability

  • Initiate meaningful dialogue with your team,
    • setting up areas of responsibility
    • creating specific performance standards
    • establishing intelligent criteria
  • Keep in mind that your team members are individuals with motivations as different as their work styles.
  • Respect and respond to their differences so they’ll perform above and beyond expectations.
  • Treat your team members with the same respect you treat customers.
  • Find out what each member of your sales team truly values.
  • Create a follow-up system and hold your people accountable.

Define Success

You’ll risk losing your best sales pros if you don’t find ways for them to feel successful and accomplished in their jobs. The best way to understand what people value is to engage. So by all means, talk with your sales reps and really listen to what success means to them.

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Paul Cherry

For over two decades, sales expert and author PAUL CHERRY has helped B2B sales professionals close more deals in all major industries. As a recognized thought leader in customer engagement strategies, Paul Cherry has been featured in more than 250 publications, including Investor’s Business Daily, Selling Power, Inc., Sales & Marketing Management, The Kiplinger Letter, and Salesforce.

Performance Based Results

Paul Cherry is the president of Performance Based Results. PBR delivers intense, customized sales team training programs and sales management coaching to companies throughout North America. Paul has worked with more than 1,200 organizations, including 175 of the Fortune 500, plus more than a thousand entrepreneurial, small to mid-sized, cutting-edge businesses looking to dominate their niche markets. Clients typically get 7 times their return-on-investment (ROI) or better.

Questions That Sell

Paul Cherry’s top-rated bestseller, Questions That Sell: The Powerful Process for Discovering What Your Customer Really Wants (AMACOM) has been listed on BookAuthority’s “100 Best Sales Books of All Time” and has been published in four languages. He is also the author of Questions That Get Results (Wiley) and The Ultimate Sales Pro (HarperCollins Leadership).