Stop Micromanaging Your Sales Team & Start Leading


Has anyone ever accused you of being a micromanager?

Most sales leaders are Type A personality, driven to exceed expectations and win. However, because of this personality, we often unknowingly find ourselves playing the role of babysitter and micromanaging members of our sales team, which does not support the motivation we were initially striving for.

Tiya Ivy, Digital Marketing Manager at Molokini Marketing, writes:

In some limited circumstances, especially after hiring a new recruit who may need temporary micromanagement until they settle in and familiarise themselves with their role, it could actually help build morale … Unfortunately though, many managers guilty of long-term, debilitating micromanagement, are completely oblivious to the destructive effects they are having on an entire organisation as a whole.

Knowing where to draw the line between motivation and accountability is tough. This is a skill that is not easily taught and often requires hands-on experience to master. Rather than allowing yourself to get discouraged and question your management skills, acknowledge the elephant in the room and press forward with these seven sales tips.


1. Identify three key metrics and reinforce best practices

An example would be daily morning meetings reviewing success, expectations, and challenges. Sharing of best practices by individuals on your team, highlighting the achievement of goals that tie directly into expectations, is a natural reinforcement. This establishes a sense of credibility and confidence among peers, motivating and paving the way for daily success.


2. Talk about results and their specific driving actions

If your team isn’t winning, you aren’t either. Nobody wants to have a conversation about accountability, but it’s necessary. Approach the conversation with a mutual understanding, making it clear that the entire team’s success is important to you and that you have their best interest at heart.

Mike Weinberg, Founder at The New Sales Coach, might’ve put it best when he wrote:

No one can accuse you of micromanaging when you start accountability conversations by looking at results and then progress into a pipeline review.


3. Promote competition that exceeds an activity goal

Before you run out and create a competition that encourages meeting an activity goal, remember that is a part of your rep’s job description, and this could result in ongoing disengagement. Instead, set a stretch goal that exceeds expectations.

Engage your team with competition ideas to build excitement. Simple competitions for trophies, coffee delivery, or outings can increase team confidence, which translates to more wins for everyone.


4. Celebrate small wins along the way

Recognizing the small wins can help you maintain a culture of success through sales cycles that feel long and discouraging. This helps motivate your team, which translates to accountability.


5. Address anyone who hasn’t found the value in winning

Sales Culture Tip 101 – One rotten apple can spoil the lot. Although confrontation can be difficult, your understanding and handling of a bad apple can make or break your team’s motivation levels.


6. Find the champions on your team and enlist their help

There is always someone on your team looking to progress his or her career into a leadership role. They can be your biggest advocates for demonstrating what success looks like. Include your champions when developing team competitions.


7. Roll up your sleeves and lead the way

Growing up, we all loved to see our coach play in the game. The same applies to sales. There is no greater motivation or buzz that can be created than a manager sitting on the sales floor. If you’re really feeling empowered, ask one of your peers to take you on in a challenge and watch the excitement grow.


Ready to stop guessing and start closing? Check out our post on how to balance rapport and relevance (a.k.a. “Should You Talk About the Fish on the Wall?”) and download our free e-book – Good Sales vs. Bad Sales.


For daily updates and sales tips, follow Nova on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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