Sunday, 16 March 2014

Nine easy ways to build trust with your sales team

It is important that as a sales manager, it takes a little more effort to be accessible to the entire team. But doing so is vital – it builds trust, helps people do their best work and gives you latitude when you have to ask for hard things or make tough choices. These are a few things I do to stay connected to the team that deliver big impact for minimal time and effort.
1. Call everyone in the company by name
Learn names and use them. With a large team, this may take homework, like using LinkedIn to help match faces with names.
2. Say "hi" first
When walking by a team member, always say hi to them before they say hi to you. Make eye contact, and, of course, use their name!
3. Make time to connect one-on-one
When I was managing sales teams of my own, at least twice a week, I meet for coffee or tea with different members of the sales team to learn about what they’re working on, hear their (often genius!) ideas about their jobs and the company, to learn what I can be doing better, and to get to know them. I really enjoy these chats, both personally and professionally.
4. Respond to emails quickly
Even if you can't read through something right away, acknowledge that you got it and that you'll look at it later. Having been on the other side of it, I know it can be nerve-racking or frustrating when it takes your boss a long time to respond to an email. Our Customer Support team operates by this philosophy of respect, too, and answers customer emails in under 9 minutes!
5. Connect on social media
When someone new starts, try to make sure to add them on LinkedIn and follow them on Twitter.
6. Be in the moment during meetings and chats
No iPhone in meetings or one-on-ones! If you do have to check your phone, explain the context and draw the person/people you’re meeting with into the situation with details about what’s going on and why it is time sensitive – and ideally say this ahead of the meeting.
7. Create the company you would have wanted to work at
If your company’s not that fun, make it fun, whether that’s an in-office bar (my personal bias), spontaneous outings or something else you deem cool. I also always thought it was odd to make people pay for coffee (which helps them do their jobs better!) so we offer this for free.
8. Meet everyone on their first day on the job
As long as I’m in town, I meet every new sales team member right when they start. I’m just as excited to have new faces in the office as they are to be joining the team!
9. Be on time
Being late sends a message that you think your time is more valuable than that of the person you’re holding up. I try to show up to meetings a minute early, and make every effort to do calls exactly on time.

Would love to hear the small but impactful changes you’ve made to increase connection and accessibility as a boss – or as a colleague!

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