I harp on this topic frequently, but it is a foundational need for all strong sales leaders. You must hold your people accountable to reach goals, close deals and follow your system (a broad word that entails your requirements for performance). The key is to simply do it…you don’t have to be “good” at it, but you do have to do it. Many sales leaders miss this important point.
So I give you this Selling Power article with a comprehensive view of this accountability need for all sales leaders. The author makes a significant point that often gets overlooked by sales leaders who like to use the stick before the carrot. First the accountability piece:
3) Hold your team and each member accountable for goals. You don’t have to threaten your team members to remind them that they’re responsible (to you and to one another) for meeting the goals they set. Instead, inspire their best effort by reminding them of their importance to the team and company. Tell them you’ll hold them accountable for succeeding because you have faith in their ability to get the job done.
Well said. And to go further, you will have to discipline the underperformers. Do not skip past this requirement. Now for the part that I have seen some overzealous sales leaders dismiss (emphasis mine):
4) Be supportive. Meeting sales goals is a team effort, and you’re an important part of that team. You can’t make the calls for your salespeople, but you can give them every chance to succeed by providing your support and guidance. Remind your salespeople that you’re on their side, and that you’ll be available to help them in any way you can. If you’re going to hold your salespeople accountable for meeting their goals, you have to hold yourself accountable for helping them.
Absolutely spot on. You have to help them in the manner in which they need help to develop and succeed. Don’t close deals for them. Don’t read them the riot act and not help them. Don’t go silent with the underperformers. You have to be a coach right in the middle of the huddle helping call the plays that will lead to their success. Anything short of that and you are not holding up your end of the leadership equation.