The best sales managers are the great communicators. Effective communications keep salespeople engaged, energized, and educated. The heart of sales productivity is to get the right information at the right time to salespeople, keeping the noise away from rep productivity. Consider all the ways we communicate today. Our goal is to help our sales managers make every email, team meeting, one-on-one, and team interaction feel like a professional, Steve Jobs keynote. Here are seven sales communications best practices to inspire our sales teams to be the best they can be.
1. Prioritize and Curate Sales Communications Prioritizing and curating sales communications means that at the highest level, sales managers have a vision of the year, quarter, month, and week that correlates with the rhythm of the business and its plan for the year. For example, the focus of the first set of weekly meetings at the beginning of the year should be on building new pipeline and creating a large funnel of new business. Don’t let the internal spam that plagues so many corporations bring down our sales team’s productivity. it’s our job as sales managers to keep the noise level down and help our sales teams prioritize what’s most important. We’re responsible for translating and prioritizing for salespeople which communication messages apply to accounts, sales campaigns, sales plays, and territories.
2. Establish and Reinforce Sales Themes Keep teams aligned and focused by focusing sales themes, communications, tools, and conversations on top goals. Communications should map back to company themes established. If we have a theme for the year, let’s make sure to consistently reinforce it as we communicate with our reps. We could even take it a step further and publish our own team theme for the month. That theme could then show up on notes, email subject lines, weekly calls, and coaching huddles.
3. Keep Communications Crisp and Consistent What we communicate is just as important as how we communicate it. The tone and crispness of the messages really sets great sales managers apart from good ones. Some of the most successful sales managers take great strides to make their communications professional and consistent. The best sales managers always have great team meeting agendas, quarterly business review templates, and weekly motivational notes to their sales teams. 4. Inspire and Motivate Teams It’s a best practice to kick off each month with a team call. Rally the team with an action-oriented and motivational note that is sent out through regular communication channels, be it email, team group, or company social network. Hype up the month and what we want the team to accomplish. We should be clear on the goals and keep the energy focused and fun. It’s our job to excite and inspire the team.
5. Run Team Coaching Huddles Weekly team meetings or sales huddles happen. The effectiveness of these meetings depends on the sales leader’s ability to define and communicate an agenda to the team and then to execute the meeting. It’s important to always have an agenda set before the meeting starts and to make sure there is a balance among reviewing deals and pipeline, sharing best practices, and learning. The meeting itself is a way to highlight priorities, deliver key messages, and explain new products. The sales huddle is really the only time in the week that the sales manager brings the team together as a group. The time should be used wisely and planned appropriately.
6. Partner with Subject Matter Experts Use your resources and network to achieve your goals by having subject-matter experts augment your communication strategies. Bring in special guest speakers to your monthly or quarterly kickoff calls and team meetings. Keep the speakers and topics fresh and relevant. Consider engaging executives, product managers, or partners to help drive momentum around key business goals or themes of the month. Sales managers who go that extra mile to share rich and fresh content are always on the top of the leaderboards, and their salespeople were the ones crushing their numbers. It all started with the sales manager reaching out, being entrepreneurial, owning the outcomes, and inviting outside subject-matter experts to team meetings.
7. Be Grateful and Celebrate Team Wins Close out every month, quarter, and year with thank-you notes to celebrate the successes of the team. Congratulate the team on their great results. Highlight the highs and team wins. Recognize all wins, including pipeline, revenue, and customer success. Recognize top performers. Include the direct and indirect team members in your notes. Sending out congratulatory notes to thank members for their impact on your team’s success will make them want to contribute more. Make sure to be consistent and send out regular monthly, quarterly and year-end wrap-up notes. Handwritten notes are a novelty these days, so consider integrating them with your communication cadence. The best sales managers are inspirational communicators who understand the art of professional motivation through words and action. These sales managers align their teams and ultimately helps everyone exceed their goals.