If you want to build a wildly successful inside sales team, here is a list of 5 traits you must inspire in them as a business leader:
Focus is a state of being that only occurs when one has the presence of mind to have decided what is truly important. You cannot expect your sales team to have focus until you have given them a mission that they can want to buy into. Focus is the state of being of a single mind. It requires that you give all of your attention to the task at hand. The task at hand is to further the goals of your company. The goal of your company is to provide a needed product or service at a fair price and that gives value for value: a dollar spent, a dollar earned. Focusing on your work happens when you truly believe that the work you are doing is worth doing. You could be fixing a broken HVAC unit. You could be making a precision machined part. You could be designing a bridge to be light and strong and last 500 years. You could be designing a telephone application to help people through storms and save lives. Me, I work on building a brand for a company that exists to bring knowledge and effective tools to small to midsize companies in order to make them more efficient, stronger, and more profitable. Focus requires knowing what is important, and giving it your undivided attention and effort.
Confidence is a quality without which persuasion almost never happens. Why would anyone want to listen to someone who says with their tone of voice that they have no confidence in what they are saying? Confidence comes first from rock solid belief, and secondly from practice. True confidence stems from knowing what you want to say, why you want to say it, and how to say it convincingly. It is worth repeating that confidence results from adequate practice, and is something your sales team should be trained on.
Authority is a quality we develop as we learn. You have to provide the right training and the right learning tools for your staff members to gain the needed insights to speak with authority. These traits that we desire our team members to have are all intertwined. Your prospective clients are bone weary of telemarketers that waste their time. Your sales team has to stand out in a positive way. The best way to achieve this is to hire people who are compatible with your belief system and your mission, and who have a genuine desire to both improve themselves and to move your mission forward. As they learn, they begin to have intelligent conversations with your prospective clients. They become something much more than a “telemarketer.” They become, for a 5 to 15 minute period, a partner in discussing the issues that are of importance to your prospective clients. They leverage the confidence they gain both from study, and from knowing that they are part of something bigger than themselves. They become “authorities” because they know the challenges that other businesses face, and they take the time to learn how those challenges might be addressed.
Permission is something that can be external or internal. When we were children, we needed permission from our parents, from our teachers and from our coaches. As adults, the most important kind of permission is the permission we grant ourselves. I grant myself permission to express my opinion because my opinion comes from education, experience, and a belief in something greater than myself. Once we have established ourselves as confident authorities, it is a short step to grant yourself permission to ask for and expect to receive a business owners time and respect. Only we can grant ourselves permission to become strategic partners, and to command respect, because we know in our hearts we have something worth saying.
Passion is the culmination of all the previous traits. We become genuinely excited about the tools we are offering and confident in our ability to describe and recommend them. We obviously care. You can hear it in the arguments we make, and in our confidence in the value that we offer. None of these traits are expendable, but in my opinion, passion is the most important trait we have yet addressed.
In conclusion, a successful inside sales team has members who confidently focus on leveraging their authority, while giving themselves permission to state passionately and effectively the value of what is brought to the table.
*This blog was inspired by a Thursday morning meeting of the Business Development Coordination group at Cogent Analytics last week. The group was animated, and each member was eager to contribute as Rob Braiman, our managing member, led us through the various points. The purpose of the exercise was to differentiate between a day of lack-luster disappointment and a day of brilliant success.
At Cogent Analytics, we never stop looking for ways to improve your business and neither should you. So, check out some of our other posts for helpful business information: