Search the phrase “quotes for expectations” and a variety of results appear with a common message: do not expect anything and avoid disappointment. Search the phrase “quotes for expectations in business” and the exact opposite message appears: expect greatly to achieve goals. How can two simple words, “in business,” added to the end of a search phrase change the results so greatly? Personal experience of being disappointed makes us believe expectations never do us any good, while experience in business makes us believe strong expectations are the key to success. Too high expectations, though, especially in sales, can actually hurt your team. So how do you set up your sales team for success and ensure the expectations will lead you to the results you want?
Setting Up the Right Sales Expectations
Sunday night is a time for many of us to sit down and watch the best athletes compete against each other and sprint into the end zone to score the winning touchdown. What many of us may not think while getting red-faced and ready to fight the referee on T.V., because they’ve been making the wrong calls all game long, is how your football team can teach you about running your business. As a sales leader, you have to be ready to call the right play at the right time. Not only must you instill trust into your sales team, but you have to create a vision they can all buy into. Only then can you create expectations for your team. Do not confuse stretch goals and targets with expectations. Expectations determine what employees should be doing day-to-day, not what they should be aiming for. Many managers believe expectations must be high in order to achieve great results. The opposite could not be truer. According to Forbes, sales “expectations must be prescribed in doses, not as a standard remedy to increase productivity.” The bottom line is expectations for your team must be attainable and achievable.
Developing the Plays
Your team is sitting in front of the whiteboard studying the Xs and Os you’ve thoughtfully scribbled and listening to you discuss your strategy. In football, teams develop a variety of offensive and defensive plays to counteract and beat out their competitors. Players, or your employees, learn what is expected of them for every play. As a sales leader, your job is to develop the plays and communicate to your team how the play works. For your team to understand the reasonable expectations you’ve set before them, you must first effectively communicate the expectations. Keep it simple and use these five tips to both communicate and manage expectations:
- Motivate your team by giving them a purpose.
- Encourage your team to write expectations down.
- Check-in with your team once a week.
- Hold regular meetings so your team can communicate with you.
- Talk to team members individually.
Scoring the Touchdown with Your Sales Team
Ultimately, to win the big game you must keep your team accountable to your sales expectations by establishing clear goals and providing tools for success. Clear communication is the best way to ensure your team understands your expectations and can be victorious! If you’re experiencing an unhappy sales team or have unclear sales expectations, contact me at [email protected] for a free consultation. Sidehill Consulting offers one-of-a-kind solutions to help improve your business’ performance.