How to Create a Sense of Urgency in Your Sales Team

Sense of urgency

As an employee, it’s always nice to hear, “It’s okay. Just wait until tomorrow…”

But if you want to build a winning sales team as a sales manager, you need to build a sense of urgency.

You need your sales team to get excited, to crave a win today, and to move on leads quickly. And as their manager, you have to lead the charge. It’s your job to instill a sense of immediacy. You’re the one who emphasizes the importance of taking immediate action.

So how do you do it? It all starts with casting a vision. Then you help them get there with the right tools, fewer distractions, and accountability.

Here’s how to create a sense of urgency in your sales team that keeps them focused on meeting those goals ASAP.

Clear a Line of Sight

Set clear goals for your team. What are you trying to accomplish? Cast the vision and sell them on it.

Tell them, “Here’s where we need to be by the end of the quarter. If everyone does their part, we’ll get there. If we don’t get there it’s on me — but I’m not going to fail.”

Whittle Down the To-Do List

After you set the goal, look at what tasks help salespeople achieve it… and what don’t. Start eliminating the things that seem productive but aren’t — like research, filing emails, or anything that doesn’t result in an immediate sale. You can even tell them, “Hey, we all spend time (researching, filing emails, etc. ), but we’re not going to do it for 90 days. Instead, I’ve made arrangements for how we’re going to handle it.”

It may seem that the time spent doing these non-urgent tasks is minimal, but it adds up. And when your team takes some of the little things off their plate, they’re better able to focus on more productive work.

Brainstorm Together

Get your sales team involved in figuring out how to achieve those goals too. Explain how activities lead to sales. Then ask for input:

  • What tasks do they see as non-productive?
  • What time-sucks keep them from making a sales?
  • What “jobs” have nothing to do with meeting people and making a sale?
  • What ideas do they have for getting stuff done in a different way?

People are probably harder on themselves than you would be on them. And the more involved they are in thinking of ideas, the more dedicated they’ll be to acting on them.

Look at the Pipeline

Also, look at each person’s pipeline. Salespeople should not have 50+ leads in their pipeline — they should have about seven. Look at each contact in their pipeline and ask the salesperson what the next step is. If the next step isn’t, “I need to call them,” “I need to get this from them,” or “I need to find out…,” move them out of the pipeline.

Related: How to Increase Sales By Returning Calls Faster

Only keep the leads you can act on now. The pipeline is not the place for delayed action. It’s the place for leads you can act on immediately.

Communicate Consistently

As their manager, communicate regularly and consistently. If you can, have salespeople call or email you after every appointment or meeting. We call it an “after-action report.” If they know you’re in the loop, they’ll automatically be urgent.

Without accountability, people move at their own pace — which often isn’t as efficient as it could be. You’re not their babysitter or their auditor. But you are holding them accountable. This kind of communication is all about sharing, working together, and staying on the same page.

Should you pay them more or offer incentives for reaching goals?

Honestly, they don’t really help. Incentives won’t fix a lack of urgency.

Creating a winning sales team is all about establishing the right culture — a culture that feels a sense of urgency and gets things done!

Increase Sales in Your Organization by Building a Culture of Positivity

culture of positivity

B Positive isn’t just my blood type — it’s also my philosophy.

How do people reach success? Well, the common thread in my past endeavors is happiness. When people are happy and begin to envision success, they become an unstoppable force.

If we want our organizations to be their best, we need to be positive. We need to lead by making good decisions that produce end results that benefit everyone.

How to Build a Positive Culture

Sure, there’s the mentality that if you’re going to make an omelet, you’ll have to crack a few eggs. Yes, there’s stress in any organization. You’ll need to have tough conversations with people as you lead them and hold them accountable.

Yet in a culture of positivity, people realize you’re all on the same team. You’re working towards the same goal. People with a common goal and positive attitude view tough conversations as a challenge, not a threat. Ultimately, they move forward for the good of the organization. (Or they don’t make it in sales and you’ll hire someone who wants to get on board.)

This is how you create that culture… the culture of positivity.

1. Create a Clear Line of Sight

Show your employees the big picture. When we understand the reason for our work and our role in the team’s success, our work becomes easier because it’s purposeful. So explain to your team:

  • What’s the end goal?
  • What happens when the organization is successful?

Then make sure each person knows how they fit into the big picture. How do they help the company reach its goal? Why is their role important?

One of the best ways to do this is to explain what problem you’re solving as a team. Everybody is happier solving problems than they are identifying problems. So focus on how you’re effectively resolving issues and making the workplace better.

2. Set the Tone

As a leader, you need to cast a vision and lead by example. Communicate your focus and then lead from the front. Think of it like pulling spaghetti. When someone makes spaghetti, they have to get in front of the machine and pull the noodles out. They don’t sit in the back and jam it through. They actually guide the dough from the front.

That’s your job as a leader. You guide your employees in attitude, work ethic, and values.

3. Surround Yourself With People who WANT to Be Part of Your Culture

You need people on your team who are willing to be positive. Establish core values and hold people accountable to them — even your customers. Only work with companies that align with those values. If you have any core value violators — customers, employees, vendors — get rid of them immediately. Core value violators are like a virus that can infect your entire organization.

Once you have your goals and culture established, make sure you’re recruiting people who are willing to join that culture. Everybody from the bottom to the top needs to feel as though they have a stake in the outcome and be willing to positively contribute to the team.

What’s So Bad About Negativity?

It isn’t hard to find negative people. We can write negativity off as the norm or even chalk it up to humor. But who really wants to be in the culture negativity creates?

We’ve all been part of a negative culture — even if we didn’t realize it at the time. In these organizations, you’re told what you did wrong… constantly. You’re never told what you did right. Your boss brings their shortcomings and negativity to the table. They’re leading by example. They don’t feel successful, so you don’t feel successful. You feel like you’re barely scraping by as you eat your way through each day, ready for the evening. You’re watching the ship sink without the energy to run any rescue ops.

No one wants to work in a place like this. No one thrives in these cultures. See, most of what goes on in our lives is internal, not external. If we’re not in a positive culture, it affects our internal selves. We’re negative about life, finding faults rather than silver linings.

I just talked to a friend who was promoted this week. The new job is awesome! She’ll be doing what she wanted to do and earning more money… but not as much as she expected. Now, she doesn’t know if she should take the promotion. She’s been in a toxic culture for a while and that negativity is skewing her perspective.

I told her, “Life is going to be better! The only negative is that the money isn’t exactly what you wanted — but you’ll enjoy what you do. You spend about 70% of your awake time at work — the money isn’t as important as actually enjoying your work!” That’s the big picture. But because she’s been in a negative culture, she couldn’t see it.

Sometimes it’s hard to see the forest when we’re in the trees. And even the best of us can lose perspective when we’re surrounded by negativity.

Start With You

A positive culture starts at the top and works its way down. Effective leaders create the vision. Then they take their vision from “me” to “we.” They cast that vision for the entire team and get everyone working in the same direction.

Leaders impact and administrators preside. Be the leader. Leaders make changes and grow their people. They make a difference. Administrators just make sure there’s governance on what everyone’s supposed to be doing. Leaders make it happen. They’re leading the pack to accomplish goals that benefit everyone.

Great leaders, positive leaders, do what it takes to make the entire team successful and create a culture that keeps that success going.

The Single Most Important Quality of a High-Performance Sales Culture

high performance sales culture

You want a high-performance sales culture? Give credit where credit is due.

Organizations that stand out as top-sellers celebrate success. They post sales reports on the wall. They spend lots of energy shining spotlights on the top salespeople. At times, the top salespeople have even more respect than those in leadership. High-performance sales cultures do these things because recognition is key.

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Recognize Top Sellers

In high-performance sales cultures, the top salesperson is king. When the organization updates the sales report every day for all to see, everyone acknowledges and respects the person at the top of the list. This list says, “These are the most important people in the organization.”

If your organization relies on salespeople to find business, those high-end salespeople help sustain the company. They secure the jobs for everyone in the company. Of course you could make a case that customer service representatives keep the customer happy, but in reality, he who brings the customer in the door first will be recognized as the most important piece of the puzzle.

The Test: Find the Weakest Link

If you want to keep your sales up, you also have to recognize those who fail to contribute. Try this simple test for those who seem to lack interest: Send emails with sales stats and see who checks them. Send an individual sales report to each salesperson over the course of a week and use a tool like Yesware to see see who clicks on it. Often, a weak salesperson won’t even check the report.

A real winner looks up at the scoreboard. Even if his team is behind, he wants to see how to catch up. I knew a sales manager in a large corporation that took it a step further 
and let go of reps who didn’t look at the stats in an email. He realized that if a sales rep doesn’t care about his own productivity, then he probably won’t be successful. Rather than waste time and money, he cut off indifference at the source.

This approach may sounds harsh, but it’s an early warning sign of apathy. Let’s just say for a moment you don’t track any sales statistics at all, but you try this email test. I would be willing to bet money that 100% of your “losers” never click on their reports.

Your Strongest Salespeople

This test works both ways. The top salesperson not only looks at that email, but if you have a real time system, he may pull up that sales tracking every single minute. He’s constantly refreshing to see where he scores. The “loser” thinks, “Yeah, I’ve lost. I don’t care.” The “winner” never stops checking how close he is to securing the win.

You have the stats. Use them to your advantage. Give credit where credit is due and say goodbye to those who lack interest in your company.