Managing leadership expectations can be difficult in the modern world. Virtually every sales rep will have “sales expectations” to live up to. In other words, they’ll need to prove that they’re performing according to the needs of the business, closing the right number of deals, and working efficiently.
As the landscape grows more competitive, many sales leaders struggle to set the right expectations for their teams. While it’s important to push professionals towards their full potential, unrealistic expectations can have a negative impact on employee engagement and performance levels.
This means sales managers and reps both have a role to play in ensuring the right performance targets are met. Leaders need to become experts at setting and managing expectations, and sales reps need to ensure they have a strategy in place for living up to those targets.
While many sales leaders have lofty goals for sales performance, coaching and motivating a high-performing team requires managers to take a practical approach to sales expectations. Knowing how to set the right expectations is an essential leadership skill that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Employees can only deliver according to the requests of their managers if those requests are clearly explained, reasonable, and realistic. This means business leaders need to take a careful approach to guiding their sales teams. Every sales goal set by a leader, whether for performance, conduct, or development, needs to be implemented with the right best practices.
In particular, when setting sales expectations, business leaders need to:
In most sales environments, sales expectations are set based on research and data. To ensure they’re setting the right goals for their teams, leaders often use a combination of sales forecasting methods, as well as a managed sales pipeline, to track and streamline performance.
A sales pipeline gives sales professionals the ability to effectively manage the progression of sales opportunities from initial interaction through to closing the deal. The right sales pipeline management strategy provides an up-to-date insight into how teams are performing, and assists leaders in adjusting expectations and maintaining realistic goals.
Alternatively, sales forecasting helps to ensure leaders can align performance goals with overall business objectives. Accurate forecasts help business leaders to evaluate how much of a product or service they can expect their teams to sell, based on historical data.
Forecast-based sales expectations are often more realistic and reasonable than lofty sales goals set without data. However, it’s important to invest in an accurate sales forecast, to prevent discrepancies in market demand and other factors from leading to problematic goals.
In the world of sales expectations, sales pipeline management, and forecasting often go hand-in-hand. An accurate pipeline provides the foundation for a more powerful forecast.
While sales leaders play an important role in ensuring consistent sales performance, by offering coaching support and setting clear expectations, team members have their own role to play. Managing leadership expectations in the sales environment means each individual sales rep needs to:
Managing sales expectations in an evolving business is a process that requires the input and dedication of both sales leaders and their teams. Together, business leaders can work with employees to help them reach crucial goals, with the right motivation and guidance.
Learn more about how you can support your team in reaching loftier sales expectations, with gamified courses from Hypcccycl today.
Keeping your sales teams engaged and motivated is crucial to your company’s success. The more motivated your staff, the more likely they are to generate positive results for your business. Some studies even suggest a highly motivated sales team can increase profits by 21%.Read Now