In the early stages of our upbringing, being accountable teaches us that being responsible for our actions has its consequences, both good and bad. Recall when your mother used to tell you to be home by midnight…or else? What if your mother laid out these guidelines, but never, ever enforced the rules?
Your mom said it, “or else. Some of us did with regret, while some of us never wanted to know what “else” really meant. Did you ever cross that line to learn what “else” really meant? In any case, it was the fear of stepping over that line that led to a realization of the difference between being accountable and being unreliable, untrustworthy, or unaccountable.
It’s all about accountability. In actuality, everything we do in life—from paying our bills to raising our families—requires us to be accountable. So, why on earth do we avoid accountability, and why don’t we follow through on this crucial attribute of accomplishment when it comes to holding our sales teams accountable for their performances?
The business I worked for in South Florida had a detailed action plan for the sales team when I first took the proverbial “salesperson oath” close to 30 years ago. However, the execution of that strategy by our team was far from stellar. Despite their best efforts, the company president and sales manager lacked follow-through, and the unmotivated sales team capitalized on that oversight.
Every week, our sales team was instructed to make a ton of calls, half of which were in-person meetings. Our call sheets had to include the date, the name of the business, the contact information, the conversation, the project’s budget, and ultimately, a summary of the results. We submitted the completed sheet to the sales manager for approval at the end of the week.
Focus on goals that are attainable. Create metrics to help you achieve your goals, like the number of client phone calls, scheduled appointments, and sales closed. Do not overwhelm your sales staff with excessive tracking numbers. Concentrate on the metrics that will make or break your company.
Everyone in your organization needs to be involved in the process of accountability. Everyone must take on the roles of creating the plan and carrying out the plan’s execution in order to establish that culture of accountability. Last but not least, it demands that everyone participate in the plan’s success and failure.
Accountability In Sales with Mark Keating | Sales Expert Insights Series
Why is accountability in sales important?
Accountability in sales is crucial because it can support the department’s continued success. It encourages salespeople to achieve their targets and give their best effort. Additionally, a culture of accountability motivates sales representatives to produce high-quality work and carry out their duties honestly.
What is accountability in sales?
Accountability in sales refers to the sense of ownership that salespeople have for their positions. It denotes that salespeople are accountable for their actions and results. To achieve the team’s objectives, they take initiative and solve problems.
8 ways to create accountability in sales
You can cultivate accountability in your sales department using the following strategies:
1. Define accountability
It’s crucial to clarify what accountability means to your team as you work to hold sales representatives accountable. Accountability could mean that sales representatives are in charge of meeting quotas or that they handle problem-solving rather than the manager. Your sales representatives can better understand your expectations for them if you define accountability. Developing a strong definition can also assist you in putting accountability measures into action.
2. Set clear goals
Setting clear goals is an essential part of cultivating accountability. Using the SMART framework, you can help your team come up with ambitious goals. SMART stands for:
Its important to keep your goals transparent. Share them with your entire sales team so that everyone is aware of their responsibilities and role within the group. Additionally, you can assist specific sales representatives in developing plans to meet their objectives.
3. Try different motivational tactics
Motivating your team is another important aspect of accountability. Motivating staff members can increase morale and make them feel more a part of their work. Since everyone is motivated differently, try to get to know each team member and their sources of motivation. You can also consider using motivational tactics like:
4. Monitor progress
Monitoring progress is another aspect of upholding accountability because it encourages sales representatives to evaluate their efforts and results. Finding sales success metrics, such as website conversion rate or newly generated leads, can help you keep track of your progress. To evaluate the performance of your sales team and identify areas for improvement, compare their results to the performance metrics.
5. Promote autonomy
Promoting autonomy is another strategy for cultivating accountability. Giving employees autonomy in the workplace entails giving them freedom and control over how they work. Giving your sales representatives autonomy will enable them to take responsibility for their efforts and sales results. Allowing them to develop their own work processes and solve problems on their own can help them feel more accountable.
6. Give regular feedback
Giving feedback is essential to holding sales representatives accountable. Prior to a performance review cycle, it can aid them in maintaining their focus and high performance. You can conduct sporadic performance reviews and provide informal feedback in casual conversations. Be sure to speak kindly and give constructive, actionable feedback. Inform sales representatives of actions they can take to enhance their performance.
7. Provide data
Giving your team members information about their work is another way to encourage accountability. You can demonstrate their performance by displaying other metrics, such as the number of sales they generated. This can highlight for sales representatives areas for development, helping them become better at what they do. Providing data can also force your sales representatives to fulfill specific objectives or quotas.
8. Hold leaders accountable
It’s crucial for leaders to hold themselves accountable in addition to the sales team members. Holding yourself accountable can help you lead by example and motivate your sales reps to do the same if you manage a sales team. By being responsible for your actions, you can learn from your mistakes and move forward. Additionally, it entails upholding the same standards that you set for your team.
Tips for establishing accountability in sales
Here are some additional tips for creating accountability:
Create a plan for implementing accountability
Making a plan is one way to establish accountability in sales. You can describe the tactics you intend to employ to introduce accountability within your sales team. You can also include motivational strategies, success metrics, and any other particular information in your plan. Making a plan is crucial because you can use it as a roadmap for establishing an accountable culture within your sales department.
Get feedback from sales reps
To further promote accountability, ask salespeople for their honest opinions. Find out what inspires them and keeps them interested in their work by asking them. Utilizing these insights, you can create accountability plans that are compatible with the individual work preferences and personalities of your sales representatives. For instance, some sales representatives may require feedback more often than others, while others may prefer to use data to assess their own performance.
Develop your leadership skills
Being a strong leader is essential to holding your sales team accountable. By honing your leadership abilities, such as delegation, management, and communication, you can become a better leader. By enrolling in classes, reading books, and putting your skills to use at work, you can improve them.
It’s crucial to be open with employees if you’re implementing accountability in sales for the first time. Explain to them the value of accountability and how they can succeed in this setting. For instance, some workers might need to work on their independence and problem-solving skills in order to succeed in a culture of accountability.
What is accountability and examples?
Establishing goals and accountability will help you understand what is expected of you. The feedback loop created by accountability lets you know where you stand and what needs to change. You shouldn’t work without objectives and accountabilities even without the assistance of an excellent sales manager.
How do you get the most out of your sales team?
Accountability is defined as accepting or receiving responsibility for an action you have taken or a duty you have to perform. When a worker acknowledges a mistake she made on a project, that is an example of accountability.
How do you hold a marketing team accountable?
- Be results oriented.
- Identify where you are versus what you need.
- Manage expectations.
- Hire coachable reps.
- Set high, but realistic goals.
- Incentivize your team.
- Make learning a priority.
- Use the volume versus value ratio.