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Topics Covered: <a href='/resources/search/?query=Sales Management'>Sales Management</a>
Sales Strategy
Feb 28, 2018 | Canadian Professional Sales Association lock

Do you find your sales team is a little too over-reliant on the same old list of prospects and customers? Are they getting a bit complacent?

Prospecting is not always a salesperson’s favourite part of the job, but it’s such an important one if you want to get new customers and develop your business. As a sales manager, it’s part of your job to inspire your team to get more prospects and raise the bar for their prospecting performance. Here’s how to use meeting time to inspire your sales team to get more prospects.

Keep Prospecting at the Top of their Mind

A big part of the problem for sales reps who under-perform in prospecting is their mindset. It might seem like a no-brainer to you since prospecting is such an important part of the sales process but unfortunately reps need to be reminded, and regularly. With all the competing priorities a sales rep faces, the importance of always prospecting often ends up taking a back seat. So you need to take action. In sales meetings, reps shouldn’t just be reporting on the deals they have made or are currently working on. Challenge them to update you on their pipeline too. Use questioning to get them to keep prospecting top of their mind. Ask them: How many referrals did you ask for this week? How many prospecting calls did you make? What networking events have you attended? How many leads did this generate? Setting aside time in each meeting to focus on these things makes them accountable and creates a shift in mindset: prospecting isn’t something that can drop down their list of priorities.

Reward and Recognise New Business

Another key part of inspiring your team to get more prospects is rewarding and recognising bringing in new business. Show them that it’s not just about bringing any dollars in the door, new business dollars have their own reward. In meetings, praise those whose actions will lead to new business, e.g. those who’ve been picking up the phone diligently or those who’ve attended events and brought in a wealth of new leads. Have rewards for reps who’ve brought in new deals. This doesn’t always have to be financial - small gifts and prizes also work well. Also reward them with your time. Take someone out for lunch or drinks to congratulate them on bringing in new business. The more you demonstrate new business is important to you, the more inspired your reps will be to go out and make it happen.

Coach and Train them in Latest Prospecting Tools and Techniques

Sometimes it’s not a lack of will that stops your sales team from prospecting; it can also be a lack of training or support. Most people will avoid doing something that makes them feel uncomfortable, but the only way to get better at something is through guidance and practice. Highlight new prospecting tools in meetings and give them a break down on why they’re useful. Add some interactive activities into your sales meetings to tackle this. It could be networking or cold call tips coupled with some role-play. Or you could bring in an expert to coach them on latest techniques such as prospecting through social media. When people feel more accomplished at a task, they’re inspired to go out and do it more. So help your team with prospecting training and coaching.

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