To have great sales effectiveness, you have to have a great sales team. Within all teams, whether they are NBA players, the neighborhood little league or the company softball team, there is always opportunity for conflict. The same goes for sales teams. And for independent, results-driven sales people, keeping the team in mind may not be their number one priority. So it’s important that sales leaders know how to effectively manage team conflict.
A certain amount of team conflict is healthy. It means individuals are passionate and confident in their ideas and work. In a great sales team, you need those individuals who are passionate about both their role in the organization and the product they are selling.
But what happens when that passion turns into heated arguments and stubborn battles at work? People become unhappy and productivity is negatively affected.
The best results when managing team conflict come from being prepared, objective and sensible! Here are 5 tips on how to effectively manage team conflict:
- Have a Team Mandate. All members of the sales team must be moving in the same direction, with the same goals and standards. After presenting and explaining the mandate, give the team an opportunity to process it clearly and then contribute their thoughts.
- Jobfit. When building a great sales team, skill and experience matter – but so do fit, chemistry and motives. You need to make sure all sales team members have the right skills and the right behavior for the job.
- Foster an open, honest, and professional culture. Encourage an environment of respect and fulfillment. Let your sales team feel comfortable expressing themselves, sharing ideas and accepting constructive criticism. The more satisfied the employees, the more productive and effective they are.
- Get personal with your sales people. It’s a sales manager’s job to know where the potential for conflict is, and to prevent that conflict from impacting the team’s sales effectiveness. To do this, you need to know each sales person as best you can – their personality traits, behaviors, beliefs and their strengths and weaknesses – so you can best anticipate where problems might arise.
- Be quick and be sensible. Tackle the problem right away! You’re the manager – the moment you see a conflict spark, get in there and turn the tension into an opportunity for growth and team building. Don’t let workplace problems get the best of you, or your organization.
Profiles SVP Deiric McCann describes how assessments help build more productive sales teams.
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