To grow a strong, well rounded and successful marketing and sales team, you need to have a capable team who focus on delivering tangible results. And meet their sales quota month in and month out.
However, with so many marketing channels to manage these days, and so many different projects for your team to work on simultaneously, it can be tough to keep track of who’s doing what, and how effectively.
How do you make sure that every member of your team is measuring up and delivering on their sales quota?
Smart Questions Prompt Good Answers
Smart questions inevitably prompt good answers. If you want to know what’s really going on at your company, make sure you’re asking your marketing and sales team the right questions.
Your interactions with your sales team can have a discernable impact on business-and the questions you ask can equally advance or hinder your marketing and sales team’s overall performance.
By asking the right questions, and then carefully listening to the team’s answers, a savvy leader can influence the team as well as gaining an insight into the team’s competence, focus and morale, as well as its overall effectiveness.
As a bonus, you’ll refresh morale by showing your marketing and sales team you understand their key concerns as well as keeping an eye on their sales quota. Here are five smart questions that can give you a deeper understanding of your team, the business, and your competitive marketplace.
1. What Do You Understand Are The Primary Goals For Our Marketing And Sales Team As A Whole?
It’s very important that your marketing and sales team members are not just focused on their own channels and goals. At the very least, they need to be aware of the overall marketing and sales team goals, as their individual goals should ideally support these team goals.
One of the most effective means of building a strong marketing and sales team is to encourage cross-collaboration. Empower your employees to make suggestions for improvements or brainstorm new initiatives to pilot in areas of expertise outside their own. Getting input from team members who are smart and experienced but who are not thinking about those particular issues every hour of every day will bring a fresh perspective to the business and help your team to respond and innovate faster.
2. What Are The Most Important Metrics You’re Tracking This Month?
One of the first rules of marketing and sales is that all of your efforts must be measurable. Closed-loop analytics was invented to provide business owners with a way to tie critical metrics like leads and customers back to its original source. Each of your marketing and sales team members should have a specific numerical goal that they are focused on achieving in any given month. This will make it easier to measure progress and individual and team performance month on month.
3. What’s Working And What Isn’t?
You can rely on an open-ended question to quickly identify chronic complainers as well as uncovering significant issues and barriers. When asking this question, be prepared for an avalanche of fix-it requests that may or may not be valid. You may need to do some further digging to sift out whether these problems really do require solving.
More importantly, answers to this question clearly communicate the state of team morale. If the responses suggest little or nothing is working, then you have a morale issue. That’s a definite sales killer. Every leader should uncover and fix these types of causative issues.
4. What Are Your Most (And Least) Significant Opportunities?
The answers to this question illustrate where a marketing and sales team is focusing its attention and its resources. The answers can potentially signal your marketing and sales team is operating contrary to the stated company strategy. They may perhaps be lavishing time on a product or service that is not amongst the company’s main priorities. You may also uncover opportunities senior management has not previously recognized and adopted as part of their business strategy.
5. What Are Your Top Three Priorities This Month And How Are They Going To Help You Achieve Your Goal?
An oldie but a goodie. It’s not sufficient just to ask what your team is working on. They should be able to nominate their reasons for focusing their time and efforts on their key projects versus others.
Ideally, it should be because those projects will contribute the most to helping them hit their quotas for the month, thus increasing the ROI of your marketing and sales investment. Ask the team members directly how working on X, Y, or Z will help them hit their sales quota. If they don’t have a good answer, they may not be prioritizing their time correctly.
Bonus Point Questions
Now we’ve covered the five key questions every business owner needs to ask his marketing and sales team, here are two additional areas to probe to build out a complete picture of how the team is performing.
A. Who Is Your Toughest Competitor And What Are They Doing Right?
One of a business owner’s most critical duties is to stay on top of competitor activities. Your marketing and sales team faces the competition each day hence your team should have the best on-the-ground market intelligence.
Once you understand the competitive landscape, you can proceed with a “risk vs. opportunity” analyses. What you do not want is to find out after the fact is that you could have avoided a marketing or sales failure by countering competitive activity.
B. What Can I Do To Help You?
Aside from being a great way to build trust and rapport with your team, asking this question will give you deeper insights into where your team may be struggling the most.
If you are asked for help with a decision you have delegated down to the team, find out exactly why the team is struggling with making effective decisions before gauging whether or not this is a red flag for team performance or capability.
In answer to your question, the team may indicate they are confronting major blockers from a manager or team members. In this case, it may be appropriate for you as the business owner to step in and clear those performance blockers.
Or perhaps everything under control and you can focus your attention on other issues in the business. Either way, by asking this very simple question, you’re able to both learn more about your team and offer them your personal support.
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While these questions will help you evaluate the performance of your marketing and sales team when they are not hitting their sales quota, they are equally designed to clarify your own level of awareness of what your team members are working on. Hopefully, this information will help you assess where you stand and what you need to work on with your marketing and sales team. Either way, these five questions will give you a sound framework for getting that essential conversation started.