It is one thing to present your sales representatives with an idea and ask for their feedback; it’s quite another to ask them to innovate.
Sales leaders often present their own ideas and ask for input on how to execute the ideas, but they don’t often present employees with a root problem and ask them to solve it. The problem with presenting your own ideas upfront is that it can cause employees to assume that they can’t argue with your ideas, or that your solution is the only solution. When you put a cap on the scope of what your employees can do for you, they naturally innovate and communicate less. They feel less valued and less committed, and as a result, your entire organization suffers.
Before presenting your own ideas, ask your team to come up with ways to meet a challenge or solve a specific problem. By being conscious of the ways you communicate and leading by example, you can help create a culture that is open, nurturing, and fosters innovation.
Using a communications platform or customer relationship management tool like Jive or Bootcamp can also help foster communications, new ideas, and growth. Not everyone will speak up at a company meeting or send out an e-mail to colleagues at all levels, but most people will pipe in when there is an open forum that welcomes or requests their input. Communications platforms can also increase managers’ abilities to determine employees’ strengths, weaknesses, and productivity and commitment levels, and nurture the growth of individual employees accordingly.
It is important to note that when you make an earnest effort to create a company culture that fosters innovation by leading by example and improving communications methods, it is very likely that you will quickly reach a threshold that will have to be breached if you are going to take your department or organization to the next level.
Too many companies open the doors of communication only to shut down valuable ideas again and again because implementing them would require too many of their internal resources to execute. As a result, their employees don’t feel heard and their efforts to create an innovative company culture fall flat before they’ve had a chance to gain any real momentum.
Once you open the doors of communication, it is very likely that you will need third-party assistance with implementing all of the good and new ideas that are flowing throughout your department or organization, regardless of its size.
A qualified sales management consultant can help you analyze your current sales processes and growth opportunities monthly, quarterly, or annually, depending on your organization’s needs. As your organization grows, the right sales management consultant should also be able to provide you with an objective view of your sales processes and capabilities and give you updated baselines that will help you determine which goals can be met when, and which ideas will be the most practical, affordable, and profitable for you to implement now and in the future.
Can you set more sales appointments? Is it within your budget to host more sales events? Is it possible to qualify leads before they reach your sales team? Would your team be more productive if you outsourced certain sales functions? What would it take for you to truly align your sales and marketing departments?
Answer these types of questions on a regular basis, and you will be able to determine not only whether the new innovations and ideas proposed by your team are feasible, but how quickly you will be able to promote even better communications, more innovations, and revenue increases along the way.