Mar 13, 2014 | By Mike Lyon

Is your sales team divided?

I encounter little hiccups every once in a while. It goes like this. “Hey Mike, I’m the online sales counselor working my butt off to get these prospects to set appointments, but I don’t think some of my onsite agents see the value.”

When I ask them what percent don’t see the value, I usually get an answer of about 20 percent. In this case, I advise, “Don’t sweat, you will always have that 20 percent who just don’t ‘get’ the value of what you do. You still have 80 percent who do.”

However, in some cases, the divide is much bigger—and that’s a problem. A unified team delivers far greater results than a bunch of individuals working on their own agendas. One of the best ways to ensure that your online and onsite team is working as a unit is to play an active role in the weekly sales meetings.

So here are some tried and true methods to building that bridge to close up the gap between what you’re currently getting and the conversion results you want:

  1. Be Present. Play an active role in your team’s activities. Don’t sit on the outside looking in. Show up at the sales meetings, get to know the agents, watch relationships grow over time, and cultivate those that need a little intervention.
  2. Make Some Noise. Don’t be a wallflower.  Make yourself heard. Offer advice, share success stories, and spark thinking.
  3. Talk Yourself Up.  Give your team an update every week. Relay these numbers: leads per month, scheduled appointments, and sales from appointments. Focus on the appointment-to-sales ratio so they see the relationship and its value. Tell them what is on the calendar for the week so they also see the activity.
  4. Give Some High Fives. Pick a success story of one of the appointments you set that turned into a sale. Congratulate them on an awesome job and let the agent tell the group the success story. When you put someone in a positive spotlight, the others will want to follow.
  5. Run The Gauntlet. Do some role-playing with your team. Let them take turns playing a customer who has called in. Tell them to give you objections or ask tough questions. Most sales executives have no idea how good you are so here is a way to show that what a valuable resource you are and to give them some help with overcoming objections for setting appointments.
  6. Review The Handoff Process. What happens when you set the appointment? How do the sales executives communicate with prospects? “But I’ve already covered this Mike!” I know, I know…but do it again. They forget. This is a key element to the success of the appointment-setting process.
  7. Bribe the Sales Manager. What will it take to have him talk you up as well? Change starts at the top. Management usually sees the value in what you do, but forget to talk about it. Just remind them that 20 to 25 percent of sales are being generated from your position as online sales counselor, and then slip them a $50; that should do the trick.

I’ve heard before. It takes 21 reps for something to become a habit. In most cases, getting the entire sales team on board takes about six months. Once you take the necessary steps to move toward a cohesive unit, you will see noticeable improvement and higher conversion rates from appointments to sales.

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