Effective communication, or the lack thereof, is crucial to sales team synergy. Our recent surveys show that too many businesses still struggle to get this right. We highlight the three frictions that contribute to ineffective communication and how businesses are overcoming these.
The common thread that runs through the 6 factors that negatively affect rep-manager relationships indicated below, is a lack in effective communication. Whether it’s a general lack of trust or the perception that sales reps aren’t properly supported or invested in to do their job, underlying these issues are communication failures. On the one hand the failure to relay helpful information to reps, and on the other the failure to gather important information from reps.
Why do sales managers fail to communicate effectively?
Poor communication easily erodes trust between reps and managers and as long as a trust gap exists, effective communication will remain difficult.
Assumptions and, at worst, suspicion inevitably fills this trust gap. Managers often face the frustration of having very little insight into what their reps are doing out in the field, having to rely on assumptions. This lack of transparency has at least two negative consequences:
1. reps are unfairly held responsible for failures to reach sales goals
2. managers spend most of their time micromanaging instead of coaching their reps
Despite the best intentions to communicate more effectively, sales teams often get stuck in this trap and remain unable to bridge the trust gap and communicate effectively.
How can sales managers overcome this communication barrier?
Our surveys among South African and British sales professionals ascribes this communication barriers to Relationship Friction.
Along with Technology Friction and Data Friction, Relationship Friction has been identified as three key points that contribute to a breakdown in communication and rep-manager relationships.
Skynamo is changing the sales conversation by overcoming these points of friction and bridging the trust gap between managers and reps. Managers have instant insight into field sales activities and a continual coaching conversation is now a reality. It becomes easier to identify why some reps struggle and help them work on their weaknesses rather than simply showing them the door.
Managers no longer ask, ‘why aren’t you overcoming these challenges?’ but rather suggest, ‘these are possible solutions to our challenges’.
‘We have a philosophy: we always prefer to “coach up” rather than “coach out”. We prefer not losing our reps. All reps have different strengths and weaknesses and Skynamo allows managers to hone in on those qualities and coach them as individuals.’ – Mike Giltrow, CEO of BED Holdings
“I can be much more proactive as a sales manager and lead the difficult discussions, which is to my reps’ benefit. We spend about 80% less time in conversation but our conversations are so much more fruitful.” – Jannic Zietsman, Regional Sales Manager of Lionel’s Veterinary Supplies
Learn more about the various factors that lead to Relationship Friction, Technology Friction and Data Friction and how these affect sales performances. Download your FREE copy of the UK Trust Gap report now.