All too often employees work toward individual goals rather than operating with a team mentality. And while individual efforts are great, a sales team that lacks cohesiveness can have a big impact on a company’s success.
So, how does one foster an environment of teamwork? These tips are a great place to get your team started on the road to collaborative success.
1. Don’t overlook team-building events. At first glance, they might seem like a waste of time and money, but team-building activities can yield a huge benefit. These activities give your employees a chance to get to know each other on a more personal level, which in turn fosters trust between team members and helps them function more collaboratively, especially when someone new has joined the squad.
2. Create team-oriented goals. Again, personal benchmarks are important, but creating team-oriented goals can get your sales team functioning as a cohesive unit. Furthermore, having shared goals helps team members develop a shared purpose, necessitating collaboration automatically.
3. Share big wins. By encouraging employees to share successes with the team, you’ll encourage an "I can do that, too" mentality throughout the group. As you urge them to share wins, be sure to also outline appropriate ways to do so. You don't want employees veering into braggart territory. Promote unity as your entire team celebrates success together.
4. Show them how to collaborate. Don’t be a "Do as I say, not as I do" leader. By demonstrating collaborative behavior with your team, you’ll encourage employees to follow in your footsteps. Show how to really put the "team" in teamwork, and they’ll be much more likely to apply it to their own work style.
5. Provide appropriate tools. You can’t expect your sales team to work together if you aren’t providing the tools for them to do so. Making sure your team has the right technology and systems for monitoring progress and measuring success will help them stay on track and focused on their new team goals. With the help of these tools you can make collaboration second nature.
Fostering collaboration within your sales team means fostering productivity — and ultimately success. Apply these tips and line yourself up for happier employees, increased sales and greater business success.
Kevin Cundiff is vice president of retail for Fortegra Financial Corporation (a Tiptree Financial Inc. company).
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