The on-going success of any organisation relies upon turnover generated by sales of goods or services and as sales manager you are the driving force behind this turnover. When surveyed most sales managers advised that they had a fairly strict format for their sales meetings which revolved around each member of the sales team confirming the cold calls they made and the leads that they had generated through these cold calls. In addition they would seek information on the cold call leads that had been converted to sales, how pipeline business was progressing and once the sales had been concluded – what was the level of customer satisfaction.
Humour in the sales meetings was rare. Sales jokes were not considered appropriate in that they were seen to be a distraction to the meeting. Jokes about sales or adult sales jokes did not see the light of day in a sales meeting scenario. When asked how they considered the sales team related to them as sales manager, most felt that while they were generally respected there was not a real connection between the manager and the sales team.
All managers surveyed were keen to improve the relationship in that they believed that by doing so the sales team would be more motivated to deliver results for them, but they were unsure as to how they might achieve a better connection. The proposition was put forward that whenever the sales manager got together with the sales team he or she should include sales jokes at one or two points during the meeting.
The managers agreed to source some good sales jokes and include them not just in the meeting but also in the general office environment. This approach followed the suggestion that by being inclusive of other administration staff the sales team turnover would further improve because they would have the support they needed by way of follow up allowing them to put more energy in finding the business.
Over a one month period each sales manager made the effort to include a sales training joke in any presentation they made to the sales team and a sales meeting joke during the weekly get together. The results were overwhelming in that the sales team connected with the sales managers, they respected them more for sharing sales jokes and their humour with them, the whole approach was considered to be more personal and as a result the sales team developed as a much more positive and cohesive group.
Energy level in the team increased and sales figures improved significantly. Their increased effort was recognised and valued by the administrative divisions who relied upon sales for their jobs and they willingly helped the team wherever possible.