Is Creating a Top-Performing, Accountable Sales Team the Manager’s Responsibility?

If you’re struggling to manage your team, what tools can help them improve performance, collaboration, motivation, and self-accountability? None. Creating a top-performing sales team doesn’t start with tools, strategies, or technology. Surprisingly, it doesn’t start with the manager either.

Regardless of the technology or tool, these will not help get your team get back on track if you don’t have the proper foundation. You need to start by asking, “Why is my team off track in the first place?” A new resource, tech solution, or chat function will not help.

Reason being, every conversation begins with misalignment sand disconnect that most people don’t realize. And that disconnect, the foundation of every organization that needs to be poured before the execution any other solution, are the defined core values and a shared vision to build from that each person embraces and owns.

Unfortunately, most companies don’t have defined values or a shared vision to build from.

Even if they do, they don’t have the buy-in around the vision and core values because they haven’t taken the time to align the company vision and values with each person’s vision and values. And if you’re not clear with your personal values and are honoring them every day, then it becomes very difficult to achieve your goals.

While most managers start by holding people accountable around their quota and goals, you have to start with holding them accountable around their values and the company’s values.

Now, if you find you or your team veering off the intended path, remind them of the core values they helped create and have committed to honor every day.

Creating a Value-Based Culture

Once you’ve created ownership and alignment around the company’s shared goals, values and vision, how do you leverage this to hold people accountable for honoring company values and vision?

By setting the positive expectation by introducing the accountability partnerships, which gives each person regardless of their role, permission to hold them accountable around honoring core values.

Now, if you notice someone struggling or run into the typical challenges that show up, you can find the gap and quickly get people back on track with one question.

“What value aren’t I/you living that’s preventing me/you from achieving the results I/you want?” (collaboration, commitment, accountability, kindness, transparency, unconditional support, customer excellence, coachable, process driven, being present, care, value based selling, positive attitude and behavior, etc.)

Yes, you can be this direct, at any time, with anyone, because people are clear with everyone’s positive intent and the values we choose to live by.

To create deeper long-term ownership and buy in, have your team be part of creating these values and vision of the company. When you align personal goals and values with the goals, vision and values of the company, people just need to be reminded what’s in it for them. That is, “If I honor these core values and achieve the business goal, I achieve my personal goals.”

This is how you hold people accountable for living them every day. Otherwise, it’s impossible to do so if you haven’t identified what you’re holding them accountable to that will create the results, culture and lifestyle you want.

The Peer Accountability Partnership

So how does this all tie together? This is the accountability partnership everyone needs to align around to create the accountability for all to honor the healthy culture that your people want to create.

Before you can hold each other accountable in a supportive and empowering way, you need to first set positive intent and agreement so people are clear with your intention and what’s in it for them. Here’s the coaching talk track.

“What I wish/want for you is to honor your values, goals and priorities. And of course, I want to ensure I’m doing the same while best supporting you. To ensure we can both achieve our goals, let’s create an accountability partnership.

What this means is, any time either you or I fall into any poor or damaging behavior that can impact our personal brand and goals, or we’re not honoring our core values, we both have the permission to immediately point this out to each other so we can ensure we’re doing what’s best for us, our team and our company. Are you open to creating this type of partnership?”

Doing this creates instant accountability; not only around the responsibilities of every manager but the responsibilities of every employee. Now, everyone’s your accountability coach and you’re everyone’s coach. 

This is how coaching becomes the company’s universal language and mindset which drives the positive behavior and results we all want, instead of pushing for results.

Now, you have the formula for creating cultural alignment so that everyone is committed to the same goals, values, and vision, which is the secret to driving the success of every organization.