The trust between you and your sales team is a critical element of a successful business, especially in the agriculture industry. When it comes to getting buy-in from sales on new initiatives, trust is the key to driving high performance. They look to you as a manager for guidance and vision. But if you don’t have their trust, it’s all but impossible to land either of those things if they are at all different from the expectations of your team. That’s where trust matters.
This is true of most high performing businesses. Organizations that value trust collaborate better with colleagues, have employees that stay with the company longer, and have higher energy employees than those businesses with low trust. So, if you want your sales team to be as engaged and productive as possible, they need to trust you.
Here are 5 Ways to Build Trust with Your Sales Team
1. Invest the Time
Spending time with your team might seem like a superfluous way to build trust, but frankly it works. People generally don’t trust people they don’t interact with regularly. A manager who doesn’t have their team’s best interest at heart, or who doesn’t understand the context of the work being done, won’t earn trust easily. Trust never grows in a vacuum. It requires time and attention to nurture and grow that trust and understanding. So, invest some of your time to actively build that connection with your sales team. Get out from behind the computer screen and talk to your people face to face.
2. Choose Effective Communication
Every person has a preferred communication style that is most effective for them. Knowing what your salespeople prefer, on an individual basis, can help you build the trust you need to get the best work out of them. When managers understand and can adapt to the communication style of each salesperson, they can better build the trust and understanding that truly effective working relationships thrive on.
3. Start from the Top Down
Trust needs to start with you. If you don’t trust your team, you can be sure they won’t trust you. Your trust comes through in many different ways, in how you treat your staff to how you micromanage projects. But it’s important to recognize that trust isn’t something that can simply be demanded of your team. It must be earned, starting with you and your actions. That includes hiring people who are talented and well-equipped to do the job, training them to succeed, and then trusting that they will. Giving them the autonomy to make good choices and build a sense of ownership and accountability for their work will have a great impact on their trust for you as a leader.
4. Follow Through
People trust those who they find to be authentic and of high integrity. Earning trust comes from competence, consistency, and responsibility. Following through on your commitments makes a big difference to whether people feel they can trust you or not. Only when managers walk their own talk can they expect salespeople to trust them.
5. Maintaining the Right Mindset
Two of the most common trust killers are manipulation and sarcasm. If either of those are in your management toolbox, you need to rethink how you’re approaching your team. Sometimes managers feel that in order to get buy-in, they need to use tricks to build alignment. But snark and cynicism are toxic to trust. Managers who are committed to earning trust need to adopt the right mindset, support their teams with effective guidance and coaching, focus on positives, and reserve criticism for targeted feedback aimed at improving specific performance measures.
Building a great team?
For more advice on building the trust of your team, connect with the team building experts at Ag 1 Source today.