I’ve been in sales for quite some time now and have always found myself getting along with my sales team. However, I recently took a sales position at a new company and after about 5 months here I can firmly say that the team dynamic is lacking greatly. Sure we all report to the same manager but our metrics are not tied together and we all have our own individual quotas so we have little reason to actually interact. Because of that no one really seems willing to hold anyone else accountable or even offer constructive feedback or support. Personally, I’m used to having a team that supports one another instead of this individual mindset at my new job. So I was hoping someone had some tips or suggestions on how to handle this? Should I take this to my manager and maybe suggest some ways to improve the team dynamic I learned at my past jobs or do something else?
Take the lead yourself in developing a team dynamic before going to your manager. If there isn’t a team dynamic already it would be because of how your manager lead/managed the team before you ever showed up.
Identify what the team members you worked with in the past did for you, and offer that to your new co-workers. Be friendly, get to know them, build relationships, offer your support, ask what challenges they are facing, and other things like that. I’d shy away from constructive feedback (unless specifically asked for it) until you have a solid relationship with someone.
Even if this doesn’t work out, you’re building highly valuable leadership skills for yourself that you may be able to use one day leading your own team.
The best way to encourage a positive team dynamic and to change the “norms” of your environment is to lead by example. You don’t need a title to be a leader. If you start confidently putting in effort to build relationships with your co-workers, others will either want to follow or feel obligated to. Chances are, some of them are feeling just how you are feeling. Remember they are people too! Try to relate to them, both having to do with sales/work and not. Building this foundation will help eventually and naturally shift the view in the workplace from “Every man for themselves” to “I’ll help you be better and you can help me be better”. This won’t happen overnight, but eventually you should notice a shift in attitudes and norms if the others are open to it. If you don’t see much progress after a while, then maybe take it up with your manager with your suggestions. In my experience, however, the best way to change an environment is to create it organically rather than have the big boss enforce it upon the team. The best sports teams are those who don’t need their coach to tell them to want it, it comes from the internal collective mindset towards reaching a common goal. Good luck!
As a sales manager I’ve discovered that salespeople are more motivated when they work to achieve a company’s vision or mission instead of their individual quotas. By following this strategy, salespeople are more likely to work together and their outcomes are also better. I totally understand your situation, but I think the best would be to start the change yourself, and if that doesn’t work, make your suggestions to the manager. I would recommend to check if your company’s culture is open to suggestions before you try to make any change.
I agree with @msterling here. I’m new to sales too and the biggest thing for me is actually enjoying the environment I work in, and belonging to a constructive environment. I just started a new sales position, and besides the money incentives, I work harder knowing that the effort I put in will help my long-term career goals. I think it’s important to find the right type of people that are a good fit for the company, because I’d rather be at the bottom of a ladder that I want to climb up, rather than halfway up a ladder I don’t want to climb.
Sounds like you’re not too far in to turn back and re-think your position at that company entirely. But if you plan on staying, you’d better bring up these issues sooner rather than later. At the risk of sounding like Captain America (Avengers - End Game was the best movie ever), be the change you wish to see in your company. Take it upon yourself to collaborate with your team. If this a structural issue, bring it up to your superior and make sure to communicate that you think it could really improve the overall numbers of the company.