If you have been a reader of my articles it will not be new to you that I believe the ability to hold your salespeople accountable is one of the most critical skills you must have if you want to succeed in sales management. Unfortunately, it does not necessarily come naturally to everyone. Is it energy draining to have to “babysit” your salespeople? Do you find yourself chasing them for necessary information and reports? You might suffer from an oversized need for approval. And this can get in your way in terms of successfully getting your salespeople to excel.

So here is the deal, if you have a need for approval, in other words, you want your salespeople to like you more than you need them to close business, beware. You may fall victim to their excuses. You may empathize with them too much when they complain about the amount of time a report takes to prepare. Two simple words: STOP IT! Watch this hilarious video which will drive home the pointthat you need to Stop It.

If you want to be a truly effective manager – meaning you get the most out of your salespeople – then think differently. Get over yourself and your need to be liked then get busy figuring out how to get each member of the team to perform at their highest level. First, start with setting expectations. What are the activities and behaviors that your salespeople need to execute every day to predict success? Track it and hold them accountable to that. Better yet, get them to create that list of activities as they relate to the individual salesperson‘s goals. Notice I said goals not goal. I mean both sales goals, professional goals and personal goals – how much money do they need to make to make their dreams become a reality? How many sales do they need to make to earn that amount of money? Calculate the number of appointments, the number of requested referrals, the number of attempted phone calls, linkedin connections, etc. necessary to make it a reality. Then hold them accountable to those activities. If you keep it simple and focused on a handful of activities it will be much easier to hold them accountable and will be much easier for them to keep focus.