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David Mattson

The new year is right around the corner and it’s filled with new opportunities and challenges. As we head into 2018, make sure that you’re as prepared as possible to lead your team to success. To be an effective manager, it’s important to fully understand your team dynamic. Below are five keys to doing just that.

All high-performing salespeople understand and consistently execute the top 10 behaviors necessary for success, which we outlined in our new Sandler book, The Sales Coach’s Playbook. Here are the top ten questions I utilize when helping salespeople benchmark and raise their performance:

Sales enablement is the idea – and follow me here – that all employees who interact with clients should have the tools and are able to do so easily, consistently, and effectively. To empower your employees to do this, there are three major areas of focus to consider: Tracking and Analysis, Technique/Training, Technology and Tools. If you can incorporate a system that excels at bringing your employees through all three of these phases, you will be well on your way to enabling a successful team.

You and your team worked hard to land a new account and the prospect went with someone else. What now? If you’re at a loss for what to do next, below are five actionable items that you can implement with your team.

As a leader, there’s a constant pressure to ensure your leadership approach stays up-to-date. Every year, the culture of the office deviates slightly from the year prior and the way that individuals want to learn and be led, shifts. Sometimes these changes are drastic, and other times they are slight. No matter the degree of change, it’s imperative that you are cognizant of the shift and are prepared to be a great resource to everyone who looks to you for guidance and mentorship.

As organizations grow, they realize that there are numerous different ways to define success. A new business, for example, will be immensely satisfied the first year the operation returns a profit. On the other hand, a more established company may expect to see a specified rate of growth year over year. Defining what success means to you and establishing goals based upon these criteria can be an important step in monitoring your business’s development and making productive decisions based on the criteria that matter the most to you.

Most people have one thing in common: the desire to “do better.” Of course, “doing better” means different things to different people. For some salespeople, it means closing more sales. For others, it means closing bigger sales. And there are salespeople for whom it means working less hard…or simply working less.

Gather a hundred sales managers into a room. Ask all the members of the group whether they provide coaching to the members of their sales team. The odds are good that all one hundred of them will say “Yes.”

Maybe your employees aren't laying their heads on their desks, reading magazines during work hours, or calling in "cough cough" fake sick every Friday. Even without these obvious signs, they could still be disengaged with their jobs. According to a 2015 Gallup poll, 50.8% of U.S. employees were "not engaged" and an additional 17.2% were "actively disengaged" in their current jobs.

As a manager of people, you know and understand the challenge of the "new" workplace. The reality of four generations working side by side is fraught with obstacles that threaten to derail productivity and hinder progress. Before you pop another antacid and check again to see if it's time to cut a trail home, take heart in knowing there are ways to be an effective manager in a workplace made up of the Silent generation, Boomers, X'ers, and Millennials. The first step is acknowledging each generation has its own preferences, expectations, and strengths.