Welcome to Kara’s four-part “Manage your manager” guide. Each section will have a different focus, but in general, our guide aims to help you structure your objectives and communicate clearly with your manager and team, guiding you to sales success and improving workplace relationships.
Today’s chapter is about being a team player.
We get it. As a sales rep, being a team player may not seem like it will get you far. After all, your team isn’t the one closing your deals, and the more time you spend helping out your team, the less time you spend prospecting, closing deals and earning money. At first glance, it can seem like being a team player will (gasp!) decrease your bottom line, and nobody wants that.
But that’s actually not the case. For today’s chapter, we’ll be explaining why a team player can actually benefit you more than you might think.
Michael Jordan, world-famous basketball player, said, “Talent wins games, but teamwork wins championships.” Some games are definitely more important than others, just like some sales deals are, too. And it may take team collaboration to win the big ones.
And remember, being a team player won’t just help you at work — it can benefit you in your personal life, as well as help you obtain future jobs. Here’s how:
Consider your future
The average salesperson stays for four years at a company. When you’re trying to get a new job at a new company, you may need recommendations from managers, even testimonials from other co-workers, depending on the situation.
If you weren’t a team player, it may make your professional future more complicated, so even if it’s for selfish reasons, consider getting along with your team and boss.
Lara Khanafer, former salesperson and CEO of productivity app Kara, can prove it’s not just beneficial in jobs. When raising money with investors for her app, some of them did contact her former co-workers and managers to learn more about her. This is why you might want to work on your team skills.
Being selfish vs. being a team player: You can be both
In order to be a great salesperson, you probably already know you’re going to have to hustle. Time is money, and you’d rather spend it closing deals than helping out a co-worker or explaining your status to your boss.
But you can do both. Yes, we know the more time you spend hustling, the more time you spend increasing your bottom line. But helping out a co-worker may benefit you in the long run even more.
The better you become at time management, the more spending five minutes helping out a co-worker won’t really affect your bottom line. It is possible to find enough time in the day to do it all. Use these tips to best organize your time so you won’t be too busy to be a team player:
- Organize your calendar. Time spent doing this will pay off.
- Feasible to-do lists. Break down large tasks into smaller ones, and be reasonable.
- Eliminate distractions like social media when possible.
- Don’t multitask.
- Delegate non-essential tasks.
Consider complex sales cycles
Certain situations may require a lot of people on board to close a deal. Complex sales cycles mean you may need to depend on your co-workers for help. You may not always be the right person to close a deal or explain something to an important client. It’s okay to depend on others, but make sure you can help them out when they depend on you.
Your ultimate goal as a salesperson is to close deals, and if working as a team can make that happen, that’s exactly what you’ll have to do.
Be a better person
Let’s face it. Being capable of working with others is a quality that will help you exponentially in your life. Whether it be co-parenting at home or at the office with your team, being able to work together with other people will make life better, easier, and more enjoyable. And, people will show you more respect and even like you more. And being likeable can make your life easier and more enjoyable.
We all want to be successful in our careers — but for salespeople, success can mean giving up a lot to close a deal. But we promise, it is possible to put your own interests first, but also strive to be a team player. It will benefit you more than you could ever know.
Stayed tuned for our other articles in this “Manage your manager” series, coming soon.