The Idea

Here is a useful approach that can help you to develop sales team ideas to a conclusion, and keep your team engaged and motivated throughout.

1. Gather sales team ideas

Invite your sales team to an ideas generation session and make it productive by:

  • Setting ground rules that engage every member of the team, such as respectful listening and encouragement - particularly of younger, newer or quieter members - many of whom may have very interesting perspectives that they tend not to share.
  • Getting offsite to prevent distractions.
  • Encouraging everyone to feel relaxed - perhaps by introducing movement, breakout groups, casual wear and social breaks.
  • Getting different people to work together using different games/models or scenarios to come up with fresh ideas.
  • Making it as fun as possible to show that all ideas are welcome and to get to the point where you've exhausted the obvious suggestions and start breaking new ground.

2. Involve people from across the business

If you use modern sales tools such as Salessound you can involve other stakeholders and teams from across the business without requiring a face-to-face workshop (unless you want one.) This allows different people to contribute their own ideas and perspectives - and helps you to end up with a far stronger set of ideas.

3. Share details of the next step process

The key here is to be transparent, clear and logistical, with a defined structure and timescale. Create a timescale for development, and define what you want to get out of the ideas generation process. For example, is the desired endpoint to have six ideas to take forward into the investigation phase for the next month? From this point will the three most viable ideas be moved forwards into development for a trial period perhaps? Be clear about your goals and establish what kinds of budget, resources and support you might need to make it happen.

4. Decide which ideas to develop and which to pause on

Review the generated ideas and pick the best and most viable to progress with for the time being. Some ideas may be excellent but just not appropriate at that moment. Give feedback to the idea generators and tell them what you plan to do with their input. Always show your appreciation for their hard work.

5. Create owners for each idea

Nominate teams to investigate ideas. The lead could be the person who came up with the idea, with support from relevant subject matter owners across the business.

6. Review progress and consider next-step objectives

Once you have feedback on the ideas and their viability, decide what you should do next. You might need to engage other business leaders or your own director to get budget approval or similar authorisation to progress further. You might need to seek input so that the ideas you choose to develop are the most strategically aligned with the business plan.

8. Update and communicate progress to your team

Always seek to give regular updates on the progress of this work to your team and your broader business stakeholders. A cloud platform such as Salessound will facilitate this by offering ready communication templates and other tools that make collaboration quick and easy.

With this kind of process, you can become far more structured at managing your business ideas process and build it into a cyclical programme of ideas generation, development and evaluation - gaining far better and more meaningful results that help to unlock successful outcomes for your team, and the broader business.

Find out more about tracking and developing ideas using Salessound

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