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Long live the Sales Manifesto!

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In most corporations, the sales team often has one of the smallest headcounts. This might seem surprising given that their activities directly and almost immediately impact the organization’s overall health. Despite their dedication to their craft and to serving prospects, they can easily get overshadowed within the company’s culture.

As a Sales Leader or SMB owner, ensuring your sales team is motivated and performing at its best is crucial. One of the most effective ways to do this is to create a Sales Manifesto.

manifesto \man-uh-FESS-toh\ noun

A written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives, or views of its Issuer.

– Merriam-Webster Dictionary Online 2024

What is a Sales Manifesto?

A Sales Manifesto is a foundational document that defines your sales team’s core values and guiding principles. While general core values like integrity, honesty, and customer-centricity can be adopted across the organization, sales teams often require specific values like resilience, transparency, and persistence. These are the unique attributes that drive your sales team.

Communicating Your Intentions

A Sales Manifesto doesn’t just serve the sales team; it also sends a clear message to the rest of the organization about how the sales team operates. When consistently communicated, it sets expectations for internal partnerships and market interactions. It helps other departments understand the unique demands of the sales team and why they might be unavailable at times.

A Measure of Success

Sales performance is typically measured by financial metrics such as revenue and profit. Everyone knows who’s meeting their targets and who’s falling behind. The Sales Manifesto, however, allows Sales Leaders to stress that success isn’t just about the numbers. It’s about achieving those numbers—through ethical behavior and strategic market approaches. This encourages a balanced focus on both results and methods.

Manifesto vs. Core Value Statement

Most organizations have a set of core values that guide their culture and practices. These are often broad and idealistic, aiming to shape behavior and interaction within the market and internally. However, such statements rarely provide actionable guidance.

To paraphrase Mike Tyson, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.” A Manifesto is essentially a playbook for those moments in the heat of action. It outlines how team members should conduct themselves and make decisions, even under pressure.

Crafting Your Sales Manifesto

Here’s a step-by-step approach to building a Sales Manifesto:

  1. Define Core Values: Identify what your sales team stands for in alignment with corporate core values.
  2. Outline Non-Negotiables: Clearly state unacceptable behaviors to delineate boundaries.
  3. Use Direct Language: Be straightforward and consider using memorable and engaging language.
  4. Team Involvement: Ensure all team members have the opportunity to review, internalize, and contribute to the Manifesto. Encourage them to suggest ways to promote and embody these principles.

By developing a Sales Manifesto, you give your sales team the framework they need to excel while maintaining the integrity and values of your organization. This not only boosts performance but also fosters a unified, motivated, and resilient team.  So, take the time to create a Sales Manifesto and watch your sales team thrive.

Additional Tips for Motivating Your Sales Team

  • Provide ongoing training and development opportunities.
  • Recognize and reward exemplary performance.
  • Foster a healthy work-life balance.
  • Encourage open communication and feedback.
  • Set realistic goals and provide support to achieve them.

By implementing these tips and creating a Sales Manifesto, you can cultivate a strong and successful sales team that drives growth for your organization. Remember, motivated and empowered employees lead to satisfied customers and increased revenue. Invest in your sales team today for a brighter tomorrow.  So, don’t delay any further – start crafting your Sales Manifesto now!

Crafting an Effective Sales Manifesto

When you hear the word “Manifesto,” you might think of some of the most renowned declarations in history—often stretching on for countless pages. However, a truly effective Manifesto should be concise. If your Manifesto exceeds a single page, it’s unlikely that your team will retain its key messages.

I find it best to limit our Manifestos to no more than 10 straightforward bullet points that are easy to grasp and remember.

Example Sales Manifesto:

  • Sales is the lifeblood of the company.
  • We are prepared to be uncomfortable.
  • If it’s not in the CRM, it doesn’t exist.
  • We will practice imperfect pitch.
  • We will always review the game tape.
  • Kill It or Fill It – we don’t accept Zombie deals.
  • We will always be the most prepared person in the room.
  • We will solve a problem, or we will go away.
  • Every deal needs a next action, or it’s not active.

Your Next Steps:

If you haven’t already, now is the time to create your own Sales Manifesto. Begin by distilling your corporate core values into action-oriented statements that will guide your sales team’s behavior and decision-making. Once your team has embraced these principles, make your Manifesto as visible as possible—print it on t-shirts, placards, and coasters. But most importantly, embody it in your daily operations. 

Long live the Manifesto!

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