Featured On The Job

4 Communication Hacks to Bring Out Sales Team Creativity

January marks International Creativity Month and there’s nobody who requires creativity in so many different areas of their career than a medical sales rep. Your sales team members are tasked with digging in to discover the best way to present a product to various demographics, how to communicate with each customer, and even creative ways to show their dedication to customers. 

In honor of this creative month, we reached out to team-leading experts to discover their top communication hacks to bring out sales team creativity. 

1. Ask the right questions

The hardest part for me when hitting any sort of roadblock, whether it be personal or creative, is that overwhelming feeling where everything feels disjointed. I find that by answering questions, I eventually get an a-ha moment where things seem to click and become much more clear.

Ultimately, you won’t know which questions are right until you start asking them. When it comes to sales team creativity, the questions should flow almost cyclically. Everybody should be simultaneously asking themselves and others questions that will hopefully inspire another cycle of answers and breakthroughs.

Questions are not some magic solution to creative breakthroughs, but rather they are conducive to the process of extracting creativity from people who already possessed creativity to begin with.

Jane Prizer, Director of Merchandising for Hausera

2. Follow the SCRUM principles 

We’ve developed a strategy following the scrum principles with daily meetings. Keep your updates throughout the meeting timeboxed and in a short window (we use 30 minutes).

For our scrum meetings, every member then has to answer the following questions:

  • What did I do yesterday that helped the team to reach the goal?
  • What will I do today to help the team to meet the goal?
  • Do I see any impediment that prevents me or the team from meeting the goal?

It requires discipline and focus, but after everyone is aligned, you’ll feel the real creative benefits of this agenda. 

Peter Wilfahrt, Chief Digital Officer, diono

3. Dust-off the whiteboard

A simple and effective hack to elicit team creativity we use is The Whiteboard Technique. 

Here’s how it works: Managers place a whiteboard in a public meeting location in the company, write down a topic they would like some input or new ideas on, and encourage their co-workers to add ideas for a predetermined period of time (usually seven to 10 days.)

As more employees add new ideas each day, the number of ideas grows dramatically, which inspires both “builds” on existing ideas, as well as adding entirely new ones.

After the allotted time, the manager who posted the original challenge selects and implements the most promising ideas.

For example, we were working on with the Innovation Manager for the Armor All car care brand. He was looking for a new delivery system/package for one of the new product ideas. So, he posted his challenge on a whiteboard in the company’s lunchroom, and in 10 days he had more than two-dozen submitted ideas, from which the winning idea was chosen and ultimately launched. His cost: $25 to take out the employee who made the winning submission to a gourmet lunch.

Bryan Mattimore, Co-Founder and Chief Idea Guy at Growth Engine Innovation Agency

4. Communicate ahead of time

Better creative ideas come without rigid time constraints for both introverts and extroverts. Give staff time to take everything in and allow new, creative ideas to come into their heads. Do so by asking your sales team to come up with an idea for a campaign, blog post, new launch, or press release at least 24 hours in advance, and arrange a meeting for everyone to creatively bounce off of each other when the time arrives.

Also, if you have introverts on your team, pause and wait for a response before launching 10 different ideas onto them. Introverts are much more likely to come out of their shell and come up with creative ideas if you slowly feed them information or tasks and wait for their response.

Steve Pritchard, HR Consultant at Checklate