Performance is a fascinating topic. Not because this is coming from our blog, but how to improve performance is a query everyone in a leadership role should continually ponder. After watching numerous sports teams under-achieve on the field or court I am reminded of how this transcends into sales and weaves its way into any team environment. Today I’m not in a capacity to fix my favorite sports teams, but am hopeful this post will help anyone in a sales leadership role begin to drive more sales.
Before I get to the strategy, know that the level of sales success you are achieving today is directly correlated to the performance culture you have created on your team. Most sales leaders are very willing to discuss why or why not their team is selling, but few focus on their culture as the cause. And, though culture is created and perpetuated by your entire team, it begins with the leader—you have no wiggle room, no blaming others. If you want your team to sell more, evolve the culture to one that is more high-performing.
How can a sales leader get more performance from an individual and/or a team?
We could spend weeks, months and years, and still discover more about performance—and the EcSell team is prepared to do this. Having said that, today we’ll begin with an approach that is proven, logical and too often overlooked by sales leaders.
- Ask reps if they want to produce more: Cut to te chase with everyone on your team. Simply stated, establish if your reps want to do more this year than the year before. While this may seem like an easy answer, challenge how they respond. It is easy to say “yes," but make them think about what they will do differently to get a different result.
- Understand individuals and document goals: For those that answer “yes” to #1, have each of them fill in this document that asks about goals, passions, strengths, etc. Remember, a sales rep’s #2 motivator is they need to feel like they are making progress towards career goals. If you don’t understand their goals, how can you help them make progress? You can follow this professional and personal goal setting document to get started.
- Establish your role: Not referring to your title, but clarify the role you will play in helping each of those on your team achieve their goal. What can you provide that will help them achieve at higher levels? And, don’t forget to ask them the closing question, “May I hold you accountable for achieving your sales goals?"
- ABC-Always Be Coaching: This is a given within your role. Help everyone on your team understand what they do well and how they can improve. Provide objective feedback with action plans for improvement. Spend as much time as possible with your reps and refer often to their goals. Remember, your role is to help them produce more than they could without you as their leader.
Though the above four steps are basic, every day we work with sales leaders who have lost track of the fundamentals of coaching success. Make the above a consistent part of your coaching processes and sales will increase.
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