How to Lift the Performance of Your Entire Sales Team
There are high performing and low performing salespeople on every sales team…including yours. And everyone on the team knows who they are.
Just imagine how much more productive and successful your team would be as a whole if you could boost the performance of those low performing sales reps to the level of your top performers. The key to accomplishing this goal? Focus on ways to encourage the leading behaviors that have made your A-players successful rather than on lagging success metrics that provide little value.
Too many sales teams only manage, measure and reward results after the fact. They look exclusively at revenue, margin, deal size and new customer logos added. While these provide a clear picture of past performance, they do not necessarily provide insights about how to improve performance in the future. The significant question is what sales activities matter most and within what sales scenarios to meet your sales targets.
Here are solution selling training tips on how you can improve the performance of your B-players and stretch the goals of the entire team:
- Know what part of the sales process triggers success in your business. Carefully evaluate what skills and behaviors work by observing how and when your A-players win. Is it on the front end with skillful discovery techniques? Or do they excel at solution selling so that they persuasively make the case for their proposed offering? Or is it something entirely different?
- Select a few key sales behaviors that matter most and focus on developing those behaviors in your lower performing salespeople while supporting them through targeted sales performance coaching.
- Set clear expectations around the critical few sales behaviors that are required to succeed. Gain the team’s commitment to learning and experimenting with them. Once reps understand that these are the actions that consistently produce meaningful results, there should be little resistance.
- Create a process to encourage the behaviors and hold team members accountable for practicing them. The process should build a high performance sales culture and include real-world coaching and ongoing reinforcement. Coaches should work to identify an opportunity to practice the behavior with a customer, observe the real-world interaction, then debrief after the meeting. On-the-spot feedback is far more effective than after-the-fact numbers. Talk together about what worked and what did not and create a clear development plan.
- Share what you have learned with the rest of the team. This is, after all, a team effort. The more reps trust and collaborate with one another, the closer you come to achieving the team’s goal. There should be a culture of helping one another be successful. When you’ve had a success, give other team members the benefit of your learning experience. What tactic gave you an advantage with your customer? What strategy allowed you to advance the sale? Or perhaps you lost a sale and, in retrospect, understood what went wrong. The team can benefit from that knowledge as well. If your measurement and reward systems do not support collaboration and learning, you may want to challenge their effectiveness at helping you to quickly scale.
You know your revenue goal for next quarter. Do you know the critical few leading sales behaviors that will carry you to success?