How to Lift Sales Team Performance

by Oct 2, 2015Solution Selling0 comments

 Lift Sales Team Performance
There are high performing and low performing salespeople on every sales team – including yours.  And everyone on the team knows who the high and low sales performers are. To lift sales team performance you must lead differently.

What If You Had All A Players?
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.

Leading Sales Success Metrics
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. 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.

Solution Selling Tips to Lift Sales Team Performance
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:

 #1.  Know what part of the sales process triggers success in your business
Carefully evaluate what sales 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 differentiated offering? Or is it something entirely different? 

#2.  Select a few key sales behaviors that matter most
Focus on identifying and developing those critical few behaviors that drive success in your unique environment in your lower performing salespeople while supporting them through targeted sales performance coaching.

#3.  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 sales reps understand that these are the actions that consistently produce meaningful results, there should be little resistance.

#4.  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. Talk together about what worked and what did not and create a clear development plan.

#5.  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 a common 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 tactics 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.

 The Bottom Line
Are you consistently retaining your A Players, improving your B Players, and moving on form your C Players?  If not, you have some work to do.

To learn more about improving sales team performance, download Sales Culture Research – What is the Right Amount of Sales Performance Pressure? 


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