I was reminded this week while facilitating a sales management training course for one of our Fortune 500 clients that even after 20 years of change in business and sales management, some things have remained the same.
During one of the discussions, the members of a sales manager work group said, “We all want to build a highly productive, motivated, and synergized team. But all of our teams are in different conditions, so where do we start?”
Believe it or not this is a great question for any sales manager to ask, because by asking this question they have already taken the first step.
Most of the challenges and issues that sales managers must navigate and overcome would either be eliminated or improved with the help of an ‘Elite High-Performance Sales Team.’ Consider a few of the most common of sales management challenges:
All of these challenges become less of an issue and easier to manage if you have an elite-high performance sales team. So as the manager work group asked, “Where do we start?”
Step One – Assessment: The first step in building a high performing team is assessing your current team members for selling condition and improvement.
Begin constructing the foundation for your team by determining things like competency levels, motivation, attitude, behavior and team fit.
There are several methods of assessment commonly used but we recommend that these resources and applications be used in tandem for maximum effect.
Assessment opportunities like:
Determining a salesperson’s current abilities by using a variety of assessment mechanisms will almost always provide the clearest picture of the salesperson, their current level of ability, and their fit with other team members.
If you are going to develop an elite high-performance team then you must assess the strengths and developmental needs of the team foundation, your salespeople.
Step Two – Planning: As you assess your team members you should be asking yourself, “Where are each of them now and where do I need them to go?” The basics of a team development plan are:
The best results commonly occur by plan. So creating a written outline for individual employee and team development is crucial if you want to develop an elite high-performance sales team.
Step Three – Execution: What sales managers need to remember as much or more than anything else about developing a team of this caliber, is that consistent and long-term execution is critical for success.
Because of the pace of selling and the sometimes overwhelming need for increased sales results, sales managers start thinking in terms of short time periods like daily, weekly and monthly cycles. Although this may be appropriate for creating immediate selling results, the recommended approach for individual and overall team development requires a long-term commitment.
The team condition didn’t get the way it is overnight and it won’t be improved overnight. The team will be improved over time!
Consider these possible team development assets for consistent execution and support:
Obviously there are several other variables, implementations and assets which over time contribute to the development of an elite high performance sales team over time. But, if you start with these first three steps you will find yourself well on the way to success!