Successful leaders know one of the toughest jobs today is developing their salespeople.
It starts with your expectations and your ability to hold them accountable. Sometimes it will feel like herding cats! Yet, strong profitable sales are a result of your salespeople following the systems, knowing the product details, and mastering successful sales habits.
8 Tips to Develop and Improve Salespeople’s Results
It starts with the right hire! Hiring and promoting the right salespeople sends a strong message to employees, clients (current and future), vendors, and investors. Remember, use scientifically validated job fit assessments to determine a salesperson’s true ability to prospect, build relationships, and close sales.
Did you know…?
- -Promoting the wrong person is very costly. Many times, when you promote the top salesperson into a management role, s/he will fail. The skills and personality traits that make them #1 in sales are not the same skills and personality traits required to be a great manager.
- -Many job seekers can sell themselves by looking the part and saying the right things. But are unable to sell your products and services. Make sure to go deeper to discover how willing and able they are to work straight commission or base plus commission.
Create a Workplace Culture that Values Sales Success. Invest in training for each and every salesperson! This starts on Day 1 in a well-designed onboarding program! Remember to remind everyone of best sales practices during daily stand-up meetings via video conferencing. Hold everyone accountable to dress up and show up on time and be ready to go sell. Host weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual sales summits to improve knowledge of systems, products, and industry changes. And, make sure you include fun!
Provide Relentless Coaching. Remember, the goal is to close sales. But there are other activities that must happen first. Hire the right sales coach to provide you and your team coaching and training for developing good sales practices. Eliminate the heavy emphasis on finding and closing the BIG ONE. This mindset hinders developing solid sales activities, habits, and skills. In the long run, the right skills and practices will build a profitable and financially solid bottom line.
Create the Right Winning Mindset. Everyone has slumps and bad days. A successful leader will make sure to acknowledge personal and team achievements and share challenges the team has overcome. These are great learning opportunities and help everyone to keep moving forward. Creating winning mindsets includes encouraging everyone to work with and through team members to create new ideas.
Don’t Ignore Poor Sales Performance. Good leaders don’t wait for poor sales performance to turn around. Instead, review the coaching report from the job fit assessment for salespeople. This will bring clarity to the issue. Focus on only one issue at a time or you will overwhelm the salesperson. Together create a performance improvement plan. For best results, focus on the salesperson’s strengths. You cannot manage their weaknesses and expect successful sales results!
Motivate with Recognition and Rewards. While great pay and perks are important, they are not everything. Create a strong recognition and rewards program with immediate acknowledgment. Be sure you are rewarding the right behaviors and profitable results. Keep in mind, top performers enjoy financial rewards, regular performance feedback, and autonomy. So, look for non-monetary ways to reward great results.
Create Meaningful Metrics. First, prospecting is a process (e.g., cold calls, emails, networking, etc.). This requires follow-up and follow-through every day. These all-important skills separate successful salespeople from wanna-be successful salespeople. Second, track who, what, when, where, and why along with how to best stay in contact with prospective and current buyers. Remember, companies buy from salespeople that have their best interests at heart.
Brags. Learn how to brag in a biz-savvy manner. Using brags in introductions and to stay self-motivated is important. Too often salespeople do a poor job of enticing people to talk with them. Remember, networking meetings are a great way to generate interest, not sell products. Selling products and services usually requires at least one meaningful conversation. And, that doesn’t usually happen at a networking event.
©Jeannette Seibly, 2020
Jeannette Seibly is an award-winning executive coach and keynote speaker. For more than 27 years, she has been an expert in guiding leaders to excel. Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation to strategically develop a coaching and hiring program for exceptional and profitable sales results. Don’t forget to listen to On the Air with Jeannette Seibly: It’s Your Time for Success on Anchor.FM or YouTube.com.