Great sales teams don’t just happen. They are carefully built... Sales is the heartbeat of your organization and it’s important to invest in the right people. Hiring mistakes can cost you missed sales opportunities and management time in addition to salary and administrative expenses. The key to building an all-star team in 2016 is having the right people in the right positions, doing the work they were naturally wired for. Here’s how to go about doing that:
Benchmark your positions, not your top performers
Ideal sales competency models are commonly developed with A-players in the same role in mind, but the challenge is that performance levels will be influenced by a wide range of variables. Companies now more than ever are in a constant state of change—customers, technologies, processes, strategies—and there is no guarantee that an A-player will remain a top performer if their role or the market suddenly changes. That’s why creating an ideal sales profile makes the most sense when you’re looking to fill a role on your team. Once you know exactly what a position requires, you can find talent that has a high likelihood of performing at top levels. Key stakeholders, managers, and anyone who can bring perspective regarding the role can determine what traits will be successful in the position—at the present moment and as the company evolves and moves forward.
Bring new team members to top performance levels quickly
Once you have your open positions matched with people that are a good fit, bring new hires up to high performance levels by determining what kind of learning environment they respond best to, and adapting your coaching to fit. You can shorten the path to productivity by using assessment results during the onboarding process, and the coaching reports throughout the entire employee life cycle. If you know that your new hire is detail oriented and highly driven to learn, you can create an onboarding environment in which they’ll thrive—one that involves detailed instruction and as much information as possible. Someone who is results-driven and fast paced, on the other hand, will do better with bullet points and summaries. Optimizing the learning process results in engaged salespeople that are able to reach their full potential in less time.
Improve the players you already have
Improving your sales team doesn’t have to mean replacing the players you have with new talent. You can assess your current salespeople using the ideal sales profile, determine areas of strength and gap, and tailor your coaching accordingly. You may discover that some members of your team aren’t fully engaged in their current role simply because it’s not aligned with their motivators. Moving them or tweaking their role could result in an immediate performance boost. If you’re using our Selling Skills Index™, you’ll be able to determine exactly where team members are less developed in their knowledge of the sales process in order to pin-point challenges and deliver the appropriate coaching and reinforcement.
Promote the right people to leadership positions
As your team plans for growth in 2016, you’ll want to make sure you’re putting the right people in leadership positions. Assess team members you are looking to promote to make sure they have the right personality profile to meet the demands the new position will require. It often seems like the logical next step to promote your most successful salespeople to management roles, but performing at high levels as an individual contributor doesn’t always equate to success in leadership positions. Take into consideration individual motivators before shifting responsibilities. Start 2016 off strong with a sales team that is fully engaged and motivated to perform at high levels. Creating a winning team isn’t just about occupying the seats on your bench, but filling your positions with people who are the right fit for the role and for your organization. Even all-star players need a plan to hit their numbers. The Sales Territory Planning Workshop coaches salespeople on the best strategies for developing sales plans they can implement, track, and measure for success. Your reps will come away from the 1-day workshop with solid, actionable prospecting checklists and a concrete plan for hitting their numbers in 2016. Learn More.