Today’s topic is on the key to unlocking your sales team’s full potential.
I work with thousands of sales teams all over the world and have found that these teams are typically made up of a majority who are average performers, with the high and low performers making up only a very small proportion of the team.
If we change how we view our team; focusing instead on potential, rather than existing performance, having a majority who are average performers becomes a more exciting prospect and that’s because average performers have high potential to be high performers.
How to unlock high potential
As the sales leader, your aim then must be to shift your average performers to high performers. Applying this to the group, who we know make up the majority of the team, will go a long way towards unlocking your team’s full potential and enable you all to reap the rewards in the form of increased sales.
In doing this, you need to reflect on your own performance and ask yourself honestly whether you are creating an environment in which your team can thrive.
There’s a disappointing truth highlighted in research done by Blanchard that states:
“A massive 81% felt their leaders don’t listen, only 34% meet with their leaders once a week and 28% never (that’s never!) discuss future goals. 82% say their leaders don’t provide appropriate feedback.”
(Blanchard Sponsored Employee – Work Passion Survey 2013)
So before we start concerning ourselves with our team’s work, we ought to be asking if we as the leader are performing to our highest potential. You can do this by focusing on the following five steps:
Nothing has such a lift on a sales team’s performance as the ability of the sales leader to coach individuals effectively, so it is essential you don’t neglect this. For an in-depth look at coaching, take a look at our most effective coaching tips here.
Dashboard results; focusing on both inputs and outputs
Make sure that the results you are hoping to achieve, both from an input and an output perspective, are shared with the sales team on a daily basis. This should be clear and concise, in the form of a basic dashboard and will ensure that everyone knows whether they are “winning” or “losing”. This, in turn, promotes a focus on the goals and encourages winning behaviours.
Build a team that collaborates
Collaboration is key, especially when it comes to live deals. It can be all too easy for sales to become all about the individual and their own results, but if you as the leader encourage an environment in which people are happy to collaborate with each other for mutual success, we end up achieving better results. For more tips on how to facilitate this collaboration, take a look at our post on running effective sales meetings.
Refocus your time on activities that support your sales team’s success
Understandably, we often get distracted by the many other everyday tasks that are bestowed upon us as the sales leader, but this only serves to get in the way of running the sales team effectively. You need to refocus your time and attention onto those activities which will really support the sales team’s success. After all, it is the success of the sales team which ultimately dictates the success of the company.
Encourage a continuous learning culture
It never fails to surprise me how many sales leaders I come into contact with that admit to not having recently (or ever!) studied or read anything around improving their own sales performance. Yet as with any other profession, if we encourage a culture of continuous improvement, we unlock much more of the potential within our team and become a role model for learning and self development.
If you’d like to have a chat about this topic in more detail than please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.