Take Your Sales Team to the Next Level in 2019

posted by Thomas Cooke on Wednesday, January 23, 2019 in Office Equipment Blog

Sales Coaching Tips for Sales Leaders

As we round the corner into the New Year, most organizations have already developed specific targets, plans, and initiatives that will accelerate their success in 2019 and beyond.  However, achieving these new sales targets can become a major challenge for many sales leaders and executives at all levels.   

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 these sales management challenges:

  • Achieving ever increasing sales quotas
  • Managing and expanding more complex product and service offerings
  • Tracking, analyzing, and strategizing selling activity
  • Managing customer issues and satisfaction levels
  • Supporting a culture of internal communications and interdepartmental cooperation
  • Hiring, mentoring, coaching and developing new sales talent
  • Managing strategic company projects as assigned
  • Proactively developing personal management and leadership skillsets
  • And for those who are selling sales managers… selling!

All of these challenges become less of an issue and easier to manage if you build and sustain an elite-high performance sales team. So, “where do we start?”

3 Steps to Building an Elite High-Performance Sales Team

Step One – Assessment: The first step in building a high performing team is assessing your current team members for selling effectiveness and career development opportunities.

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:

  • Competency testing – skill inventory | job fit | motivations | career pathing
  • Daily mentoring, strategizing, and coaching
  • Working alongside salespeople on the job
  • Weekly or bi-monthly one-on-one meetings
  • And for those who have attended our Sales Management Leadership Program, quarterly mutual commitment meetings

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 capacity for greater performance.

If you are going to develop an elite high-performance team, you must consistently assess the strengths and developmental needs of your salespeople.  Please feel free to download our 2019 Sales Effectiveness Assessment snapshot.

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:

  • Identifying team member strengths and leveraging strengths for greater success
  • Assessing developmental needs and improvement plans
  • Gathering available resources for leveraging strengths and improving developmental needs
  • Determining early warning indicators and key performance indicators to assess whether salespeople are making progress

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 this elite high-performance sales team.

Step Three – Execution: What sales managers need to remember 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 will not be improved overnight. The team will be improved over time!

Consider these team development best practices for consistent execution and support:

  • Always work and make decisions in conjunction with your written team development plans. Make sure you know where you’re going and then stay the course by implementing ‘high payoff’ activities every day that will take you to your chosen destination.
  • Share your plans with your boss. Leveraging your plans, actions, and commitments with your boss will synergize your commitments and efforts.
  • Utilize peer and outside resources. Some of your sales manager peers may have some proven strategies that could help you to achieve your goals more quickly. Read books or blogs which might help inspire and motivate you to continue your team development efforts. And, as many of our client managers have found to be true, there is also great value in utilizing outsourced resources to help answer questions, develop sales management strategy, and implement daily developmental work plans.

Obviously there are other strategies, training and education, and actions which over time contribute to the development of an elite high performance sales team. But, if you start with these first three steps you will find yourself well on the way to success!  Make it a remarkable year for you and your sales team in 2019!

Ready to transform your sales team? Download the FREE Sales Effectiveness Assessment!


About Learning Outsource Group

Thomas Cooke is the President and Founder of Learning Outsource Group, an internationally recognized provider of learning solutions designed to support the business development strategy of sales and customer driven organizations. With a focus on sales and sales management training, over 20,000 executives, managers, and sales professionals in the office technology industry have been impacted by their training, resources, and tools since 1996.  Major clients include a large number of OEM’s, and hundreds of independent dealers throughout North America.  As the largest provider of training solutions to the industry, we help dealers build and sustain competitive advantage by identifying and delivering world class learning solutions tied to measurable business results.  Tom Cooke can be reached at tcooke@learningoutsourcegroup.com or 386-898-0007

 

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About The Author

Thomas Cooke is the founder and president of Learning Outsource Group. Included in his corporate leadership responsibilities is the management of the company’s extensive capabilities and performance development services to clients throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe and the Pacific Rim. As an internationally recognized speaker and facilitator since 1992, he has been a featured speaker at numerous executive leadership conferences for a variety of organizations and has authored / co-authored various training programs including the Sales Management Leadership Program. Thousands of managers and executives from over 20 countries have participated in programs he has created or facilitated during the past several years. He is considered an authority in Sales Education and Sales Management Leadership Development.

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