Here are three simple steps to maximize your sales team’s potential:
- Help them discover themselves
- Help them find their place in the organization
- Give them the tools to thrive
Help them discover themselves
Sales is one of the few fields where entry is relatively easy; no formal degrees or certifications are required.
So a smart sales manager can do a lot to develop their sales team’s raw talent. One of the simplest steps is to help each member of your sales team discover their unique skill set. You can go as deep as you want, but you can mix their strength and personality assessments.
Examine the results together after receiving the assessments. Ask your team member if the results matched their expectations or if they were a surprise. You’ll be surprised at how much you learn about each other in just 30 minutes.
This is a great sales leader exercise. Identifying your team’s strengths helps you decide who to deploy when. It adds enormous value to your sales professional and fosters feelings of belonging and loyalty.
Help them find their place in the organization
According to Gallup, roughly 70% of workers are disengaged from their jobs. One reason is that many employees don’t feel personally connected to the company – they don’t see how their efforts help the company or make the world a better place. Motivate and inspire your sales team by connecting their efforts to the bigger picture.
Savvy sales leaders will use the information gathered about their sales team members to foster collaboration and then assign them to areas where they can naturally excel.
Your sales team has energizers and depleters. Knowing this allows you to place team members in situations where they will thrive, succeed, and enjoy their jobs more.
Give them the tools to thrive
When asked, most sales leaders said they provide extensive internal training for their salespeople. When asked to rate these training programs, sales professionals said they were largely irrelevant.
So-called “sales training” often focuses on teaching salespeople about the company, culture, and products rather than teaching them how to influence potential customers.
Any sales training program should aim to provide salespeople with a mix of hard and soft skills to help them reach their full potential. Body language, objection handling, role-playing, empathetic listening, and persuasive storytelling are just a few examples.
Follow-up and accountability are often the keys to developing sales professionals. 90 percent of all sales training is lost due to sales leaders failing to reinforce key principles. Accountability and repetition are key to adopting desired behaviors.
Developing your salespeople doesn’t have to be difficult or costly. Getting the most from sales representatives is changing as a new generation enters the workforce. Moving away from one-size-fits-all sales training systems to a more individualized coaching journey pays dividends in terms of sales production and retention.