5 Principles to Identify If You Are Developing a Competent Sales Team

5 Principles to Identify If You Are Developing a Competent Sales TeamTo build an efficient and competent sales force, Sales Managers and Sales Leaders have to establish a Sales Management philosophy and process. One of the keys to sales success is in the 5 Indicators of Sales Force Effectiveness and by adhering to the following principles, you can go a long way to establishing a successful team.

1. Don’t Under-Lead or Under-Manage

In KONA Group’s Customised Sales Training and Sales Management Training workshops we regularly notice that Sales Managers are Coaching from behind their desks and relying on CRMs, reports, metrics and deadlines to manage and motivate their teams. They think reports and numbers can fire up their teams however truly effective Sales Managers look for ways to lead by their presence and example by being involved. Ask yourself and/or your Managers this question – How many days have you actually spent on the road Sales Training and COACHING your people in the last 4 weeks? My 1st Sales Manager had 8 sales reps and spent 16 days a month, every month on the road, observing, motivating, acknowledging and coaching. In this digital age where Sales Managers are so busy analysing stats and working on ‘oh so important strategies’ no wonder so many Sales People are going it alone and not performing

2. Identify Problem Patterns of Behavior Early

Over the years we have noticed that Sales Managers have less awareness of how their team is performing day to day, hour per hour, and not recognising the behavioral patterns that are killing productivity. They often say defensively that “their people don’t like to be micro managed” so they leave them to it and review if they hit or missed target at their monthly sales meeting Professional Sales Managers and Sales People know exactly where they are on any given day and how they are performing against their daily, weekly and monthly targets. Don’t believe it then just watch the Footy. In League, Netball, AFL, Soccer, Rugby and most other sports Managers are using minute by minute stats to manage their player’s contribution and activity – # of tackles; hit ups; possessions; offloads; passes; kicks; disposals; the list is endless So why when most Sales Managers are asked “What is the shortfall in your team’s Sales Pipeline? Who is behind target and what has their activity and contribution been to-date” too many managers hide behind the HR line of “I am Empowering my people”. This is an absolute COP OUT and wrong as Empowerment has to be earned, not given and is only for over-performers, not underperformers

3. Culture AND Strategy

A Sales Manager recently proudly boasted that he “liked to keep his people lean and mean and never gave them any compliments or encouragement because it would go to their heads and they would ask for a raise!” To make it worse he then said that when he started he “had been thrown in at the deep end and it didn’t do him any harm”! Not surprisingly he had the lowest retention rate in the business and 60% of his people were behind target To create an environment that is highly effective you have to look beyond these financial goals and focus on the tone and culture set. A Manager’s or a CEO’s Sales Force needs to have goals, benchmarks, and track the rate at which things are done, but this is done best when the whole team has a united sense that “this is the way things get done.” It is an old sporting adage but a team of individual stars rarely outperforms a team playing for each other By instituting Team Goals, but still Managing INDIVIDUAL Performance, Sales Managers create team that will allow individuals to work better and be more focused and more importantly to celebrate their success with their peers. When was the last time you organised a ‘Team Commando Raid’ where all of your Sales People did a blitz on one of your team’s areas to give them a boost?

4. Stay on the Talent Hunt

Strong Sales Managers remain dedicated to finding and hiring the best talent and they don’t delegate it to their HR Department. Skills and products knowledge is secondary to a Sales person’s attitude and drive so find the best, and hire people who have the attitudes and purpose that line up perfectly with your team’s goals. Personality profiling, not only when recruiting but at regular basis, can help Managers keep tabs on shifts in their team’s tendencies and can help improve the performance of a particular Sales Person, impact group dynamics, and turn good numbers into great numbers. However, Managers getting out with their people at the coal face and providing Sales Training and Sales Coaching will help Managers keep their people going in the right direction well before performance starts slipping, or before bad habits become too embedded.

5. You Set the Tempo

It’s a fact that sales teams are most successful when Sales People and Sales Managers work together with the same accountabilities and standards. One of the best ways to set this tempo involves the use of real-time feedback that can generate instantaneous changes in behavior. When a Sales Person feels their Manager adds value and is interested in helping them to achieve their targets, and subsequently earn bonuses and commissions, they will involve the Managers with their customers and clients. However, if they don’t see the Manager as adding value then they will be protective of their clients and look for ways to keep you away.

Going forward:

Organising a team around these 5 Principles can create an effective Sales Management foundation and will increase your chances of success. So if you are looking to increase the effectiveness and results of your Sales Team, contact KONA today on 1300 611 288 or email info@kona.com.au to discuss how we can help you to improve your organisation’s results. In addition, if you want to receive a FREE Sales Capability Assessment for your organisation, email Glenn today on Glenn@KONA.com.au The KONA Group trains and coaches 1,000s of Sales People and Managers a year and is Australia’s Leading Sales and Sales Management Training and Coaching company and provide customised training programs that include: Sales Training & CoachingKey Account Management TrainingCall Centre Training & coachingNegotiation Skills Training & CoachingMotivational Speakers, and more.