Blog | Tips and Advice from 81up
Boost the performance of your sales team
I was approached by one of my business coaching clients 1 year ago, he came to us seeking help with his sales team. He was totally frustrated by the lack of results they were bringing, with regards to sales, and to put things into context, his sales team had missed the last three quarters by a significant margin. At that time, he was feeling powerless, he didn’t know what to do, and he thought in his mind that he had tried everything. He needed more sales to come into his business, as all businesses do.
If you are in this situation keep reading…
As you know, all businesses need more revenue to keep growing. They need to keep having profits to invest back into the business to build new infrastructure, plus as a business-owner, you want more profits at the same time.
At that point in time in his business, John really needed his revenue to increase. He’s just recently made significant investments into his own infrastructure so that he can increase his own capacity. As a result he needed the sales to provide enough work and fulfil the capacity, but it wasn’t there. If it was going to run for the next 12-18 months, like this, there was going to be some serious financial issues within the company. It was crucial for him to get his sales parts right and working for him.
As we analyse his sales team, we actually identify three issues.
The first is the lack of sales confidence that was running in his team. As you know, if his whole team doesn’t have the confidence, then they’re never going to perform. Without any confidence, it can’t transfer that sense of confidence to a customer, and as a result, the customer is not going to feel confident to buy from John and his company and his sales team.
Profile Your Team
Secondly, I started asking John; “hey John, share with me some of the attributes and characteristics of his team members, how do they behave in certain situations?” I asked all those questions to get a really good understanding of their profile. I sensed that some of the sales team members on his team didn’t match one of a typical sales person. By a typical sales person, I’m not talking about a car salesmen, I’m looking at profile, and high-performing sales people that are able to build long-term relationships that are able to define the value they are providing. As a result, the customers feel that all the needs that they have are being met, and all the benefits outweighs the investment they’re going to make into the product or service. In John’s case, I look at the profiles and I find out that some of the team members there will maybe potentially be able to perform, but it would be a lot of hard work.
I also asked John with the other team members that were left of the sales team, we actually worked through who were the top performers and who were the bottom performers. We identified that there was a gap there, and that was something for us to focus on during the coaching session.
As we move onto creating the solutions for John, I started explaining to him the importance of understanding a disc profile. A disc profile actually states the base behavioural profile that every single one of us, as individuals have. It doesn’t tell you about your personal traits, but it tells you about how you behave and the circumstances where you behave at your best. The goal here is to actually work out what is your natural profile against what is the profile that you bring to work. If those two are matched, quite likely you will get in-flow. But without flow, it means that both your natural profile and the profile you’re bringing into work are different.
If they’re different, chances are that the ability for any individual to perform is quite reduced. By saying ‘reduced,’ it doesn’t mean that the person isn’t going to perform at any point in time, it just requires a lot of effort from that person.
You’ll find a person who is not in flow with their natural profile say things like:
“I feel so stressed”
“I’m so tired every day”
A person in flow where their natural profile is a match to the role in the business always walk to work feeling excited, enjoying what they do. At the end of the day, they feel totally energised.
At times, it’s very important, especially in sales, to enjoy what you do. If everyday is a chore for you, then the chances are that you will be motivated at the start, but the motivation will wane.
We conducted a disc assessment for the whole sales team.
As we got the assessment back, this is what John and I have agreed to do. We had a one on one conversation with every salesperson in the team. For those that had a natural profile that match those of a high performing salesperson, we explored further on how to unlock their potential.
For those that did not have a natural profile that matched those of a high performing salesperson, we explored the impact it had on their lives, well-being and performance at work. We explored the daily routines that will assist them to cope better with the stresses of this demanding role that can eventually unlock their sales potential.
For some, we explored the option of moving to other areas of the business that match their profile better. This gives them the opportunity to enjoy work a lot whole more, be in flow and really bring the best of themselves to work. We’ve got feedback that they now totally love coming to work and they are doing really well in their new role.
What I do know is that if you enable those people to bring the best part of them into the business, they actually make a massive difference.
Continuously train your team
The next thing we did was identify the top three salespeople in the team and the bottom three salespeople in the team. This allowed John and me to benchmark the performance of the top guys and compare those with the bottoms ones and really compare what is the gap between.
By understanding and analysing the gap, John and I are able to actually identify what it is that the bottom three don’t have that the top three are having that is allowing them to excel. By understanding this, John and I can actually put a coaching program in place to assist the bottom three to get them to the top. Once we identify what they are, we can actually predict coaching programs specific to John’s business enabling him to continuously train team members.
Conduct weekly sales meetings
Following this, I asked John to set up a weekly sales meeting. Every single Monday at 8:30 he gets his whole sales team together. During this time together they plan the whole week with regards to sales, motivate each other and get the excitement going. After the weekend quite often, people come back to work with Monday-itis, and we don’t want that. By running a motivational-type of sales morning meeting every Monday, it loads their energy back up, so they can get back on the horse saddle, get active and get going – start chasing up the leads straight away.
If you start doing this in your business, then your team will start gelling together. They will start becoming a high performing unit, and that makes them feel a lot more confident, that makes them more motivated in regards to closing sales. What that means to you is there will be an increase in your revenue, there will be an ability in your team to hit the sales targets.
So now, after 14 months of running this sales program in his business, John was able to share that his team has been able to breakthrough record after record over the last 3 months.
We went from one side where his team is missing the targets to now where his team is doubling and tripling the sales and hitting new highs every single quarter. It’s totally mind-blowing, it’s amazing, and it’s down to all the planning that we’ve put into place twelve months ago.