From you role in sales management, do you manage from a perspective focusing on existing talents (strengths) or from non-talents (weaknesses)? If you truthfully answered from a more negative than positive perspective, then can you answer this question: Why do winning teams win because of their strengths or their weaknesses? Possibly, now is the time to change your management style especially if you wish to increase sales and have a high performance sales team.
To be an effective sales manager means you must know the talents of your team and each team member must know his or her talent as well. Unfortunately, because most human beings are negatively conditioned from the No’s to the Don’ts to the Cant’s. This previous negative conditioning reaches far into future behaviors. Until awareness is achieved regarding these negative almost self-fulfilling prophetic behaviors, any attempts to improve results will probably not be as successful as they could be.
One way to know the talents of your people is to engage in performance appraisals using proven assessment instruments. With technology being what it is, many of this performance appraisals can be delivered online. Sales Coaching Tip: The assessment instrument to be 100% effective must be accompanied by a detailed debriefing allowing the participant to take the information and begin to immediately apply it. There should be some additional sales coaching beyond the initial debriefing.
A performance appraisal tool that focuses on talents has an additional benefit understanding what talents are necessary for sales success. With all the negative conditioning, people are more inclined to look at what they do not do well than what they do well. In many cases, non-talents are perceived as weaknesses and this is where the person focuses. If the non-talent is not necessary in the current sales role, why be concerned about it? Sales Coaching Tip: Focus on what you can control and not what is beyond your control.
Another proactive management strategy is to have all team members create both their own personal sales and life action plans. Sales is very much a contact sport in that your force is out there every day talking to meeting with potential customers (a.k.a. prospects). To stay fully engaged, everyone needs to be healthy. Unfortunately, given all the research, many people fail to focus on their health causing additional cost to their employers as well as to their own personal finances. Poor health also leads to additional stress and this in turn affects the entire team from reduced productivity to toxic cultural environment.
When sales management begins to focus on the talents of their sales team and not the non-talents or perceived weaknesses, the results will quickly multiply. The goals to increase sales and to have a high performance culture will quickly be achieved.
By John Benson