As a sales manager you want to create an environment where the best sales reps operate in atmosphere that allows them to maximizes their potential and supports their weaknesses. We all know that keeping your best people is a key ingredient to your success as a sales operation. Your best people not only “put up the numbers” for you on a consistent basis, but they also serve as models for success for the rest of your organization.
How do you keep the best sales people? When I received my first promotion into sales management, one of the senior managers pulled me aside and asked me what I thought the most important factor would be to my personal success now that I was a manager.I told him that I wanted to operate with a certain manner and professionalism in order act as a role model for my team. In order words, if my team would “do as I do” then they would be successful. After all, if my style and approach made me a successful sales rep, that style and approach should work for my entire team.
This senior manager suggested a different approach.He told me to focus my time and energy on making each member of my team successful – that I should pattern my approach and my style to maximize their effectiveness and performance. This got me to thinking. Don’t I still need some form of structure to run my unit? How do I customize this structure to meet the individual needs of my people?
Performance Planning and Career Counseling is the answer????
Most sales manager understand that underperforming reps need to be on a performance/development plan in order to identify their weaknesses and to create a support structure in order to bring their performance up to acceptable levels. But would it surprise you to understand that you best reps need the same level of attention?
By completing on a regular basis a Performance Planning and Career Counseling process you can personalize the environment surrounding your most successful reps that stimulate their performance and keeps them comfortable in their surroundings.
What’s that you say? My best reps don’t need me…NOT TRUE.
Your best reps need to understand the following:
- Where can they operate independently from you?
- What information do you need from them on a regular basis?
- How can they get better?
- What are you willing to do to help them?
- What does it take a have a successful career in your company?
- How can I get positive exposure to management?
These are just some of the questions that can be answered through a sales operations structure that not only supports all members of your sales team but specifically provides an environment that allows your best people to get even better. It’s a structure that has created a successful sales management career for me and that has been adopted by many of the top sales organizations in the world.