Building your team’s sales capability
Taking a sales team from good to great is not easy for small to medium business owners. With so many plates spinning, it can be hard to devote time to improving sales capability. You may not even like sales or feel equipped to be leading it. It can be common for businesses to adopt a “sink or swim” mentality here. This sees you relying on just one or two top performers, while the rest are drowning in mediocrity. But there is a much better way to grow and lead a strong sales team. I’m going to share what increases sales capability and takes your team from good to great in 90 days.
What the top 2% of Australian SMEs do well
This is the jumping off point that the top 2% of SMEs made, that the rest of the 98% have not. They became the subject matter experts around all things sales.
Unless you connect with how you sell on a strategic level, it’s going to be problematic trying to steer anyone else towards improvement.
This is often where we see businesses throwing lots of money at ineffective sales training. Or spending time and resources on recruitment trying to find that unicorn who can walk in and fire on all cylinders. What invariably happens is, people let us down, and it’s not their fault. It’s ours. So, let’s unpack more about what will help you take your team from good to great in 90 days. Watch the video below, or keep reading, to find out what that is. Here’s what the top 2% of small to medium sized businesses do differently…
The top 2% plan for success.
If you’re trying to steer a team to greatness, you need to show them what success looks like. When we work with SMEs on improving the team’s sales capability, the first body of work that we typically would start off with, is writing a very clear success profile. This is much more of an elevated job description where we identify the specific skills, behaviours, motivators, and technical knowledge that is essential for the position in the future. We then couple that body of work with a sales plan. This helps to communicate with precision, what the commercial objectives are. Sales plans are best managed in four 90 day fast starts. Bringing in clear activity metrics, clear pipeline metrics, and clear revenue KPIs that your salespeople can understand and work towards.
Document the sales process
This is often the last thing that businesses want to do when looking to develop their salespeople, but documenting the sales process is a crucial aspect to developing the right team the right way. Typically, it requires an analysis of your sales cycle in minute detail. Getting everything out of your head, or that of your top salespeople, and documenting what sales success looks like. This profoundly de-risks sales and creates a replicable and scalable sales process that can be followed and refined.
Make it resonate with a sales playbook.
A sales playbook puts the sales process into an adult learning framework. It is a tangible way for you to help your salespeople achieve the targets you set them. Talking to the tips and tricks formerly only in the head of your top performers. This might include documenting key responsibilities, measures, and benchmarks for success. Or supplying enabling tools such as sales guides, sales template, sales story cards, and sales aids. The result of not having a meaningful playbook? Your sales process collects dust on a shelf somewhere. Everyone continues to do their own thing in their own way – making it hard to manage, change, or scale operations.
Prep new recruits for achievement.
It is a fallacy that new salespeople need to take 6, 12 or 18 months to reach their potential. Utilising the success profile, and your foundational sales documents, you can paint a picture of what success looks like in a format that’s clear for everyone. Setting up new salespeople to reach 85% of their potential by day 91 of their induction. Crucial to this aspect, is deeply understanding the role that’s required, and the type of salesperson best suited to it. These foundational processes will profoundly improve the sales recruitment and induction process.
Offer customised sales training and coaching.
Sales and leadership skills and behaviours are grown over time. What your salespeople are really looking for is to be developed. With concrete guidance on how sales should work for them in the job they’re in. The best sales training is exciting, individual, and specific. Generic training doesn’t deliver impactful results. Customised sales training and coaching at the individual or team level that is aligned to your sales process will build sales capability.
Review when it’s needed.
Going from good to great is never one and done. As businesses scale, new sales problems can appear. Success parameters change. So, if it’s been a while since you set your sales plan or your sales process no longer seems to fit, it’s time to revisit.
I hope these insights help you see what is available to you as a sales leader to improve sales capability in much less time and brings your world a little closer to that top 2%. There is much more we can do as leaders to support, strengthen, and inspire sales. Putting that in place the right way, can absolutely see us expecting and receiving better results in 90 days.
Need help to take your team from good to great?
If you’d like to talk more about some of the help that’s available to you around this, please feel welcome to reach out. At the very least, I’m sure it will give you some fresh insight into ways to improve your current situation that you can immediately implement in your business.