A powerful and consistently high-performing team is the dream of any director of sales, but in my experience, this doesn’t just happen.
It requires dynamic coaching and a methodical evaluation process to determine your sales team’s performance and optimize it.
Do you have an accurate method for measuring your sales team’s performance?
No winning team has ever had a coach that simply tells them to just do better and win. Your team already knows that a healthy bottom line is always the goal, but have you provided them with the winning formula to get there?
Evaluating sales performance should be about consistency and accountability. Define what the best looks like, coach your team on how to achieve that, and hold everyone accountable.
Best Practices for Effective Evaluations
How you specifically choose to evaluate your team will be based on your own objectives and may look slightly different for every team. Best practices are to focus on a small and manageable number of objectives – think 5, not 50 – and coach to those.
The second step is to score those objectives and do it for everyone on your team. Have individuals score themselves as well as be scored by the sales manager. This allows you to pull back the curtain and see both the losses and the wins.
Raising the Bar for the Entire Sales Team
Evaluating your team using consistent KPIs and scoring is the first step in maximizing the performance of your entire team.
You may be hitting overall numbers each quarter because of a few high performers, but can you pinpoint where the weak spots are? Is there room for improvement even for your top performers? Can your lower performers be given specific coaching to improve or is it time to weed them out and build a better team?
Narrowing down the indicators of what works and looking at them in regards to your whole team will allow you to maximize the value of your team.
Revealing New Pathways to Success
Taking a hard look at individual performance and scoring members of your team may not be a first priority when things are moving along at a solid pace or if you are working with other team members who are happy with “business as usual.”
However, business, as it has always been done, is not always a formula for success. Looking at indicators that have been overlooked in the past could reveal new pathways to success.
Consider the now well-known story of the Oakland Athletics:
In 2002, the Oakland Athletics finished first in the American League West despite having the third lowest payroll salary in the MLB.
At a time when team rosters were dominated by heavy hitters and star power, A’s GM Billy Beane put together a team based on statistics that were a sharp turn from “business as usual.”
“…if gross miscalculations of a person’s value could occur on a baseball field, before a live audience of thirty thousand, and a television audience of millions more, what did that say about the measurement of performance in other lines of work? If professional baseball players could be over- or undervalued, who couldn’t?– Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game
Using the same statistics that were readily available to other general managers, Beane put together a roster of low-salaried players who went on to become a powerhouse team.
This new approach to building a winning team did not go unnoticed and can be attributed, in part, to the successes of other smaller-franchise teams, including the Cleveland Indians, (GO TRIBE!) rising to the top of an imbalanced playing field.
You may already have the data available, or it may be a case of looking at your team through a slightly different lens. By breaking down your own sales team’s statistics and identifying areas of improvement, as well as key indicators of success, you have the opportunity to raise the bar for everyone and truly maximize their potential.