The very first thing you can do as a business leader, or as a sales team leader, is STOP BEING THE CAUSE OF THE LOW PERFORMANCE YOUR TEAM IS GENERATING.
According to THE CENTER FOR SALES STRATEGY, 70% of today’s workforce is completely disengaged, especially at end of quarter and end of year markers. They go on to cite HubSpot specifically for sales professionals, tracking the cost of replacing an underperforming sales professional at 150% of their salary. Imagine the cost to replace a DISENGAGED achiever, or high achiever!!!
TOP 4 CAUSES TO A POOR PERFORMING SALES TEAM:
- Poor Hiring – leadership often hires out of necessity, in a panic. Better to be in a state of mind that “we’re always staffing”; have a pre-defined, objective, profile in mind of what a top performer is, and have a staffing strategy. Develop a “staffing pipeline” as well…better to have top talent a phone call away, and never needs to make that call, than to have the need and suddenly hire the wrong person and continue the cycle of poor hiring.
- Lack of Engagement – Engagement is feeling like you are part of the mission and the vision. When a sales professional is not part of developing the vision, and implementing the mission, they very quickly become disengaged.
- Poor or little feedback & communication – Be constructive and timely. This means that they need to hear from leaders often, clearly understand the communication, and have feedback that can be implemented when they walk away. Communicate positives as well as negatives, as facts, and not opinion. PRAISE FREQUENTLY, AND PRAISE PUBLICLY. Corrective communication needs to be private, and specific with no emotion or opinion.
- Unclear expectations – Everyone, but especially sales professionals WANT to know what the expectations are…what is the measuring stick. Make sure that measurement is clear, attainable, and remains consistent, and involve them in the expectation setting and measurement.
- Define the sales process – Define the process in a clear and concise manner. Confirm understanding. Model the process. Salespeople want to perform well, and it is easier to “copy” the expected performance after seeing it, rather than do it from an interpretation of a description only.
- Hire for culture and fit – Develop a profile of top performance characteristics that are objective and unchanging. Those characteristics should run parallel to the corporate mission, the customer expectations, and the expectations of the employees working at your company.
- Accountability is crucial – Accountability is not a punishment, and not a negative time in the salesperson’s life. Accountability should be measurable, specific, and frequent. There should never be any surprises if the accountability reflects expectations that all are involved in.
- ONBOARDING – The onboarding process has been overlooked or eliminated in the recent past, and the absence of a proper onboarding process is a major cause of turnover, dis-engagement, and workplace frustration. Also, re-boarding is critical to established team members.
- Conduct Individual Focus Meeting – Regular, Consistent, Objective meetings to focus on the expectations, and what is going well and what is detracting from reaching those objectives.
The reality is that all people, especially salespeople, want to be part of not only winning teams, but championship teams. Engagement is key with seasoned professionals as well as brand new members of the team.
Hybrid workplaces are becoming more and more prevalent, so keeping salespeople engaged is more important now more than ever.
For help with any of these critical success factors, reach out to PK SOLUTIONS GROUP for a free consultation to put in place what may be missing in your workplace.