Developing your sales team is key to the success of your organization. When you have a handful of “A” players and a majority of “B/C” players, how do you get them to become top performers? We asked five of Chicago's top sales leaders about their strategies for developing “B/C” players to “A” players. Here are their answers:
Rachael Rohn, General Manager at Compass: Maximize their strengths. I learned from Jenny Floros, RVP at Groupon, that every team member brings a different skill to the group and that it is your job as a leader to identify each of those strengths and to maximize them. When change is needed to develop into an "A” player, both you and the “B/C” player should commit to the change(s) in behaviors that are needed to drive the results wanted. Then create an accountability plan for the team member and the leader to follow. It has to be a team effort.
Chris Tourre, Sales Manager at NeonCRM: I created a benchmark system where reps can "graduate" to work with larger leads by (1) hitting quotas (2) impeccable CRM data and (3) complete specific training at each step. Offer training/coaching that will get everyone on your team to "B," while creating incentives that will influence more reps to become top performers.
Kevin Cochran, Director of Sales & Marketing Operations at Lumere: I think I will answer this from an operational perspective and how we have helped new sales execs get from onboarding to up and operational faster, with more tools, resources and alignment at their side. Our best performers have been those who have leveraged our best internal subject matter experts, have formed solid partnerships with our sales operations team very early on to help coordinate their outreach and sales efforts and lastly partnered with our marketing team directly to help align their account-based marketing and sales strategies. Our most successful sales execs are also the ones most receptive to change and that have a willingness to adopt our sales and marketing operational processes, but are also not afraid to provide feedback to help us get better as a team.
Jessica Hay, VP of Sales at Jellyvision: For “B” players - it's 'how do I get them to become “A” players, and how can I leverage my “A” players in getting them there?' We do a lot of co-mentoring, shadowing and extra training for our “B” players to ensure they have what they need. We look at “C” players in a couple of different buckets - is this individual ramping and new to the role vs. is this individual someone who has stayed in the “C” bucket for multiple months post-ramp. If that is the case - the discussion tends towards performance management. Have we set clear expectations that are mutually understood, do we have timelines for improvement and do we have a bench of talent that can support a transition should it come to that.
Christie Bear, VP of Sales at YCharts: First, I try to determine their skill and will to become an “A” player. If they lack the needed skill/will to be an “A,” it might not benefit your organization to add that pressure. If they have the needed attributes for an “A” player, I ask them to define what that means to them and have them create the plan to get there. I find that these people are wired to exceed what you imagine for them and that they achieve the plan you support them to create. Get them working for their goals, and you will accomplish your own.