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Be a Top Performer...And Then Some

Whether it is a January kickoff event, a Monday morning sales meeting or a quarterly salesperson review session, sales managers must sell the need to plan for success.

Planning for success means you build a sales organization that is not opportunistic in account management, prospecting, et cetera, but focused on a methodology to ensure success. It also means that there is an expectation or attitude from management that is transmitted to the team that "we" will be successful, "we" are winners, "we" are better and "we" work together.

This is part of the emotional makeup that creates an atmosphere that separates the average-performing organizations from top-performing sales teams. In preparing to speak at a sales award banquet this week, I thought about what kind of message I wanted to leave with the audience, and I realized that this may be a common concept that all sales leaders must reinforce to their teams.

What do you need to create this environment? The answer is a sales management system that reinforces what you expect and a leadership and management style that is focused only on accepting high performance in all aspects of life. This means every salesperson must have:

  • a yearly salesperson business plan
  • Top 15 account plans (if appropriate)
  • a rolling 90-day sales training plan
  • formal monthly/quarterly salesperson reviews
  • sales contests that drive fun, recognition and teamwork
  • measurement systems that promote success and show effectiveness

Every salesperson wants to be successful, as does every sales manager. Everyone has good ideas, but execution becomes the key differentiator in success. You have to work on the methodology, but you also have to focus on the emotional aspects of success. The difference in success is three simple words -- "and then some." For example, the difference between average performers and top performers are:

  • Top performers do what is expected...and then some.
  • They meet their obligations fairly and squarely...and then some.
  • They are good friends, helpful neighbors...and then some.
  • They are thoughtful of others, considerate and kind...and then some.
  • They can be counted on in an emergency...and then some.

As you go about your week, make sure you do what is expected...and then some.

In my book, Leading High Performance Sales Teams, we discuss these ideas and others in greater detail; you can listen to a podcast of the book in our store. Listen to a new interview podcast on sales management here.

Posted by Ken Thoreson on August 11, 2014 at 1:30 PM


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