Posted on 27 June 2011.
SalesStar.com recognises that developing a high performing sales team is similar to developing a high performing sports team. We work with Sales Manager and salespeople who are essentially “corporate athletes” working in a functional team environment (look out for our upcoming blog – “The Functioning of a Corporate Athlete” in July).
- Sales Manager – The Super Coach
- Sales People – The Natural Talent – Team DNA
- Sales Process – The Rules of the Game
- Sales Training – Practise, Drills and Training
- Mindset – Belief in Success
- Recruiting – The Best Players
- Non-performers – Relegated players
1. Robbie Deans and Wayne Bennett are Super Coaches. With the Midas touch, they have the ability to turn every team they coach into gold winning champions. Wayne Bennett had a purple patch when he was the coach of the Brisbane Broncos, winning several NRL championships. He then went on to coach the St George Dragons into a champion team and win an NRL premiership and was instrumental in aiding the Kiwis to win against Australia in a world cup final. Champion coaches make champion teams! High performing sales teams require a Super Coach in the form of a Sales Manager. Someone who can recruit and develop the right players, someone who can create a winning culture and get the mind-set of the player’s right pre-match. A Super Coach leads with conviction to instil belief and trust into his players and then takes them into battle to win.
2. Naturally players have strengths and weaknesses; some are adaptable and can play in various positions, while others need to focus on specific positions to thrive. Then there are others who just shouldn’t be in the team because they don’t have the DNA or just lack fundamental skills. Companies should recognise that sales people are not all built equally, they have different attributes and to get the best from them we should be playing to their strengths. Some may be excellent hunters while others are better at managing accounts. Trying to convert an account manager into a hunter is like turning a prop into a winger. They are different animals and need to be treated that way. And some sales people do not have the right DNA and traits to be successful in sales!
3. What are the rules to the game? Are the players playing to these rules? Is the coach coaching to these rules? If you don’t know the rules to the game you are not going to be successful. The Sales Process becomes the fundamental rules of the game. Sales managers need to coach and hold sales team accountable to these rules to get the best from them, allowing sales people to use their own style. Jonah Lomu and Terry Wright where both All Black Wingers with very different styles. Lomu would typically use his strength and size to go through players while Wright used his pace to get around players. Both played the same game with the same rules and used a different but effective style.
4. Practised teams are winning teams. We all know practice makes perfect but it also allows us to stay on top and in the game. So many sales organisations don’t create a culture that fosters the salespeople to practice their skills. They choose to have their sales people practice on the customer and hope it goes well. That’s like the All Blacks not practising for the World Cup and just turning up on game day in the hope that they will win.
5. When teams start winning, there is a common thread that can be attributed to success – “Mindset”. This is belief in ability. Muhammad Ali, the greatest boxer of all time said “I am the Greatest”. I wonder if he would have been as successful if he had said “I am not sure if I can do this”! Mindset is 50% of success in any sales environment. Sale people need to have belief in themselves and their product/service. They also need belief in the company vision and value proposition. Believe in your offering and you will be successful in selling.
6. The Canterbury Crusaders and Manchester United are two champion sports teams that recruit well. Always hiring the best players for the right positions will bring a return on investment (ROI). Companies that master the recruitment process will have a competitive advantage and opportunities to promote from within. As Jim Collins said, once you have the right people in the right seats of the bus, you can take the bus anywhere.
7. When the Warriors lost three games in a row, Ivan Cleary made some wholesale changes and replaced non- performers with up and coming stars. The result was five wins in a row. If you want to develop a high performing culture there is no room for mediocrity. Sometimes you need to make tough calls to get your point across. If you have non-performers, you need to set them free. Put simply, there is no room for them in a culture that breeds success.
SalesStar.com work with a range of clients to develop their salespeople into high performing teams. Our SalesStar Management Programme gives us the opportunity to turn Sales Managers into Super Coaches.