I was asked last week by a senior sales manager why I thought several of her company’s top performers were off to a slow start this year.
So I’d like to share with you my response on three key reasons this can happen.
- Top performers… first to be neglected.
We assume they are feeling great and will automatically continue producing high level results. This is disrespectful and assumptive on management’s part. When was the last time you acknowledged or recognised a top performing person verbally or in a substantive way?
Sales is a learned skill that needs constant development and re-calibration. If you owned a high performance sports car you wouldn’t expect top performance if you never made the investment into regular servicing and maintenance. Your team are no different.
Ensure everyone in the team receives training and development in the latest, most effective and relevant sales strategies, including any technology advances.
- Top performers… can easily forget what got them to the top.
It’s not uncommon for top sales people to experience a slump or slow patch. Their results look like a typical bell curve diagram. One reason is that they become very adept at recognising the challenges and issues faced by clients. This is a great asset but it can also be a double edged sword if they forget the need to spend sufficient time investigating clients individual situation. If they jump in and offer solutions too early they meet with resistance from the prospect. They don’t feel the sales person understands their situation well enough and the solutions are seen as generic. They must remember that gaining this greater understanding of the clients situation is the key element in building the trust they require for the relationship to grow.
So review the basics, ensure good questioning and Active listening hasn’t lapsed.
- Top performers… need to Keep it fresh.
It’s tough to stay 100% motivated year in year out. Often months or years can pass without a proper review of their aspirations and the opportunities for growth. Perhaps that’s within sales, bigger accounts, international business or using their experience in a management role. Or do they desire additional courses or education. In any event make sure you have this conversation before your competition does!
So don’t procrastinate, review your team today on these 3 points and discover who you might be neglecting.