2 Proven Strategies for Duplicating Your High Sales Performers
Today’s post is by Colleen Stanley, President of SalesLeadership, a sales development firm. She is the creator of the Ei Selling System®, a powerful sales and management training program that integrates emotional intelligence skills with consultative selling skills. She is the author of Emotional Intelligence For Sales Success, now published in six languages, and Growing Great Sales Teams. SalesForce recently named Colleen as one of the top sales influencers of the 21st century. She’s also been named one of the Top 50 Keynote Speakers and one of the Top 30 Sales Gurus for 2019.
Sales managers, what kind of sales results would your organization achieve if you had a defined strategy for duplicating your top sales performers? Imagine if every person on your sales team had great emotional intelligence skills, good productivity habits, and superior sales and influence skills.
Does this sound like a scene from the movie “Mission Impossible?”
It’s not impossible.
But duplicating your top sales performers may require a change in your sales management approach. The first change is developing a sales playbook. Look at any dream team and you will find it operates from a common playbook. A blockbuster movie has actors working from a common script. An athletic team has a common playbook. And an orchestra performs from a single musical score.
Strategy #1: Build a Great Sales Playbook
Here’s a reality check: Without a sales playbook, sales managers can’t train and coach their sales teams. A sales manager simply can’t coach and train 15 different sales playbooks, even if each individual’s is really good.
Here is the key to building a great sales playbook: Include both the soft skills (emotional intelligence skills) and hard skills (consultative selling skills) needed for success at your organization.
As you build your sales playbook, spend time with your top sales producers. Pay attention to the hard skills AND soft skills contributing to their sales success. Sales managers often make the mistake of paying attention only to the hard skills of selling, listening and observing what a top salesperson says during conversations. This is important. However, the emotional intelligence skills that contribute to this top salesperson’s success are equally important.
For example, every good sales playbook should have customized diagnostic questions to determine whether or not a prospect is qualified to stay in the pipeline. But even with documentation of good questions, a sales manager might observe salespeople showing up and throwing up on calls.
That’s because the sales playbook didn’t include training around the emotional intelligence skills of impulse control and self-awareness.
Top salespeople possess both impulse control and self-awareness, which allows them to execute the hard-selling skill of asking effective questions. Top salespeople are aware of how easy it is to get emotionally triggered when hearing a prospect’s pain point. And because of this increased awareness, they manage their impulse to start presenting and delivering solutions before a full diagnosis of the problem.
Sales managers, include both the soft skills and hard skills demonstrated by your top salespeople and include them in your sales playbook. This strategy is key to building a sales dream team.
Strategy #2: Share the Habits of Top Performers
The next winning strategy for duplicating top salespeople is tuning in and paying attention to their habits.
A habit is defined as something you do repeatedly. Top salespeople repeatedly execute the right habits, which creates sustainable sales results. In my years of working with top salespeople, I’ve observed five habits that support their sales success.
During your next group sales meeting or individual coaching sessions, teach and reinforce these habits to the rest of your team.
- Top salespeople get a jump start on the day. They aren’t rolling over, turning off their alarms, checking email and then racing out the door. People who do this start their day in a fight-or-flight emotional state. On the other hand, top salespeople subscribe to the mantra “The early bird gets the worm.” They wake up early to practice gratitude, positive thinking and/or exercise. They aren’t stressed out. They are mentally ready to face the selling day. Teach your sales team the habit of starting their day early and relaxed.
- Top salespeople are organized. They incorporate good time-management skills, one of which is calendar-blocking their week. They don’t show up to their desk wondering what they are going to do that day. They know exactly what they are going to do and when they are going to do it. Teach your sales team time management and productivity skills.
- Top salespeople practice. They recognize that mastery doesn’t occur by osmosis or wishful thinking. They apply the work ethic and effort to become the best at what they do. Teach your sales team the power of practice. Spend time role playing with your team rather than looking at the sales forecast one more time, wondering why quota isn’t being achieved.
- Top salespeople study and learn. They know that the world of business and sales is constantly changing, therefore, their knowledge and skills also keep changing. Start a book club in your sales organization. Make learning a habit in your sales organization.
- Top salespeople make time for relationships. This goes back to point No. 2. They schedule time for building relationships instead of hoping deep relationships will form. They schedule time for a relationship-building breakfast, lunch or virtual coffee with peers and referral partners. Include relationship building as one of your sales performance metrics. Teach your team the power of having relationships in place before you need them.
Build a sales dream team by observing, teaching and duplicating both the soft skills and hard skills of your top sales performers.
To hear more from Colleen Stanley, join your fellow sales leaders, trainers, and sales enablement professionals in Boston for the 4th annual Allego Sales Success Summit. Learn more here: https://s3.allego.com/