Sales Strategy: Easy 5-Step Process to Improve Sales Leaders

March 20, 2012 at 12:15 PM

The first key to improving the productivity of your Sales Team is in assuring that you have the best talent in leadership positions. Your Sales Leaders are responsible for motivating the Sales Team to perform as they should. In other words:

Are Your Sales Leaders Getting the Most Out of Your Sales Team?

In order to figure out where improvements are necessary or changes, you need a system to evaluate your sales leaders.

First, let’s cover what you can do to build a Talent Assessment Framework that allows for a clear, objective evaluation of your Sales Leaders.  The below diagram shows you the 5 steps needed to build a Talent Assessment Framework.

sales strategy process improve sales leaders

 1.    Determine Competencies: Competencies can help you understand if your Sales Leaders have the abilities or qualities to mesh with your business and into the role.  The competencies areas could be as small as 15 or as great as 50.  Examples of competencies are selling skills, knowledge, past experience, and personality character or attributes.

Goal is to be able to answer the question:  Are they a good fit?

2.    Determine Accountabilities:  Accountabilities allow you to understand if your Sales Leaders have the attributes required for performance and accomplishment. They need not only be able to keep numbers at their current level, but preferably increase them as well. Examples of accountabilities might be how they have performed against revenue quotas, conversion rates within the sales pipeline, and time spent coaching sales executives.

Goal is to be able to answer the question: Can they get the job done?

3.    Build a Scorecard: Your Scorecard should be dimensioned with the Competencies and Accountabilities that allow an interviewer to score and evaluate your talent.  The Competency and Accountability areas will each have predetermined questions allowing you to score the response.  Utilizing the Topgrading for Sales methodology, it is recommended that a scoring scale of 1 – 6 be used.  The Scale is as follows: 1= very poor, 2= poor, 3=only fair, 4=good, 5=very good, 6=excellent. An example Scorecard is shown below:
sale strategy scorecard
4.    Conduct the Talent Assessment Interview:  Talent Assessment Interviews are one of the most important tasks you can do to evaluate your Sales Leaders. With the interviews you can:

  • Reveal strengths and weaknesses
  • Provide a custom scorecard for each of your Sales Leaders
  • Create a benchmark for your company and your Sales Leaders
  • Clearly Expose your improvement areas
  • Build a Foundation for a Personal Development Plan

The competency area is scored by conducting a face to face interview/meeting to score the depth of knowledge and expertise in each of the respective areas. Use the Topgrading for Sales scoring methodology as described.

Using the scorecard you’ve created you now have to score the Accountabilities based on the actual performance of the Sales Leader that you are assessing. This is done through gathering the actual results in the areas determined most important for your organization.

5.   Scorecard analysis and benchmark:  You now have custom scoring for Competencies and Accountabilities for each of your Sales Leaders. Plot your Sales Leaders scores to determine your A/B/C players. Here are the Topgrading for Sales definitions:

A Player- Top 10% of talent available for the pay.
B Player- Next 25% of talent
C Player- Below the top 35% of talent
sales strategy talent leaders

How to Improve Your Sales Leaders Team

You’ve done the Talent Assessment Framework. Great – but what now? I would recommend…

  • A Players – Continue to develop, stay close to, and provide with ample opportunities. They will likely move your business forward.
  • B Players – Tough decisions ahead here. If they can become an A Player in 18 months you should put them on a Personal Development Plan. If not, you may need to consider alternatives.
  • C Players – It’s never easy, but these Sales Leaders should probably be replaced immediately.

As you develop your Sales Strategy, make sure to include this 5-Step Talent Assessment.  The organization’s ability to Make The Number is dependent on you and your Sales Leaders.  You don’t (and certainly won’t) tolerate your Sales Leaders to carry “C” talent –  don’t allow yourself the same.

Have More Questions about Talent Assessment?

SBI utilizes benchmarking to see how your organization compares to other comparable and World-Class Organizations. For more instruction or information, see our Slideshare on Talet Assessment here, or request a professional assessment here.

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Topics: sales strategy

Posted by Tony Albachiara

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