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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Why You Should Stop Doing Annual Reviews

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It’s not that annual reviews are bad… it’s just that they’re not enough! Whether the person you are managing is doing a great job, a terrible job, or performing somewhere in-between, waiting twelve months to let them know that information is damaging to them and to your company.

Topics: Management sales performance Talent

Ten Ways to Retain Top Performers and Improve Performance

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After spending over a decade helping sales organizations select highly talented employees and coaching those salespeople and sales managers to turn talent into performance, I have discovered what I believe are two undisputable truths:

  • A shockingly high number of people are not engaged at work.
  • Talented people who leave their jobs usually point to their manager as the problem.

The latest numbers from Gallup tell us that 70% of our employees are disengaged in their jobs and a recent study by SAP and Oxford Economics revealed that one in five of our top performers are likely to leave their jobs in the next six months!

This means it’s not enough to hire highly talented people into your organization and it’s not even enough to put them in the right positions so they can effectively use their talents (although both of these things are critical!).

Once hired, these talented people need much more from their manager in order to consistently feel engaged and fully realize their potential.

So what can you do to increase employee retention and maximize the performance of your people?

Topics: sales performance Talent Sales

3 Resources to Help Turn Sales Talent into Performance

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Every sales manager has, at some point, come to realize that sales talent isn't enough to reach revenue goals. The key is to hire talented salespeople and then help them optimize their performance. 

These 3 resources will help you, as a manger, turn sales talent into performance.

Topics: sales performance Talent Sales

Relationships Versus Pirate Ships: How to Build Trust and Win the Business

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One of my colleagues at The Center For Sales Strategy described a conversation she had with her three young boys about relationships. They asked what a relationship was, and she responded, “There are friendships, business relationships, and…,” before she could get another word out her 6 year old blurted out “and there are pirate ships, and potato ships. . . .”

Topics: sales performance Sales

How to Make Your Weaknesses Irrelevant

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Weaknesses. We all have them. But we all have strengths as well. Which do you focus on? 

Human nature leads us to naturally focus on our weaknesses, but it is a proven fact that we can be significantly more effective when we do the exact opposite! 

In sales coaching, you can get a 10x lift from a salesperson if you focus on their strengths. This is the most highly effective use of your coaching time when you consider that you will only be able to improve people in an area of weakness by about 10%.

Yes, easier said than done at times, so here are some suggestions on how to accomplish that.

Topics: sales performance Talent Sales

Sales Coaching: Why it's a Manager's Job to Give Tough Love

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After a workshop recently, the sales managers and I strategized the best way to help reinforce the learning and training with their sales team. This is something I often do because a workshop is not a training event that stands on its own—it's just the start to what should be continuous learning.

Topics: Management sales performance sales management Sales

Can Sales Ability Really Be Taught?

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Can sales ability really be taught? Or is it a natural talent that you are born with? I now know the answer after observing many real-life experiments in nature vs. nurture during our family’s tradition of participating in Lemonade Day.

Topics: developing strengths sales performance Talent Sales

Improve Your Millennials' Performance With Real-time Feedback

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We’ve been talking about the Millennial generation for years now. Discussing their behaviors, styles, and attitudes, we have debated how this group will likely affect our business moving forward and how we can best develop them to succeed.

This understanding is vital since they will soon fill half of our entire labor force, and Pew Research reports that 58% of them expect to leave their jobs in three years or less. That kind of turnover can be a killer to a sales organization, so we need to figure them out and connect with them in a meaningful way.

But how? It may not be as hard as you thought!

Topics: sales performance Talent coaching

The Key to Improving Sales Performance

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Which is more likely to drive strong sales performance: a focus on the numbers or great attention to the sales process?

I recently heard two people talking about the key to sales performance. One person started by saying that the key is to focus on sales process. Then a few minutes later, the other person described hearing a CEO of a very successful company saying he has learned that the key to driving top sales performance is to focus on the numbers. 

At first, this sounded like a conflict to me. But the more I listened, it turns out they were saying the same thing. It’s not either/or. The lesson is to focus on the numbers that are tied to the sales process. 

Topics: sales performance Sales salespeople

6 Steps to Stop that Leaking Sales Bucket

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We probably all agree that it is easier to fill a bucket when it’s not leaking from the bottom. Seems like a pretty good rule of thumb.

In the context of managing sales revenue and keeping that bucket completely full, things can become pretty difficult when you spring a leak! We need to spend more and more time dumping new business in just to keep a minimum level inside, and that is exhausting.

Although a certain amount of attrition in sales is to be expected, when it becomes problematic, even the best new business program in the world won't fix the problem. So, step one involves fixing the attrition problem that is causing you to miss your monthly, quarterly, and yearly budgets. Only after we have properly patched that leak in the bucket, will we have the opportunity to shift our attention to developing new business and filling that bucket up. 

Topics: Management sales strategy sales performance Sales