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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Does it Pay to Invest Resources in Bottom Performing or Top Performing Salespeople?

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For most sales organizations, your sales team most likely represents a wide range of personalities, experience levels as well as performance levels. Organizations typically have top performers or “all stars” as well as those that struggle each month to meet their sales quota or budget for the month. If your organization has determined there are some areas where your sales team can perform better and resources of time and money are available, where do you invest these limited resources? Do you focus on coaching up your bottom performers, do you bring in new talent, or do you focus on maximizing the performance of your top performers?

Topics: hiring salespeople Talent sales training

Sales Performance Metrics: Teams That Keep Track of the Score Are More Successful

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As a parent of two small children, I've coached my share of soccer teams over the years. I like to think that my teams learned something from my coaching and leadership, but I am starting to think that I learned more from them.

Many of the lessons I have learned can be applied to sales and specifically sales management: the team that keeps score does best, practice like you intend to play, and you are only as strong as your weakest player.

Topics: Sales sales training

How Online Courses Help Ease the Transition for New Sales Hires

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School is now in full swing, and watching my kids adjust to new schools this year reminds me of what it felt like to start a new sales job. There’s always a transition that includes many different learning curves. In middle school, the transitions and learning curves include a change in class structure, multiple teachers and curriculum, new extracurricular commitments, and social pressure. With a new sales job, the transitions and learning curves include embracing a new culture, learning to meet the expectations of new leadership, taking on new functions within a sales job and social pressure.

One of the best ways to ease the pain of transition is to offer new sales hires training—training in areas that help introduce skills needed or training for existing salespeople to enhance skills they may have already developed but can always improve. 

Topics: Sales sales training

So You’ve Hired Some “Green” Salespeople. Now What?

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All sales managers know that it’s important to have a full staff of salespeople in order to hit your goals. But you know how risky and ineffective it is simply to hire anyone who can fog a mirror. It’s essential to hire only the right people. 

When searching for the right talents, skills, and experience, strong sales managers recognize that talent is primary. If a salesperson doesn’t have the talent, he or she can’t be highly successful. Once onboard, the right coaching will turn those talents into skills. That leaves experience. Research tells us, and it’s kind of counterintuitive, that experience is the least accurate indicator of future success—which is why many good sales managers hire some pretty green salespeople. 

But just because prior experience (even lots of it) doesn’t guarantee success doesn’t mean that lack of experience isn’t going to be a problem. Of course, it will be. Talented newbies are still newbies. They’ll be great one day and your decision will be very smart in retrospect, but you can’t wait 12 months to see if they’re going to make it. You need to play a proactive role in their development so they gain the needed experience as quickly as possible. 

Many companies we work with have a pretty good onboarding plan, yet nearly every manager wants to know if there is something more they can do to get these rookies productive sooner. The answer is yes. Here is what I recommend to help those new to sales ramp up quickly.

Topics: sales management Sales sales training