There is a sales organization I work with that has a consistent track record of finding highly talented candidates to join their sales team. Time and time again, they hire and develop top talent and in turn, quickly see results from these sellers.
Joe*, a new manager at the company, was looking to add to the sales team. He was eager to recruit top talent. Relying on his past experience with other sales organizations, he decided to hire a seller that he had worked with years ago and had been a top performer. He was excited when Tanya* decided to join the team. He remembered her take-charge style, natural ability to build trust and to ask for the order. Her enthusiasm was contagious, and she built strong relationships easily.
A few months in, Joe realized that Tanya seemed to have lost her way. She was trying but not getting anywhere, and her business was suffering. Joe recognized the change in his seller and decided she would be a good candidate for additional coaching. She had the natural talent, but without some sales coaching, it was not being utilized. She was stuck in her ways coasting along with transactional business. She desperately needed help jump-starting her new business development efforts.
After speaking with Tanya and discussing her current challenges, it was obvious she was stuck in a rut. She hated cold calling and had a hard time coming up with ideas. She was way too focused on product pushing instead of being customer focused. She was not using her natural talents, and that was limiting her full potential. It was clear that Tanya needed some additional coaching as well as some really consistent and productive Individual Focus Meetings (IFM) with her manager.
Joe did a great job of supporting Tanya with weekly IFM meetings. Tanya transformed! Fast forward four months later and Tanya had closed $300,000 in new business and was able to reinvent herself after 15 years in the industry.
Top-performing salespeople find a way to balance the reactive, day-to-day tasks with the proactive, upstream actions that create a healthy pipeline. Smart sales managers set aside time to ensure all their salespeople are doing this — all the time.
*All names have been changed to protect the innocent.