Whether it's in the gym or on the field, athletes like Michael Jordan and Tom Brady are known for being the hardest workers during practice. And, as the greatest athletes of all time, they're not out there trying to learn something new—they're simply practicing the basics.
Josh Kaufman, author of The Personal MBA, writes that to go from “knowing nothing to being pretty good” actually takes about 20 hours of practice—that’s 45 minutes every day for a month. As leaders, we're accustomed to being great at what we do. But in order to learn something new and help your salespeople get better, everyone must practice.
How to Improve Sales Performance
Every needs analysis or presentation is game day. We walk in, ready to play, and hope it works out. We don't spend much time rehearsing, practicing, or game planning, and that's big a mistake. As a sales manager, it's your job to help your salespeople get better at what they do. So, how do you do that?
The only way salespeople can get better is through practice and feedback. Here's two ways to get the most out of your sales team to maximize their performance.
For many salespeople, role-playing is not top-priority. We've already established that the best athletes (even actors and musicians) practice—role play—constantly to improve their performance. Why shouldn't a sales team?
As managers, we're often frustrated by a salesperson, team, or project when they fail to make progress. We try motivation techniques and other solutions, but they never seem to work. When it reaches this point, summon a team meeting and role play. Give your team the opportunity to see what it will take in a regular needs analysis or presentation, so that they are ready for the game and progress more in the future.
When that opportunity comes, and it's game day, you need to be in the field with your team. It's very hard to coach from the locker room.
Great salespeople always want to improve. Show them that you're more than someone that manages and holds them accountable. Be a coach by helping them develop their skills so that they can continually strive to do better and be even more successful.
If you do these two things, your salespeople productivity and performance will increase. What will you do this week to help your salespeople get better?