The good news: most of the sellers surveyed for the 5th Annual Media Sales Report knew what their sales talents were and how to put them to use.
The bad news: 11% reported that they had NEVER received feedback on their sales talents.
Think about it. Those 11% are at an automatic disadvantage. When projects come up, they may not know if those projects suit their talents. When reaching out to clients, they may not be aware of how to showcase their strengths. And when possible promotions are offered, they may not know if this would be a smart career move based on their talents.
Leveraging Strengths for Sales Success
Most of us instinctively know what some of our strengths are. Sellers might know that they ask more questions and learn faster than others. Or maybe people open up to them, and they build stronger relationships than most.
But do they know why? Do they know how to most effectively use this information to build a strong client base and sell successfully?
If your sellers lack that vital piece of the puzzle, they may have sales talent but underperform because they don’t know how to use that talent most effectively.
Know Their Talents
Take a look at your team. Does everyone have a Sales Talent Assessment? Some tenured sellers may have an outdated assessment. A current Sales Talent Assessment will also have a Top Talent Report available.
Analyze Their Talents
If you have not had a conversation about each team member’s assessment in the past year, schedule manager feedback with a Talent Analyst to discuss. Don’t just focus on your underperformers! Reviewing the talents of your top performers can uncover ways to assist them to greater success.
Share Their Talents
Next, schedule time to print out each seller’s Top Talent Report, share it with them, and review it. Hopefully, they have seen it before, have a copy, and have received Strength Development Coaching, but there is a good chance that they have forgotten about it.
Remind them of their top 5 talents and point out times when you have seen them use those talents and ways they can maximize those talents. Star 2-3 strategies for your seller to focus on to become more effective and successful.
Offer Positive Feedback
Now that your team knows their talents and has an action plan for using them most effectively, schedule regular check-ins and monitor their progress. Make time each day to “catch each person doing something well” and give praise in the moment. Take a few minutes during one-on-ones to point out good behaviors that will lead them to success as well as things that could trip them up.
Address Areas of Concern Quickly
If an intense talent or a weakness is causing performance issues, don’t wait until their yearly performance review to bring this up. Schedule time with a Talent Analyst to discuss strategies to work around their issue and then address the issue with your seller quickly. Allow them the opportunity to address and correct their behavior early on and adopt winning strategies to work around areas of concern.
Provide Effective and Timely Feedback
Per the US Office of Personnel Management, "Effective and timely feedback is a critical component of a successful performance management program and should be used in conjunction with setting performance goals."
Employees' performance will improve if effective feedback is given to employees on their progress towards their goals. People need to know in a timely manner how they're doing, what's working, and what's not.
Make sales talent feedback a part of your daily routine and help your team reach their potential.