It seems somehow intuitively appealing for a manager to spend more time with those salespeople who need more help. People are almost invariably amazed when we explain to them that the opposite is true. To really see ROI on your sales team, you must spend more time with your top performers.
Lock on to the logic:
The salespeople who need you the most are rarely the salespeople who give you the most.
The worst performers on your sales team, the ones who take the lion’s share of your time, are most likely not cut out for sales. The time you invest with them will deliver little, if any, return. The time you lose is time that could have been devoted to propelling your organization forward.
I recently heard feedback from a client who took our advice to heart:
I’ve heard you speak in a few different sessions about the importance of spending the greatest amount of time with your top performers, and not as much time with your poorest performers.
Earlier this year, I restructured my sales department, and laid off the poorest performer on my team. I knew, intuitively, that the person I let go was taking a lot of my time, but I didn’t fully comprehend the extent of it until they were gone. Suddenly, I was able to get more done every week!
My poorest performer had been taking almost 40% of my week, coming to me with negative issues that were largely irrelevant. Time spent with that person rarely, if ever, led to more sales.
Ever since we made the change, I’ve been far more productive and better able to work with the rest of my team—the productive ones—to help solve issues that do lead to sales. I spend more time with my top performers to help them grow their business, and the only thing I keep asking myself is, “Why didn’t I do this sooner?”
The person I let go used to be a top performer in another company. Or so I heard. I spent so much time trying to get them back to that level that I ended up neglecting the salespeople who were consistently doing high-quality work.
I wanted to share this with you in case you come across another manager like me, someone who is spending way too much time hoping and wishing a salesperson would get better. Tell them that the poor performers aren’t the ones worth their time, and their professional lives will improve 1,000% if they make that one change.
Are you that manager? If so, you should restructure your sales department to focus more of your time and energy on your top performers.
You’ll be glad you did. So will your boss. So will your top performers.