How do you go about developing a high-performance sales team?
It’s a challenge that many team leads in staffing face on a regular basis. One solution to this issue is handled at the organizational level with seminars or workshops that produce short term results but may not deliver meaningful long-term change. What is often missed is the powerful long-term impact of a strong coaching culture.
The performance impacts of coaching are a well-researched topic across a number of functional areas. Studies have shown that a strong internal coaching culture will increase employee satisfaction, performance, and retention. Given all of the benefits, it’s surprising that many staffing and recruiting firms don’t spend more time coaching their sales teams.
So what can you do to create a strong coaching culture and in turn improve your teams’ performance? It’s easier than you think:
First, you need to have a PHD.
No, it’s not what you think. By PHD, I mean you need to have ‘pig-headed-discipline’. Whatever path or system you put into place, you need to have the discipline at the management level to remain consistent and follow through. There is nothing worse than getting your team fired up about a new initiative only to forget about it two weeks later.
Second, focus on the numbers.
Any coaching effort in the sales context has to focus on the internal metrics. Your sales metrics will provide the foundation for the discussion. Having that foundation allows you to have a conversation about how you can help your team reach their individual and team goals. That’s what a good coach does; they help put their team in a position to succeed.
Third, be careful with contests.
Often, we think that the best way to boost performance is to have a sales contest. There is a lot of evidence that creating a contest-driven culture actually diminishes teamwork and in the long run won’t improve aggregate performance. As contests that focus on individual results can often lead to conflicts, set up contests that encourage team goals and rewards.
Fourth, be opportunistic.
Don’t think in terms of once-a-week meetings. Keep your eyes open for opportunities to coach and lead every day. Your efforts to create a coaching culture should be both a planned and spontaneous exercise.
These are just four of the things that have been successful for me. There are tons of other ideas and approaches that could work for you. The key thing to remember is to be consistent and use an “all-hands-on- deck” approach. Make sure to incorporate both planned and unplanned methods and certainly leverage your staffing and recruiting software technology to help deliver the message and the metrics. What’s worked for you?
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