In some ways it is easier to build a high performing sales team from the start than to inherit one with all its ingrown quirks and idiosyncrasies. That way you don’t have to adjust to anyone else’s idea of what it takes to succeed. You get the chance to make your own success (and make your own mistakes).
At whatever point you have joined the process—creating a high performance team out of the ether or fine-tuning an existing one—here are some tips on how to fashion the high performing team of your dreams.
1. Get smart.
Use your network of contacts and any other resources at your disposal. This means asking for help from people you trust who have the experience you need. Listen and learn. You can save yourself a whole boatload of trouble by avoiding the mistakes they have made and by taking advantage of what they learned as a result. And do your homework by researching the experts on how to build a high performing team and what you need for success.
2. Get the right talent.
To hire well is hard. Even the best interviewers struggle to consistently identify and hire “A” players. The key is to follow a fair and proven process for uncovering the truth behind the resume and the candidate’s attempts to impress. A behavior-based interviewing training program would be well worth the investment. You will learn how to create a job profile against which you will measure a candidate’s core competencies, and you will learn how to probe for attitude and cultural fit, not just skills and experience. You want someone who is coachable, who shares your values, who is committed to your organization’s mission and goals, and who has an entrepreneurial spirit.
And even as you work to bring aboard top talent, don’t shy away from saying good-bye to someone who does not measure up. As soon as you realize you have made a mistake in hiring—because the new hire is not a cultural fit or because they don’t share your work ethic or because they simply can’t perform to the established standards—let them go.
3. Get set to succeed.
Make sure you give your team the tools they need to succeed. This will involve technology that will make their job easier and save valuable customer-facing time. It may also require some solution selling training to see that you are all using the same sales process and the same language. Use a variety of instructional design techniques such as pre-work, scenarios, simulations, practice, roleplaying, videotaping, coaching and job-aids to help you all pull in the same direction.
4. Get clear leading and lagging success metrics in place.
Set clear and specific expectations for performance. This could include achievable revenue targets that allow for a ramp-up period, number of calls per week, number of customer meetings per month, etc. Then hold each team member accountable for hitting those numbers.
5. Get communicating.
Talk with your team individually and as a group. Learn what makes them tick and what they need to stay motivated. Listen for concerns and deal with them right away. Establish an environment where questions are welcome and ideas for improvement are openly discussed. A sales team that is willing to learn can continuously improve.
We partnered with LSA Global to help us invest in our people in the areas of performance coaching, diversity, and inclusion. They focused on helping us succeed and were very flexible in meeting our specific needs. LSA Global exceeded my expectations from a speed, quality, and value standpoint. I would recommend LSA Global to anyone looking for a true business partner.
Director, Human Resources
PalmSource has found our relationship with LSA extremely beneficial. We worked closely with LSA to customize the right Management Training Program solution to meet our unique business needs. LSA is a quality organization, one that I’d recommend to any company looking for a first class training and consulting partner.
Vice President of Human Resources
Congratulations on your pro-activity in establishing this program and developing such an effective New Employee Orientation course.
President and Chief Executive Office
LSA has been a tremendous asset to my portfolio, both at my current company and my past company. As an HR leader, I am always looking for ways to find external resources that can provide a solution to our management training needs. LSA does that for me. Their solutions are presented in a much more leadership-oriented manner so as to be crisp, business relevant, and easy to apply right back on the job. I will continue to augment our programs using LSA solutions.
VP of Human Resources
For past year LSA has provided development to a group of key individuals at our manufacturing plant who author and review technical reports. The feedback from the sessions has been extremely positive. We have seen marked improvement in the quality of output from the attendees who have taken the program. I can strongly recommend the services that LSA provides. Their facilitators are top notch and the programs are high quality. LSA offers some of the most comprehensive full service solutions available.
Leading Global Health Care Company
I continue to be impressed by the level of leadership development and management expertise and quality of advice and facilitation that LSA has to offer. What a smart and client-centric group of great people who really know how to help leaders attract, engage, develop and retain top talent.
Director, HR Business Partner
We engaged LSA to design and deliver a 6-month custom executive coaching program for a group of our key leaders. The focus of the program was to help a core group of senior leaders to leverage previous investments in management training, to ensure the engagement and retention of key employees, and to push critical strategic initiatives forward. Even with the high expectations of our senior people, LSA has completely exceeded our expectations. I would recommend them to anyone looking to create and implement a custom coaching methodology using proven tools to drive true change.
Senior HR Manager - Staffing, Training, & Development
VNUS Medical has been very pleased with the effective management development programs that LSA Global has delivered for us over the last four years. The programs have been universally facilitated by experienced and best in class instructors. The knowledge gained by our management team has been put into practice very quickly. VNUS is very happy to be working in partnership with LSA because they consistently deliver excellent programs that receive exceptional feedback from our management team.
Cindee Van Vleck
Director Human Resources
LSA has added tremendous value and intellectual rigor to help take us to the next level. They have been a training outsourcing goldmine for us. Their flexibility, expertise, and speed has been extraordinary. I am a big fan and recommend them to anyone looking to drive true business value.
Global Financial Services Company
Director, Organizational Effectiveness
For our go to training outsourcing partner, LSA provides exactly what we want. As always, they deliver outstanding work!
Director, Organizational Excellence & Development
LSA’s approach and ability to bring the best resources to eBay has been a great asset. They really focus on helping us succeed in any way they can and are very flexible in meeting our management and talent needs.
Learning & Development
Here’s a token of my appreciation for ALL your efforts. I’m offering my most sincere appreciation, and it extends to all the folks who made our customized management development programs possible.
Workforce Planning Bureau
We consider LSA our true business partner in the areas of Learning and Organizational Development. From Strategic Planning to Presentation Skills and Management Training, they continue to provide excellent value and extremely high quality solutions – not just one time events. I recommend them to anyone looking to drive true business results.
Michelle A. Mitchell
Vice President, Worldwide Human Resources
LSA is an instrumental training outsourcing partner in helping us to build management capacity and strategically invest in our people. Their flexibility, depth, and breadth of expertise allows us to deliver top quality solutions that are directly tied to key business plans. Their ability to custom design, deliver, and evaluate our Management Curriculum has been excellent. They are true business partners and a pleasure to work with.
Margaret M. Mader
Vice President, Human Resources
LSA Global’s consultant brought a fresh perspective to our behavioral based interviewing strategy for two key executive positions we needed to fill, and their consultant helped us develop questions that produced a much deeper understanding of candidates’ capabilities. I am confident that the two new executives joining our organization have the right skills to add significant value. Throughout the process LSA was also very responsive in dealing with short lead time requests.
Because of the unique nature of our business, Excel is a core application in our accounting organization. After three attempts to find an Excel consultant who is capable of helping our finance team integrate advanced applications into our work processes we found LSA and Alex. He was not only a “Real” Excel expert but was masterful in helping us identify where to use Excel applications in our processes to increase our group’s efficiency.
SPO Partners & Co
Kim Silva, CFO
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