How to Get Your Sales Team Back on Track

A running track with multiple lanes to Sales Team Back on Track

Do You Need to Get Your Sales Team Back on Track?
At some point, every sales leader needs to get their sales team back on track.  Whether it caused by top producers walking out the door or losing a major account, it is critical that you get your sales team back on track.

Not Enough Sales Leaders Take Sales Attrition Seriously
An American Management Association survey of 1,000 companies found that the bulk of sales managers were not very concerned about losing their tops sales reps. We believe too many sales leaders are so burdened with meeting their quarterly sales targets that they underestimate:

  • How difficult it is to find top sales talent
  • How long it takes time to on-board and train new sales reps
  • The competition for sales talent
  • The performance drain caused by disengaged sales teams

Use Employee Exit Interviews
The first step should be open and honest employee exit interviews. If your sales reps have already secured another position, they will be more likely to answer your questions frankly. Be sure to frame your queries with your sincere desire to improve the situation.

The interviews could steer you in many different directions. The source of sales attrition could be:

  • Unclear sales strategies
  • Unaligned sales culture
  • Poor sales management
  • Mismatched sales hiring
  • Inadequate sales compensation
  • Unfairly drawn sales territories or account mapping
  • Overly complex sales processes
  • Lack of sales skills and tools

These common causes of sales turnover are fairly straightforward to fix.  For example, highly customized solution selling training could help re-set your sales reps’ ability to add customer value. But consider a more comprehensive reason for sales turnover…the lack of a high performance sales culture that would sustain your team now and into the future.

High Performance Sales Culture
The backbone of a high performing sales team is a common direction and plan to achieve sales targets. Every sales team member should know the direction they need to pull, feel that their efforts are valued, and know how reaching team goals will benefit them and the organization as a whole.

Five Steps to Get Your Sales Team Back on Track
Here is a step-by-step plan for creating a common vision:

1.  Define Your Sales Strategy and Culture
Gather the sales team together to define:

  • Why you do what you do?
  • What sets you apart from the competition?
  • Who are your ideal target clients?
  • What does high performance look like?
  • How will success be measured?
  • What values and beliefs will the team will work and live by?
  • What is the specific plan to achieve your sales targets?
  • What part which each sales team member play in the sales plan?

2.  Define Sales Performance Expectations
Clarify performance expectations so each team member knows what they must do to succeed and what others are doing to reach the agreed-upon sales goals.

3.  Create a Sales Culture of Accountability
Establish a sales culture of accountability where adherence to “The Way” is measured and rewarded while under-performers must improve or exit in a timely and respectful manner.

4.  Encourage the Sharing of Ideas and Issues
In our recent organizational alignment research, The timely and transparent flow of information rated as the fourth most important attribute to get right if you want to grow revenue faster than your peers.  Make sure your sales meetings and processes are ruled by transparency, mutual respect and the honest, straightforward sharing of information.

5.  Sales Rewards and Recognition
Reward top sales performers and celebrate sales milestones as they are reached. Too often, sales leaders ignore this important step in the bustle of daily tasks. If you want to keep or get your sales team back on track, they must want to come to work each day and feel proportionately rewarded for their efforts.

The Bottom Line
Your sales team will inevitably get off track for one reason or another.  Be sure to take care of the things that are in your control by defining a clear sales strategy, aligning your sales culture to your strategy and engaging and retaining your top sales reps.

An engaged sales team is more productive sales team.

To Learn more about how to get your sales team back on track, download How to Optimize Your Sales Force in the Face of Increased Performance Pressure

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