About Us.News.Contact Us
CEO Success Blog. The blogosphere for Successful Business Owners.



A Simple, Step-by-Step Prescription for creating a Predictable, Visible, Scalable, EFFECTIVE Sales Organization

March 3rd, 2023

The vast majority of private business owners know that their Sales Team is not firing on all cylinders.  Owners are frustrated by a lack of productivity & consistency, unreliable forecasts, too many excuses, and mediocre results.   Many have never been part of a high-performance sales organization and don’t know what “good” even looks like, and most have no clue how to make things better (especially in a remote-selling, post-pandemic, budget-tightened environment).  If you’d like to transform your Team into an enviable sales machine that will produce dramatically improved effectiveness and predictable results, simply follow these steps…:

1.  Decide & Commit.  Deciding is the first step to transforming performance in any pursuit.  Don’t be intimidated if you think you don’t know how to get it done.  We’re not talking about rocket science here.  Upgrading a Sales Force is formulaic.   If you execute the prescription, results will follow.

2.  Evaluate your current Sales Organization.  You cannot fix what you cannot see.  If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there, and if you don’t know where you’re starting, you’ll waste a ton of time, money, and effort in trying to achieve your mission.  An objective sales team analysis will quantitatively inform you on the current state of your organization.  It will provide you with valuable intelligence, clearly outlining gaps in skills, strengths, and processes.  It will tell you how much more effective you can be, how long it will take, and what will specifically be required to reach your goals. 

3.  Raise Expectations (Yours and Theirs).  Start by pointing the finger at yourself.  Be courageous and own your part.  If your Sales Team has been delivering lackluster results, it is because you have tolerated some level of mediocrity.  Maybe even a lot of it.  Take responsibility for the current state-of-affairs, then declare to yourself and to everyone else that you are committed to creating a much more effective team and new, brighter future — one that will involve significant change, new processes, and massive growth on everyone’s part.  Tell everyone that you will be investing in creating the absolute best team in the business, and that the team will be composed exclusively of A-Players.  Inspire them.  Inform each one that you are confident in their ability to play a vital part on the upgraded team, and that you hope and expect that every one of them will do their respective part in contributing to the transformation.

The past is dry cement.  It is up to you and your team will create a new, better reality.  Every current employee deserves a seat on the new, improved bus, a chance to step up their game and become a high-performance contributor on your upgraded team.

4.  Formulate Your Plan.  The plan will directly address any root cause that may be producing unacceptable outcomes.  Your company plan will spell out strategies, processes, and priorities.  Individual action/development plans will also be created for each Salesperson and Sales Manager.   Finally, your plan will incorporate a 3-month quick-start bootcamp to quickly reverse unproductive habits and replace them with new, effective processes.

Your 90-Day Quick-Start Plan will include…:

a.  A crystal-clear Revenue Goals Plan tying company goals to individual personal goals.  Each individual rep plan will include a Success Recipe of activities–a leading indicator to ensure all issues and opportunities are addressed immediately and all goals are achieved.  The sum of all personal salesperson goals must exceed the company goal.

b.  A weekly, rhythmic, Consistent Coaching Program to ensure that each session will produce tangible growth.  Every session should conclude with a specific commitment and/or exercise to eliminate any weakness or oversight that might prevent the desired outcome.  Every coaching engagement should also include a Transparent Accountability component to ensure that Success Recipes are effectively executed.

Vital Note:  Any member of your Team (either Sales or Sales Management) who chooses to resist or ignore any component of the 90-Day transformation are demonstrating their lack of interest in adopting to your new Game Plan and in actively participating on your new, improved Team in accordance with your sales upgrade declaration.  They will therefore vote themselves off the island and must be replaced with A-players. 

5.  Replace Weak Players.  No team will win without great players, so all serious sports teams continually seek to upgrade the quality of their player roster.  A superior football team would not wait for their quarterback to break a leg before beginning to look for another excellent QB.  Never make the mistake of waiting to upgrade your Team and always be looking to add sales superstars, 365 days per year.  Begin recruiting A-players on Day One using an effective, time-tested process such as UnCommon Sense Locate, Land, & Launchä  to remove the guesswork.  A strong bench provides insurance against risk and a guarantee that your team, your sales, and your profits will continue to grow and thrive.  A rising tide floats all boats.  Peer pressure provides huge incentive to top performers.  A-players will always elevate the entire team and overall results.

6.  Train & Coach until forever.  All high-performance teams commit to on-going training and coaching.  Elite athletes, pilots, and orchestras train and practice constantly.  It simply comes with the territory and always pays huge dividends.  Superior performers want/demand training, coaching, and accountability.  They do so because they know it will help them grow.  Your weakest players and pot-stirrers may resist with BS excuses like “I don’t need coaching”, “I’m too busy”, “I’ve sold in this industry for years!”, or “I’ve made quota before without training”.  Don’t tolerate them.  This is your team, your rules, your processes, and your result producing game plan.  If a player chooses not to conform, they will covertly corrupt your team from within.   If you hear about any of this kind of behavior, address it immediately.  You’ll find the rest of the team will greatly appreciate your courage, directness, and swift action.

Recurrent training hones vital skills, develops new ones, motivates committed players, and consistently improves the ability to generate desired outcomes.  Videos, articles, and webinars may enhance learning, but only role-play and live interaction will improve selling effectiveness.  To know and not to do is not to know.  Never fool yourself into believing that short cuts will produce sales results.

7.   Develop your Sales Manager into a World Class Coach.  In today’s post-pandemic/remote selling world, coaching is more important than ever.  Consistent, excellent coaching is vital to continuous improvement.  Maximizing success requires two critical components–a Process for Sales Coaching and Process for Sales.  Without correct processes for both, ambiguity and excuses will replace clarity and results.  A formal, weekly coaching rhythm will reinforce correct behavior, creating predictable improvement and growth. 

An effective coaching methodology will identify where in the process the salesperson went off track.  It will also spotlight whether the problem’s root cause was a lack of understanding, lack of skill, or resistance to execution.  Independent of the cause, specific action plan remedies are available that will embed proper sales behaviors.   Every coaching session should conclude with a specific takeaway and action commitment. 

Despite the fact that most sales organizations surprisingly incorporate few, if any, effective processes and struggle every day with massive dysfunction and sales mediocrity, this 7-step process is not new, novel, or complex.   Nor should it be mysterious.  The prescription is time-tested and has been used to successfully transform many thousands of sales teams.

If all of this is brand new to you, it may seem like a lot, but potential ROI is gigantic.  The difference in results will be like replacing a stagecoach with a Ferrari – replacing stodgy inconsistency with a high-performance machine.  In addition to increasing sales effectiveness and results, you’ll also find that this methodology will actually save time in the long run (as well as tons of sleep and stress).   

Transforming the performance of your sales effort only requires a decision and commitment.  Anyone can do it.   

Copyright © Joe Zente 2023. All Rights Reserved.