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How to Keep a Team at Peak Performance

Most sales training programmes I have come across have a serious fault built into them. They fail to recognise the main goal.

The only requirement to me of a sales team is increasing sales. Everything else is detail to support that goal.

Sales people typically as individuals and as team have troughs and peaks. They go up, they go down. Not just in results, you can see it in body language and hear it in tone of voice, measure it by number of phone calls made and similar metrics. Their performance is like a sine curve, a wavy line through the year. Sales training at its absolute best in my experience just raises that wavy line a few degrees. The peaks and troughs are slightly higher. You can try to recruit better job applicants, more suitable candidates, but this fact will still apply.

I take a different approach. My suggestion is to draw a straight line through the year across the peaks. Now shade in all those areas that are under that line but above the wavy line. This represents the losses you are making when your people are dropping in performance. You will usually find that this area of the losses is substantially more than the increased area of a slightly higher wavy line. This is simple geometry.

My point is a simple one.  If they individually and as a team can perform at that proven peak then they can do so consistently. They already have all the knowledge and skills and sales training they need to perform at that top straight line level. What they don’t have is access to that knowledge and skill consistently. As the graph shows the potential increase in sales without increasing skills or recruiting more people is massive, probably representing 40% sales increase for a typical sales team.

Now I have your attention you will be asking how can we achieve this consistent peak performance and gain those massive benefits without any increase in costs.

The short answer is to bring in Success Moves Consultancy and agree a percentage deal on the increase in sales.

The longer answer is to do it yourself and here are the pointers.

Firstly you need to take an audit of your current sales team. You need to find out who are the leaders and influences. That is not always the Manager and the highest performers. There will be the informal organisation. Then you have to ascertain the three top values of the team. This is your core profile, anyone not sharing those values will hold the team back. This should also be the recruitment profile you use for new candidates to your team. The next part of the audit is to establish all the triggers to performance level both moving it up and down. Some will be obvious, some less so.

The most common are:

  1. Just made a deal
  2. Just lost a deal
  3. Someone popular didn’t perform and was fired.
  4. Bad market news.
  5. A ‘bad apple’ in your team demotivating others

To maintain peak performance in the team the Manager has to be a best practice example all the time. Leaders do not have the luxury of having a bad day or a life outside of work that has something negative in it affecting their mood. If it does it should not be brought into the office. A good manager has to know all the personal triggers, positive and negative of each of his team members. In fact a good Sales Manager will establish these whilst interviewing job applicants.

Now you know the triggers, you have the controls to keep the team at a consistent high.

Good Luck!

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Peak Performance Selling

To truly reach our potential we have to continually strive to improve. There are limited hours in the day and you are probably already working your team quite hard. You therefore have the choices of recruiting new people and/or improving the productivity of the current team.
In practice I have found that improving the current team performance is the first thing as otherwise new people will take on board the bad or limiting habits of the current team.
There are three areas to improve the performance of people.
1. Clearer meaningful goals.
2. Sales skills
3. Confidence, passion, determination, attitude.
Most Managers and most sales training companies focus on 2 alone. Recruitment agencies want you to recruit before you have developed your current team. If a person does not have clear goals that motivate them with a passion then they will have limited success. They may not even be in the right job. Once you have this sorted, they need sales skills. This is perhaps the easiest part. If someone has clear goals then learning sales skills they will see as the path to their success.
Then comes the area of biggest challenges. So often we have seen people with 1 and 2 and they just lack confidence or self-esteem. There are many ways to address this but the first key thing is to recognise that this is the problem. Is this of interest? If so let me know and I will populate this website with support materials.
Remember we often seen a team of ten productive sales professionals do more figures than a team of 30 in a competitor. And if someone joins each team, guess which team they will become a peak performer in.

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Near instant Feeling Good

List six things that are really great in your life right now.

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2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

Print out and stick this page on the wall where you work.  Read it first thing in the morning and first thing after lunch. Simple but it will keep you in a good resourceful and positive mood.