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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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