An Achieve+Forum Tool to Boost Sales Team Productivity
With the right preparation, coaching, and guidance, your sales teams can take on many tasks and responsibilities once reserved for you or your managers in 2018. To expand your sales team’s capabilities to do this, you need to answer the following questions:
- How do we, as sales leaders, prepare our teams to take on tasks and responsibilities that we have been handling?
- How do we know when and if sales teams are ready to take on new tasks?
- What coaching and/or training do my sales teams need?
- How do we set up tasks so that sales teams can take ownership and deliver on these new responsibilities?
- As my sales teams work on tasks, projects and process, when and how do we help them?
At the end of this blog, you can download an assessment of your sales teams’ abilities in eight skill/knowledge areas and analyze your sales teams’ ability to handle a specific task, process or project they may be assigned in 2018. Using this information, you will learn when and how to plan to train, coach, and monitor your teams for greater productivity in 2018.
As a sales manager or sales team leader, you have traditionally have had two major responsibilities:
To ensure your sales team delivers a high level of quality of work on time.
To develop the capabilities of individual sales team members so that the quality of teamwork will continue to improve to exceed the KPI’s of any work the team delivers on.
Today, because the business environment is changing so rapidly, a third responsibility has been added.
You must observe the business environment and anticipate the changes that the organization must make to remain successful. Then you must work with the sales team and others in the organization to effect the changes for success.
But where will you find the time to fulfil this third responsibility?
Realistically, the time can come from only one place. Your sales team must begin to take on many of the tasks you have handled. Yet you cannot simply “drop” tasks on the team and walk away. After all, you are still responsible for the quality of the sales team’s work and for developing the capabilities of individual team members.
In the following situations, you may need to transfer to the sales team specific tasks you previously performed:
- You think that the sales team is ready to perform a task that you normally so.
- You don’t have time to perform a new task you have been given.
- The sales team could do its work better if it had more decision-making responsibility for a particular task.
- The sales team needs to make direct contact with another team or person in order to clarify and negotiate issues.
- Sales team members are asking for more responsibilities, decision-making authority, and challenges.
- A cross-functional quality team has determined that a work process would be improved if handled directly by the team responsible of the work.
A smooth and successful transfer of responsibility to the sales team requires an organized approach. The Key Actions of Expanding Your Sales Teams’ Capabilities described here will help you plan and carry out the process in a way that ensures positive outcomes for yourself and the team in 2018.
Expanding Your SALES Teams’ Capabilities Key Action Overview
1. Assess the sales team’s ability to perform the task.
The decision to ask the sales team to take on a task is an important one and deserves careful consideration. The sales team’s success depends, in large part, on how skilled you are at analyzing the task and the team’s abilities.
2. Develop a plan to enable the sales team members to perform the task.
If your assessment of the sales team’s abilities has revealed areas of weakness, you will need to work with team members to develop their skills. A good plan includes setting task boundaries and preparing the right mix of training, coaching, and monitoring.
3. Describe the task, benefits, and task boundaries to the sales team.
It’s important for your sales team members to fully understand what the task involves and how they will benefit from taking it on. After completing the first two Key Actions, you need to meet with team members to outline the task, the limits to their decision-making authority, and any other key issues.
4. Ask for the sales team’s commitment to take on the task.
If you want to foster a feeling of shared ownership, sales team members need to feel that they were involved in making the decision to take on the task. This is a two-way action in which you ask for team input and commitment and pledge to provide yours in return.
5. Work with the sales team until it performs the task.
In expanding your sales team’s capabilities, your ongoing responsibility is to maintain the right degree of involvement as the team gradually masters the task.
We have developed an Assessing Your Sales Teams’ Capabilities Survey to help you expand your teams’ capabilities to achieve new levels of team performance in 2018. The purpose of this survey is to assess your sales team(s) current state of productivity across 8 crucial areas.
There are two versions of this survey: The Sales Leader Assessment and the Sales Team Assessment. Having you and your sales team members complete these complimentary surveys can create team buy in and highlight alignment or gaps in team capabilities and commitment when expanding team roles in 2018. These surveys also provide you with direction for improving team skills, attitude and process for success in 2018.
Download both assessments for the sales leader and the sales team survey here.
Get started now for having even more successful teamwork in 2018!
Download “Assessing Your Teams’ Capabilities Survey”
Michael is the CEO of ELAvate Global and Equipping Leaders for Asia Pte. Ltd. Over 40+ years, his career has revolved around developing leaders, especially sales leaders, in emerging nations. Mr. Griffin has spent the majority of his 40+ year career in Asia. His areas of expertise include Sales Productivity, Senior Executive Development, Cross Cultural Leadership, Strategy Mapping and Balanced Scorecard.