As a sales manager, do you focus more of your sales coaching efforts towards your low or middle performers because they need to improve sales performance? You might feel that for your top performers, they are up and running on their own and you have trust in their ability to perform with a “if it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it” approach so you leave them alone to do their thing. You might be missing out on the many benefits of developing not only your top performer but also your entire team if you don’t take the time to coach your top sales performers. My style of management is focused on identifying each of my sales team member’s unique strength and to harness and polish it to produce amazing breakthrough sales results and performance. Similar to developing yourself, you can choose to work on your “areas of development” or you can focus on your strengths and to strengthen and maximize it to its full potential. Below are four good reasons why sales managers should coach their top sales performers on their team.
KEEP THEM ENGAGED & MOTIVATED
In field sales, it can get quite lonely out there. Even though we are meeting with clients and talking to colleagues on the phone, having someone with you to listen and to bounce ideas off of could be really helpful. As a sales manager, your job is to perform through the performance of your team and if your top performer loses focus and is not motivated to perform, then your overall performance may suffer. You need to put on your sales coach hat and seek to understand what motivates your top sales performers and to keep them engaged by challenging them, giving them more responsibilities and sharpening their strengths and skills to keep and grow that high level of performance. Imagine if you focus most of your time with the struggling team members and neglect your top performer and they get bored or feel unchallenged or unappreciated for the work they produce and look for it elsewhere. Your top performer will then be a past top performer and you will be left trying to find a star or hopefully a star to replace your top performer. Know what motivates them and keep them fully engaged and motivated to continue to achieve at a high level. I have managed and coached my identified top performers on my team and that sales professional has broken sales records for the company and continues to perform at a high level.
COMPLACENCY CREATES LAZINESS AND DECLINE OF PERFORMANCE
If you leave your high performer alone, complacency will eventually sink in and a decline in performance will occur. The sales manager’s job is to motivate and inspire their team and top performers are the ones that will help you win and accomplish your goals. Even your top performers will need praise and a coach to bounce ideas off of and get feedback to assure them that they are doing a fine job and to nurture the habits and processes that help them win. Don’t let complacency settle in, because once it does, then you will be wind up trying to coach away problems versus coaching to maximize results.
ACCOMPLISH GREAT THINGS
With C and B players, you can help lift the middle and raise your level of performance. I am not suggesting that you ignore your lower performing reps, but don’t ignore your top performers. An A player is capable of accomplishing great things and your job as a coach is to inspire and help that top sales performer to accomplish more than they have thought possible. For example, individuals with amazing talent needs continuous coaching to take their expertise to the next level. Sale professionals are the same way and you can help by challenging your top sales performers to achieve the Amazing results and raise the bar for not only your team but for the entire company.
LEARN BEST PRACTICES
When working with and coaching your top sales performers, you can identify the patterns of success and use those best practices as examples when you are with your other team members. You can also give your top performer more responsibilities by sharing and helping you coach your other team members by having them share and teach their best practices. I always enjoy working with my top sales performers because I always walk away with great takeaways and share them with the team and sometimes I use it in the field for different situations where I share a best practice story with other team members and walk them through how the top performing rep handled a similar situation with success.