Are you held hostage by your “star” salesperson? Do they believe their way is the only way to sell even though their sales aren’t what they use to be? The market has changed, so has your company—are they leading the charge to change also?
They do things their way if not they threaten to leave and take all their customers and sales with them. But these days is that even realistic? People buy from people. And they are served and fulfilled by their overall brand experience. From product and service delivery to billing and flexible programs that meet their unique needs.
In my experience in hiring very talented sales people from across North America, one of the attractions of bringing them on was to get their “book of business” and yet the average defector was only able to pull in 10% of what they said they could.
It is very easy for your top salesperson to take their foot off the gas when they are the front runner. Without the competition of others pushing them to drive harder, they lose their edge and ability to rise to the occasion. Unless you create a culture of learning and innovation to push the fold of what you can achieve. The crux is how do you teach an old dog new tricks? To adapt you must adopt.
Their way may have worked for a long time which is why there is always fear in trying something new. They feel out of place in unfamiliar territory. A good salesperson will find their way around any obstacle. So if you are looking to better your top sales staff, keep them focused on the evolving pains of their potential and current clients. Then involved them in creating the solutions of how to change their sales approach to be the one and only answer, above the competition, positioning themselves to a wider audience.
And as I always tell my teams, “sales is a numbers game.” When I can show them how to expand their funnel and then approach it in a way that speeds the flow to conversions, they become advocates of change.
But remember it is human nature to revert back to their comfort zone. The catch is how do you produce award winning growth through change management and at the same time keep your team comfortable? Comfort comes from what they know. What they have done over and over again.
To maintain change your team must practice their new skills until they become a natural part of their behavior. You do this by practicing, role-playing, hot seating, et cetera…. then during the process have them take ownership by empowering them to find issues and make incremental adjustments as they put these tools into play.
The great thing about your true all-star salespeople is they are resilient. Keep them engaged and energized by stretching them to achieve new heights. You’ll all be in a happier place as your sales continue to grow with you as you grow.
By Richard Goering, VP of Sales and Operations, Shingle Corp