If we asked you to watch one of your team in action and tell us what they need to do to perform better, you’d probably know what to say straight off the bat. But would they?
The answer to that question is more important than you may realize. A study of more than 40 Fortune 500 companies revealed sales people with high emotional intelligence outperformed those with medium or low emotional intelligence. And not just by a little, by 50%. A key element of emotional intelligence is self-awareness and performance conversation plays a key role in improving it. This blog looks at how our customers managed to reduce ramp-up time of their sales new hires by 35% by facilitating smarter performance conversations.
Self-awareness in sales
Can your new salespeople recognize their strengths and opportunities for improvement? Do they ‘own’ the impact of their behavior on their prospects?
If the answers to these questions are yes, great. They understand how to adjust their behavior to effectively connect with different prospects, based on personality, seniority and timing. This is foundational for cultivating trust-centered relationships which bring sales success. If, however, the answers to these questions are no and salespeople have poor self-awareness, they may alienate prospects and that’s bad news for their performance.
The role of performance conversations
Developing self-awareness in your salespeople throughout their functional onboarding comes down to how they are coached. If salespeople are regularly encouraged to reflect of their performance (by which we mean how they operate, their behavior and skills) they are more likely to self-reflect, and that’s when self-awareness starts to develop.
Placing self-reflection at the core of performance conversations is the key to development success but this relies on the coaching capability and motivation of their immediate manager or supervisor. Furthermore, sales managers are often neglected when it comes to development, after all if they get results what’s the problem? However, consistently successful coaches will tell you that success comes from focus on the inputs not emphasis on the outputs. In other words, sales performance is not down to chance, those that make sound decisions, behave in effective ways and compile the most compelling arguments, are the ones who succeed. Therefore, encouraging your sales managers to focus on inputs, facilitate self-reflection and obtain commitment to performance plans in their performnace conversations will yield the greatest results uplift in their teams.
Sales managers are busy people and coaching is often relegated on their schedule due to a lack of time and upward reporting duties. Helping sales managers maximize the time they do have with their people is one way to improve matters and we have seen a lot of success by providing coaching templates. These provide a framework of questions to make the process simpler for busy leaders whilst increasing the value for their team members.
On.Board: built to support performance coaching
Our functional onboarding platform, On.Board, facilitates effective performance conversations because, unlike many platforms, ours encourages purposeful interaction and physical dialogue. Our performance hub feature enables specific coaching relationships to be set-up, i.e. new-hire with their trainer and/or team leader. Performance conversations are facilitated through a two part form which provides coaching questions which are used as the foundation for a coaching conversation. The coach/manager can review the new hire responses and add specific feedback. This cultivates a relationship based on performance not results, and prompts and develops that all important self-awareness.
From an organizational perspective this also provides an evidence trail giving visibility on coaching quality and frequency. Senior sales leaders can identify their most committed sales leaders and those that require assistance or encouragement to engage with their teams. One of our customers identified that new hires reporting to the most committed managers delivered 25% more daily revenue than those led by less engaged managers. This visibility revealed that performance issues with expensive new hires are not always due to poor recruitment. Do you have sales managers who continually complain about the quality of their new hires? Maybe the real issue lies at their door, not that of HR!
Finally, because the resulting performance plans are stored on a mobile platform, they are easy to access and refer to, enabling seamless reference during other coaching activities such as field accompaniment.
This approach has enabled our customers to reduce ramp-up time of their new hire sales teams by 30-35%. What would such a reduction mean in terms of incremental revenue and cost saving for your organization? Why not connect and discuss how they achieved this and see our platform in action yourself; request your free demo and consultation to reduce ramp-up for your sales teams.
Click here to see a demo of a performance conversation interaction.
Next in our blog series: how to ensure your salespeople get more from shadowing their experienced colleagues.
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