How to build a Rockstar Sales team?

What makes a great sales person? You might not know it yet, but the answer is actually right in front of you. Start by taking a close look at your current sales team. You probably know without even thinking about it who your “star” performers are. But what is it exactly that makes them so successful, while others struggle? Taking an objective approach can help you find out. Stars, So-Sos, and Passengers First, identify your “performance tiers” by making a list of all your salespeople, ranked from top to bottom by total sales per year. Add all the sales and divide by three. For example, if your team’s total sales were $6 million, then that would break into $2 million per “tier.” Now go back to your original list and assign salespeople to their respective tiers. If your top two sales representatives account for a combined $2 million in sales, those two would make up your top tier of “Star” performers. The next $2 million might come from three different sales reps, so those represent the middle, or “So-So” tier. If the last $2 million comes from five different salespeople, these become the bottom tier, which we call “Passengers” (because they seem to be just along for the ride!). Once you’ve quantified the sales output and performance tiers of your team, you need to consider the overall impact of each salesperson. If you can move members from the “So-So” level up to “Star,” or even from “Passenger” up to “So-So,” you can make dramatic increases in your bottom line. On the other hand, losing just one “Star” performer and having to replace him or her with a “So-So” can be very costly. However you slice it, you really cannot afford attrition. Profile the Stars So how do you actually go about moving salespeople from the bottom tiers up to the top? You first need to know what your Star performers are doing right. That’s where assessment profiles come in. There are a number of effective tools that measure the critical behaviors of successful salespeople. One profile that we use at AL takes considers seven such criteria:
  • Prospecting
  • Closing Sales
  • Call Reluctance
  • Self-Starting
  • Teamwork
  • Building & Maintaining Relationships
  • Compensation Preferences
The online assessment is easy to administer, and takes just one hour. By profiling your Star performers first, you can establish a benchmark so you can see which combination of traits works best for your business. Now you can measure your other employees against the “target” profile set by your Stars. The assessment tools make it easy to see exactly where the middle-to-low performers are falling short, and you can address those specific areas of improvement with each individual. Before you hire new salespeople, have them complete the profile as part of the interview process, so you can see ahead of time if they are a good match for the job. Studies conducted by the Harvard Business Review have shown conclusively that success in sales cannot be predicted by experience or college degrees, but “hinges on fit with the job.” Using these powerful assessment tools, you can easily determine each individual’s job match percentage and make better-informed hiring and management decisions. So, just by taking a closer look at the “stars” you already have, you can hire and develop the best talent and increase your overall sales. And you don’t even need a telescope!