I just moderated a panel discussion at the ESX conference entitled “How to Drive Performance with the Sales Team and Weed Out Underperformers.” The panel featured some very successful sales leaders and  I learned some great things from them. It was also an opportunity to review principles that have been around a while but are easily forgotten.

Quick Reminders

The following list is not earth-shattering, nor likely new information. However, it is predictive of success.

  1. Use a predictive and repeatable process to hire sales talent.
  2. Have set expectations when the new hire starts as to what they are to achieve and by when.
  3. Focus on KPIs and metrics more than just outcomes and closed business.
  4. Provide intense management engagement especially early on.
  5. Maintain a structured and consistent cadence regarding group sales meetings, as well as individual one-on-one meetings, for coaching and holding salespeople accountable to the right activities.
  6. Do not review the pipeline in group meetings – this is a one-on-one activity.
  7. Proceed carefully if moving non-sellers into sales roles. The panel had mixed results achieving this transition.
  8. Help individuals who are not doing enough of the right activities move on to a position they are better suited for and coach up those that are doing enough but aren’t successful. If you have followed steps 1 through 7 then few will fail.

You probably already knew all of these, but it never hurts to be reminded of the basics. These eight items seem so simple. And, they are. However, they may not be easy to implement.

Braveheart Can Assist

At Braveheart, we have created an entire business around helping sales leaders and sellers understand the critical components to improve success, as well as assisting those that already know these things implement them. If you want help, we are here for you. We help transform sales teams and would be honored to help your team.

A special thank you to my fellow panelists Michael Dorrington, VP of Sales and Marketing, at The Electric Guard Dog, Steve Firestone, CEO of Select Security and Sue Weinstein, President of Keyth Security.