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Topics Covered: <a href='/resources/search/?query=Training'>Training</a> | <a href='/resources/search/?query=Sales Management'>Sales Management</a>
Talent & Recruitment
Nov 20, 2017 | Canadian Professional Sales Association lock

Remember when you were asked “tell us about your biggest weakness” in a job interview? Unfortunately, it’s no less awkward covering weaknesses in a coaching scenario than it is in a job interview. However, uncovering and addressing your team’s weaknesses head-on is the only way you will improve and succeed. The best sales leaders are continually training and teaching their teams. Find out how you can identify the areas for improvement on your team, and drive your organization to meet their goals.

Monitor Results on Several Different Projects or KPIs

 Once in awhile, your team will have a bad week, a bad month, or a bad quarter. This isn’t necessarily a reflection of their strengths and weaknesses – perhaps a key prospect or client was fired or quit, maybe the organization had delivery or supply chain problems, or weather affected demand. That’s why it is critical to measure your team’s performance over several different projects, months, and KPIs to get a true sense of their weaknesses. Only the trends will reveal the true picture. Once you have a few months and projects’ worth of data, look at different stages of the funnel, the reasons that deals fell through, recurring revenue, or any other key metric that applies to your organization.

Talk to Your Team About Their Concerns and Areas for Improvement

Go straight to the source – the team – for the best information. Hold one-on-one meetings with your sales team and ask for feedback about the other members, where they feel they are struggling, and what resources they need. When you get some consistent responses, you’ll know where the team needs assistance. Discussing failures and feedback can often seem risky to sales people, and they may fear that the feedback will be used to punish them in some way. Create a culture on your team where people feel comfortable talking about their failures without risking their job, and where this discussion is used productively to help the team improve.

Address Training Right Away

Sales teams are held to quarterly, monthly and sometimes even weekly goals. In this fast-moving field, there is no time to waste on putting together lengthy training plans. When you identify a weakness on your team, address it and train your team on the correct method as soon as possible. For instance, you may learn that your sales team is having trouble selling a new product or feature. It may be ideal to have training videos, documents, and other materials to help the team begin selling, but this could take weeks. Instead, focus on using what you do have, and train the team to know how to handle any objections that arise.

Success in sales is not the result of making more phone calls or being more aggressive (though you may need to do these things too). Success in sales is about carefully improving your overall practice every day and every week. You may not see overnight changes, but improving your team’s weaknesses will lead to achieving your organization’s goals.

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