The inability of reps to meet sales quotas is a major cause of worry for sales managers. Many managers hire external sales consultants or sales coaches to train their under performing staff. They often fail to capitalize on a vital internal asset for this purpose – their high performing sales staffers. Today, let us see how you can enable your best sales reps to mentor low achievers. But, before we proceed, a look at some benefits of using your well-performing sales staffers to coach their peers who are unable to meet their sales targets.
- Your best reps know your clients and their business inside out, unlike external consultants hired to improve performance, and this helps them train better.
- Mentorship helps retain top reps. By asking them to mentor, you are recognizing their talent.
- Synergy among the team members can be improved.
Let us now examine how you can facilitate effective mentoring by your high performing sales team members.
Have your salespeople observe how the best reps work (the pharmaceutical industry follows this approach)
It is important to ensure the sales mentoring program includes ‘real-time’ observations during client visits and interactions. This enables poor performers to have a first-hand idea of how the top performers conduct business. Colleen Francis, a sales guru, believes that observational learning is a very useful technique to deliver selling skills. She advises sales managers to follow up with each mentee and ask him to tell what he has learned.
Provide an opportunity to discuss their problems with mentors
It is very important to understand the root cause of the reps’ inability to achieve quotas. For this, it is important to allow your people discuss their problems with the sales mentors. It may not be possible always to discuss the issues during work hours. Encourage your best salespeople to invite their mentees to a lunch in a nice restaurant (and don’t forget to pay them for the expenses). The reps will be more open to talk about their problems freely in a relaxed, informal setting.
Shareyour top staffers’ success stories
A very good way to coach your under performing sales staff is to share the achievements of top reps. Ask the sales mentors to share their success stories with their mentees. Examples of successful selling serve two purposes – first, they go a long way in motivating salespeople. They also help low performers understand the strategies employed by their mentors to close deals, and needless to say, this helps them improve their efficiencies.
See that negative competition doesn’t set in
This is a very important aspect you need to consider when you come up with a sales mentoring program. You need to make sure the sales reps coached by your top reps, engage in healthy competition. Dario Priolo, in his article, Don’t Be a Jerk – Coaching and Mentoring Sales Reps Leads to More Effective Knowledge Transfer, says that a healthy competitive culture is vital to increasing sales effectiveness. He believes belittling and berating poor performers will not help achieve results and results in more harm than good.
Proper mentoring by top sales staffers is very useful to improve the efficiency of your low performing sales reps. You need to have these people observe good salespeople at work. It is important to help poor performers share their problems with their mentors. Sharing success stories helps coach sales team members who fail to achieve quotas effectively. You need to foster a culture of healthy competition. Hope you like this post. How do you mentor your poor sales performers? We’d love to know.