We caught up with Howard Stevens after his keynote presentation
that kicked-off our online-only conference last week. In his
speech Howard offered some insight that many of us might find to
be counter-intuitive. He said:
It feels logical to focus on the winners, but it is
actually more successful when managers focus on weeding out the
We asked if Howard could elaborate and he followed-up with four
main points to remember when you are evaluating your sales teams
and considering your training and development options:
- Someone who is an "average" professional salesperson who usually makes quota, who almost always takes good care of customers, etc. will always make his company solid profits. There are quite a few of this kind of salesperson for you to choose from when building your sales team.
- The superstars are rare. There aren't enough to go around. Even the Yankees can't buy enough of the superstars to fill every position. So it is more profitable to start today with a good solid performer that will make the company money, than to leave the business unsold while you are waiting to find the rare superstar.
- Superstars are always at risk, they are more visible and attractive to the competition who just make them "an offer they can't refuse." If your superstar moves on they will take their training experience and even, potentially, some of their customers with them. For example, many of the top Las Vegas acts will not hire performers who are too talented because they are too hard to replace as well as too expensive to maintain.
So, as you go through the process of evaluating, developing and
maintaining your sales force, remember to focus on weeding out the
lowest performing salespeople rather than constantly rewarding your
superstars. Build an average team and you will do better overtime
than if you constantly struggled to maintain a team of superstars.
If you're looking for more insights on the critical steps to
developing high performing sales teams, be sure to register for our online, on-demand
conference available now through Wednesday, July 28.
Howard Stevens, founder, chairman and
CEO of HR Chally Group, a talent management,
leadership development, and sales improvement corporation
providing personnel assessment and research services to more
than 2, 500 customers in 35 countries for over 33 years.