As I peruse the 2010 first quarter results for companies such as PC Connection and O'Reilly Automotive, one major trend emerges. Both companies have a solid quarter because of their strong sales performance. The companies grew sales and earnings and improved operating margins.
In light of the tough economic times, expectations have soared, and a common axiom heard around the workplace is: "What have you done for me lately?" Sales trainers have probably felt the brunt of these expectations because if their sales teams don't perform, their organization doesn't make money. So how do you get your sales teams to produce at a high level and perform
efficiently and effectively?
As Mark Myette and Brian Lambert note in their feature article on page 32, the sooner that sales trainers transition to sales performance improvement specialists, the better it will be for all involved. "All sales professionals who are accountable and responsible for driving revenue wear different hats throughout a day, a month, or a year. Choosing the right role at the right time is truly the crux of the matter."
It is up to sales performance improvement specialists to equip their salespeople with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to meet the demands of their jobs. To do that, they must be able to understand sales performance gaps, select a performance improvement approach, implement solutions, and measure their impact.
Is your sales team performing in a motivated, high-performance environment? Are you able to articulate your organization's value proposition? Have you given your sales team the competencies to improve your organization's market share?
Focusing on performance will improve your salesforce's overall effectiveness, increase revenues, and address development needs, but more importantly, it will help you focus on performance gaps and the competencies needed to fix those gaps.
Editor, ASTD Periodicals