Sales Coaching Tips: Motivating Top Performers

sales coaching strategies to motivate top performersDon’t we all wish we had an entire sales team of top performers and seasoned veterans who hit their quota every quarter?

I know you’re silently agreeing with me.

But we know that really isn’t possible and that your sales team is likely comprised of 20 percent top performers, 60 percent middle performers and 20 percent bottom performers.

While it may seem like you don’t need to bother your top reps with sales coaching, there are actually a few really effective ways to help transfer some of their top skills to the other 80 percent of your sales team. Your top performers will benefit from helping their peers, too. As the Latin phrase “Docendo discimus” goes, we learn by teaching.

Here are three ways your top performers can benefit your sales team other than by winning deals.    

3 Sales Coaching Strategies to Get the Most From Top Performers

1. Identify the activities that make them successful.

Especially if you’re engaged in an Activity Based Selling strategy, defining your key operating metrics starts with observing the day-to-day activities of your top performers. Too often, salespeople and sales managers get lost in the daily shuffle of balancing selling with administrative tasks like sending emails and logging data. Tap into your top performers to help.

Ask yourself: What do your most successful reps spend most of their time doing that other reps don’t do? Maybe they spend more time researching prospects. Perhaps the majority of their day goes toward putting together value propositions and arranging ROI discussions.

Note that these activities will be specific to your sales process and type of team. A sales development rep might get the most value out of spending their days on activities like calls, meetings and emails sent. An account executive, on the other hand, would see more success by spending time preparing for and holding discovery meetings or demoing your company’s offering.  

The key here is to observe and record what’s working for your team, based on how your top performers make decisions about what activities to spend time on.

2. Turn activities into key performance indicators (KPIs).

The idea here is that if you can uncover what activities make your top performers successful, you can manage and motivate the rest of your sales team around those behaviors.

Once you’ve identified the activities that drive the sales process for your team, narrow them down to three or four leading indicators. These will become your sales KPIs.

If this is your first time utilizing KPIs, read these tips on rolling them out. Explain the purpose behind having KPIs (helping reps achieve high performance) to get buy-in from your team. When you introduce them to your team, don’t miss these three critical steps:

  • Define exactly what each KPI means (i.e. a call must be a 3+ minute conversation).
  • Calculate how much of each KPI reps are expected to complete. (A quick guide here).
  • Provide personal scorecards so each rep can track their daily, weekly and monthly progress to goal for each KPI.

Once the KPIs are rolled out, have your top performers regularly share best practices for each of those activities with the rest of the team.Your top performers might even benefit from hearing best practices from other seasoned vets – or even from the rest of your sale team.

3. Use micro-promotions to assign team leaders.

Another way to utilize your top performers is to give them micro-promotions: smaller job advancements that slightly increase both compensation and responsibilities.

A common micro-promotion for high-performing sales rep is team leader. This means that your sales rep takes charge of training and coaching the rest of your team. While you may still discuss performance and areas that need coaching individually with reps in your weekly one-on-ones, your team leader will conduct the targeted coaching sessions themselves.

Not only does this take a lot of the coaching responsibilities off of your plate (which has enough on it already), but it also prepares these high-performing reps for a potential future in sales management.

Use these three steps to take your top-performing sales reps to the next level, creating value for both them and your entire sales organization.

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