How to Narrow the Sales Performance Gap

There are top performers on every team, no matter which kind of team you’re talking about. It’s usually fairly easy to spot the MVPs from the rest, and there’s an additional layer of clarity when we start talking about sales teams. 

Adding a sales performance management solution like LevelEleven into your company’s tech stack provides tailored visibility into individual and team performance. Sales leaders — and reps — all know who’s performing well, who isn’t, and who’s hovering around the middle. 

What do you, as a leader, do from there? How do you tackle the performance gap when you know the gap exists? 

It’s sales performance coaching time.

The Reimagined 1:1

One thing the pandemic did for most of the business world was make us reflect on the value of our time and, as a result, there’s been a shift in the way meetings are viewed and scheduled in the first place.  

All meetings should have purpose, especially individual coaching sessions where narrowing performance gaps are concerned. It’s imperative to leverage tools like Coaching Notes and Coaching Templates to keep everything structured and focused.

The focused aspect comes from metrics readily available in Performance Scorecards. Those metrics provide you, a sales leader, with what you need to know regarding lesser-performing employees and the specific actions that can be taken to improve their overall performance. 

You can tailor efforts based on individual needs, like role playing call scenarios for a rep who might be struggling to book demos.Sales Performance Coaching

Peer-to-Peer Mentoring for Improved Sales Performance

A powerful way to breathe new life into the concept of 1:1s for performance boosts is with peer mentorship. If you can identify the folks performing exceptionally well, why wouldn’t you make it a point to encourage them to collaborate with the reps who could use a boost or are stuck in the middle ranks?

If top performers are mentoring their peers, it truly gives mentees more individualized attention. And when it’s done the right way, this type of mentorship boosts performance across the board with shared best practices. 

To get the most out of peer mentorship when it comes to narrowing the sales performance gap, it’s important to note that these meetings need to have just as much structure as 1:1s with managers. Providing top performers with coaching questions to ask their mentee on a regular basis will be necessary for optimal results. 

Everyone’s needs and learning styles will obviously be different, but it will be the consistency of mentorship meetings that make for the most impactful sales performance coaching. 

Sales Performance Coaching - Peer Mentorship

A Matter of Company Culture

Peer mentorship from top performers is only made possible when a company culture is in good shape. There must be an environment in place for actionable feedback rather than subjective criticism.

With so much visibility into everyone’s work, empathetic company culture has never been more important. Successful coaching that leads to improved performance will only work when everyone feels safe and supported.

If tools that make performance visible are just used to alienate folks at the bottom of the leaderboards, how will that help anyone?

There needs to be a sense that the visibility is there for support because everyone wants to see everyone succeed — visibility is not a punishment.

The “Don’t Forgets” of Sales Performance Coaching

Narrowing the performance gap can be accomplished by leveraging effective sales coaching — whether that be with the standard manager 1:1s or through peer mentorship. There are a few final tips to take into consideration here:

  1. It will be necessary to adapt your sales coaching techniques to fit the unique needs of each individual performer. 
  2. The key is to support, not micromanage. 
  3. Humans first, always — employees should not walk away more discouraged when their performance needs a boost.  

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