If you want to develop a winning team, spend the time and effort coaching and training them. BY JOE VERDE
“It’s better to have one person working with you than it is to have three people working for you.” – Unknown
Too many of us were led to believe that our salespeople work for us. While that is technically a correct statement, it is not a reflection of the attitude you should have in management if you want your business to grow every year.
Our company has 48 actual employees – not temps, subs or outside contractors – who as a group have been with the company a total of more than 500 years. Other than the technicality of the employer/employee relationship, my managers and I don’t really think of people as working for us. In order for us to grow each year, we have to become a team that works together, and so do you.
Working with your sales team requires that “I’m with you” attitude. It requires respect, honesty, caring and most important, it requires that you do everything in your power to make them successful. The best teams have the best coaches working with them. You’re the coach of your team. If you want to develop a winning team, just spend the same time with your team and each person coaching and training them as you would with every kid if you were coaching a little league or hockey team.
You’ve got to be careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there!” – Yogi Berra
What are your goals this year? How many units will you sell, how much gross will you generate, what level will each of your salespeople achieve this year, how much repeat business will you generate, what percent of your business will come from repeat and referrals?
To control your success this year, you have to determine what success this year means and then you need a step-by-step plan in place to get you there.
If you delivered 1,000 new units last year, what’s your goal for this year? What’s realistic? What can you really plan for and accomplish? That depends.
Sure, I keep talking about training and management because that’s what we do. The point to make here is: if you’re not training and not really managing salespeople now but you’re willing to, the only limit at all is management’s level of commitment to make it happen. Two plans of action are:
Plan A – If you did get your education on how to lead a team of salespeople to the Super Bowl, if you did train them on their core skills, and if you did start managing them and their activities daily this year, delivering 2,000 units by the end of the year is very realistic, and the plan is easy to implement and follow.
Plan B – If you don’t choose to go all out on training and managing, and if you plan to just keep running ads and grinding out deals, that’s your choice, so then a 10 percent to 20 percent increase is still realistic. You just need to carefully pick your targets.
So if you plan to go all out with “A,” read my new book, Pure Profit: Double Your Net In Just 90 Days ASAP. If you choose “B,” read, Pure Profit: Double Your Net In Just 90 Days ASAP. Whether you choose A or B, my free book is the quick and easy solution.
“If you pay people less than they earn, they’ll soon be earning less than they’re paid.” (Or else they quit.) – Unknown
In every dealer/manager class we offer, we always ask, “How many of you used to work at a dealership that cut your pay?” Dozens of hands go up on this because nobody wants to work hard, succeed and then be punished for their hard work and success. If you’re planning to grow this year, the opposite has to happen. By using “Levels” in sales, you will help good salespeople earn the recognition and money they deserve and prevent below average salespeople from getting bonuses – which by definition are for extra, not less, than average sales – they don’t deserve. (See Box)
Won’t your top salespeople complain? No, your actual top salespeople will be very excited because they’ll be listed on top in your levels charts.
How to Use Levels in Sales
- Levels are based only on rolling 90-day averages (current averages).
- Clearly spell out how many units are sold for each level. For example:
Level 1 = 1-10
Level 2 = 11-15
Level 3 = 16-20
Level 4 = 21-25
Use the same five-unit increments I just spelled out – there’s a reason.
- Start listing top salespeople on the board by their current averages, not by how many units they sold last month.
Rule: Stop counting no-effort house deals in their selling averages. On those, they didn’t sell anything, so give them the money, but not the unit count. Those do-nothing house deals make people’s averages look better than they are and qualify for bonuses they didn’t earn.
- Use Levels for all your monthly bonuses instead of hat tricks, 12 units, etc., and see a rush to improve their averages. For example, put an amount based on the level a salesperson achieves.
Level 1 = $0
Level 2 = $500
Level 3 = $1,000
Level 4 = $2,000
In this example, a salesperson who is or becomes a Level 3 would get $1,000 bonus for that month.
- Print your levels charts monthly and post them in the sales office and training room. If you will, you’ll see a dash for the cash and for the recognition that goes with Levels.