What is your people process?
For sales leaders of large organizations this is a big question. When you run a sales organization with multiple levels, 3, 4, 5 or more, having a people process becomes increasingly important.
Do you know who the best sales people in your organization are? Not the top dogs from a quota achievement perspective, but the best overall sales people? Do you know who the best sales managers, sales directors and sale VP’s are? Again, not the top performing sales leaders, but the BEST sales leaders. You should know!
When you have a team of 50, 100, 200, 500, or 1000 sales people, to know who your people are, you need a people process. It’s not enough to have performance reviews, you need a more robust process that gets you deep into who the people are who are selling for you and the organization.
Which of your teams are the strongest and why? – Is it your northeast team, is it the Asia team? Is it the US Sales Engineers? Knowing who is the best team allows you to understand what approaches, leadership styles, processes and structures work best. It allows you to identify best of breed approaches and nurture them through out the organization. All organizations have a team that sets the standard, knowing which teams is and why is critical.
Who is ready for promotion? Again, it’s not enough to know who the best performing sales people are. Knowing who is ready to for the next level and to be promoted is key to scaling, employee satisfaction and growth. It’s too easy to lose track of up and coming superstars without a solid process to find them. As a sales leader you can’t rely on performance reviews and the suggestions of a single manager. Finding your next generation of leaders is an ongoing process that requires more than a reflex and situational decision making.
What are the teams overall strengths and weaknesses? Every team has it’s strengths and weaknesses. Some teams are great at cold calling, prospecting and hunting, but lack industry knowledge, farming skills, business acumen and planning skills. Some organizations are great with relationship building and farming, but are not very creative, innovative and aggressive. One of the most important aspects of understanding your organization is understanding it’s collective, overall strengths and weaknesses. Knowing this allows sales leaders to determine if their sales organizations strengths and weaknesses align with the companies sales goals. A robust people process allows you to know where your team, as a whole, excels and where it’s lacking.
Who are your best sales people? Large organizations have a number of good sales people. Knowing who they are and what they are doing is a huge asset to a company. The idea of spreading and sharing best practices is in itself a best practice. To propagate the unique and effective approaches, tactics and strategies your best sales people are using, requires knowing who they are. Your process has to give you visibility into all your sales people, no matter where they are, what territory they have or products they sell. You want to want to know who your best sales people are and what they are doing.
Sales Resource Planning – How well is your entire sales organization aligned and prepared to meet the organizations goals? Does the team posses the skills and talent required to achieve plan. Is the team you have today, the team you need today, tomorrow and out into the future? Is the team missing some real and substantial skills your organization requires? Are there some real initiatives you need to employ to increase the probability of success? To ensure you have the right team in place to make your goals, today and tomorrow requires a strong people process.
A people process is more than simple biannual or annual performance reviews. It’s a robust process that infiltrates every layer of your organization. It’s more than a “ranking” system. A good people process is both quantitative AND qualitative. It provides you with a in depth insight into the quality, preparedness, moral, opportunities, readiness, and strength of your sales organization.
People are the most important and valuable tool a sales organization has. Everything is done through the people. Therefore, if you don’t have a robust people process and cadence, you are at a competitive disadvantage.
Start your people process now, design it to get you deep into you organization. When you know your entire organization, you know you’re there.