Can Your Team Get it Done in 2013?

If you buy into the premise that it’s people behind success, which we should, then understanding your teams strenths and weaknesses should be at the core of your 2013 planning.

Knowing that achieving your 2013 goals is directly dependent on your team, have you asked yourself are they up to the task? Do you have the right people in the right roles? Are your sales managers and directors the right people for what has to be accomplished? Can you hit your number with the people you have on the bus?

The answer has to be a resounding YES.

Every year during pre-season, sports franchises have training camps designed to build the team.  Not everyone makes it. Veterans are cut to make way for the newbies. Newbies are unable to make the cut and are sent packing. Former starters become bench players and bench players become starters, while others are asked to learn new positions and play different roles.  Each year, before the season starts, the organization does an extensive talent assessment and builds the best team to put on the field.

Are you doing this in your organization?

Too often we focus on performance, however it’s not just about performance. It is also about fit. Not all great players are a great fit. The key is to embrace performance AND fit by asking the question, can this person perform in this role, based on this years goals and objectives. This question is especially important when your organization is experiencing shifts or changes in the business.

Taking the time to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your team is critical to success. By evaluating each person in terms of the goals and objectives of the business and their skill sets you better position the team for success.

To do a “pre-season” of your own, layout the key goals and strategies for 2013. Then create a list of the skills required to deliver on the goals and strategies. Do this by role, ex: Directors role will be different than the managers role, which will be different than the individual contributors role, etc. Once you’ve identified the skills required for success, rate each team member on their skills and ability to execute on the goals and strategies. The goal of this exercise is to:

  1. Identify the “skills” gap in execution
  2. Identify who needs to go, who should stay and who your leaders are
  3. Determine what areas need improvement and where you are strong
  4. Identify “role” changes, where talent is being misappropriated
If you don’t have a “pre-season” chances are you don’t have a clear understanding of how well your team is positioned to succeed in 2013. Assuming the team that got you there in 2012 is the right team in 2013 is a bad assumption (unless nothing has changed). Not knowing where your team is strong and should out-perform vs. where your team is weak and could stumble is an unnecessary risk. Having the right people in the wrong roles wastes time and undermines confidence. Not having people aligned with your goals and strategies is a recipe for disaster. Take the time to do a “pre-season.” If done effectively, it doesn’t take too long. (feel free to use this Sales Team Assessment Template to help.) 

Do you have pre-season process? Do you assess and review your team for their ability to execute on the sales strategy? Do you move players out? Do you shift players to more appropriate roles? Are you aware of the talent or skills gaps of your team? Do you know where your team is strong and where they are weak?Do you consciously put together the best team you can for success every year or do you assume the team you have now IS the team you need for tomorrow?

Are you putting the best team on the field? I hope so.