Nurturing, Motivating, and Rewarding Your Top Sales Talent
Happy Monday! And look what the weekend brought in!
You’ve got a bright, shiny new sales rep sitting all bright-eyed in their cubicle today, primed and ready to go, fresh from their training class. Let’s get started!
What? No training? No new hire product, process and sales training?
Sorry, you just failed Nurturing, Motivating and Rewarding Top Sales Talent 101.
If you want to nurture top sales talent, it starts with training as the groundwork to build top sales talent. Nurturing top sales talent starts with a focused training program developed by talented instructional designers who know adult education and cutting edge learning techniques that engage today’s learners as well as educate them. It certainly doesn’t hurt if those designers also have an intimate understanding of your organization, its culture, its products and processes. The programs designed should incorporate both online and instructor-led classes, and best-in-class training will also include guest appearances by coaches, management, subject matter experts, top sellers, and fairly new sales talent experiencing success. Such programs are best led by experienced, high-energy, passionate trainers who embrace technology, gamification, online/chunk/and micro learning, and constant ongoing education in their own field of learning and development.
Motivation starts in the training environment as well. A good sales trainer nurtures both the competitive side of a sales rep, as well as the cooperative and collaborative side the rep will need to access the tribal knowledge of his team to get the most from his on-the-job training.
Rewarding should start in the training room, following an “early and often” protocol, with stars, stickers, leader boards, games, and prizes or incentives. These present opportunities to uncover, and leverage, what motivates this rep over that one. It’s also a way of assessing – and nurturing – individual strengths, be it team player, cheerleader, hard closer, workhorse, or lead dog.
So say you’ve done it all right and provided that training experience to your newest sales reps. One of the biggest complaints from new reps is that they don’t get the on-the-job training they need, the assistance or guidance from their coach or manager, or the feedback from 1×1’s or rehearse-and-reviews it takes to improve their game and become top sales talent.
Meanwhile, coaches complain they don’t have the time to “babysit” of “hand-hold” new hires because they are too busy helping their top talent push through the big sales that will help them hit their team target, or they are tied up with trying to develop their most promising reps into top talent.
Employees lose motivation without feedback, especially Millennials who are used to feedback and praise for incremental improvements. They perform better with positive feedback for every first down, not just the touchdown.
So what’s the fix?
Consider assigning the 1×1’s, side-by-sides, call reviews and performance reviews to a dedicated resource such as a sales development coach.
Or, build an incubator with a resource dedicated to nurturing – a place where reps will be selling just as they would on the sales floor, but headed by a coach whose sole purpose is to continue the on-the-job training in product, systems and processes. This resource could provide the daily feedback necessary to nurture and motivate, and answer questions or fix issues in a timely manner. Such a resource could track the incremental wins/improvements and reward them early and often.
New reps are a sales manager’s top talent of tomorrow. They need to be nurtured, motivated and rewarded today, Day One. Need help with that? Contact us today.