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Success Leaves Clues

When you study the most successful sales organizations they share common characteristics. What do they do?
They have a structured sales process that is coached and reinforced consistently. They understand that there is a process involved in helping a customer from “Hello” to “Thank you for your business” - that few sales will happen
by chance or clever marketing, but most rely on a helping them work through the decisions they need to make in order to feel comfortable saying “yes”. 
In a recent study by Steve W. Martin at the University of California Marshall school of business they found that 50% of the high-performing sales organizations had a more structured sales process that was closely monitored
and strictly enforced. Contrast that with 48% of the underperforming sales organizations had a nonexistent or informal process. There is a logical, mental, emotional process people go through in order to decide whether or
not they want to do business with a company, and good sales people understand and respect that process. They don’t wing it or just talk to people hoping for the best. They have a plan that they consistently refine and implement.  
They are not afraid to set stretch goals. People live up, or down, to your expectations. The same study found that 75% of high-performing sales organizations raised 2014 annual quotas more than 10% over 2013 quotas
compared to 25% for average and 17% for underperforming sales organizations. Annual quotas remained the same or decreased for 65% of underperforming sales organizations, and 48% of average sales organizations.
They train, coach and reward the right activities. The top organizations don’t just set high goals for their team, give them a process to follow, and hope and pray they succeed. They are consistently looking for ways
to support them in their goals and careers and have sales management processes in place to make sure that happens.
They hold people accountable. Some companies do a phenomenal job of training their teams and supporting them in their pursuit of corporate objectives, but fail miserably when employees don't consistently bringing
their best effort to the job. The study showed that 29% of high-performing sales team members strongly agreed with the statement "that their salespeople are consistently measured against their quotas and held accountable
for their results” while only 13% of underperforming sales team members did.  
We believe that nobody comes to work planning to do a bad job but it is true that some just won’t be capable of performing at acceptable levels. Instead of ignoring inadequate performance hoping it gets better on its own, managers need to identify gaps in skills, activity, or effort. Help the underperformer close the gaps through communicating clear expectations, training skills, and coaching effort to higher performance. You can have a warm caring culture that supports people and still hold them accountable. Do everything in your power to help them succeed but realise that some may just be in the wrong job.