As a sales leader for over a decade, I’ve seen hundreds if not thousands of high performers and lower performers of all types of field and industries. I’ve seen what was considered an “underperforming” rep under one leader become a top rep under a different leader!
When taking over an underperforming team or when you have underperforming reps, it is easy to fall into a few leadership traps that can lead to turnover or a mutiny:
- Turning on the accountability stick and beating everything into submission.
- Micromanaging every single action and behavior.
- Giving up on them and just start looking for new hires.
This ultimately leads to a stressed out leader and stressed out reps on the team that have to carry the weight of the other reps eventually creating a toxic culture! No one likes this result – so before you go getting rid of your entire team, here are 3 steps to take to transform an underperforming team and build a high performance culture:
- Internal – You must start by looking in the mirror and asking yourself a few tough questions:
- Do I have the leadership skills to take this team to the next level?
- Am I leading by example of what I expect?
- Am I the epitome of what I want my team to emulate?
If you said “no” to any of these, it’s time to start investing in yourself. This can mean leadership courses, having a great mentor, reading books, attending workshops, etc. You may have been successful in past roles but you need to ensure you have the skills to be successful in your current and future roles and that starts with you internally!
“To achieve more, you must become more!”
2. Processes – Next you will want to examine what processes and systems you have in place for leadership success. This is critical for sustainability and scaling for the future. Here are a few examples:
- Training: Does your team have the foundation of strong and consistent training to be successful? Have you adjusted YOUR STYLE to fit different learning styles? A consistent training system is critical for the ongoing development of your people!
- Resources/Tools: Does your team have the tools and resources to be successful? Are you creating obstacles for them by simply not giving the right tools? Ex: Would a plumber be able to fix a sink without his/her tools? Providing consistent resources and tools helps employees be more successful as a result.
- Coaching: Do you have a consistent coaching process to provide coaching feedback to help them take their skill sets to the next level? Are you recognizing the right behaviors as well as providing specific coaching feedback to improve? A consistent coaching process is critical or your team will become stagnant.
- Accountability: Do you have a system in place to hold people accountable so they always know where they stand? This is not to be looked at as negative but as a way to implement positive coaching based on the accountability system.
Etc, etc, etc. The list goes on but ensuring strong processes are in place allow you to develop your employees to become high performers.
“We should work on the process, not the outcome of our processes” – W. Edwards Deming
3. The Players – The last step is examining the “who” on your team. A few questions you want to ask are:
- What’s the potential of each?
- How can I help each one maximize their potential?
- What are additional skills/talents they bring to the table that can benefit the team/company?
- Are they a culture fit? AKA, are they hurting/helping the culture?
- If they are not performing, is it a “can’t do” or a “won’t do”?
“Talent wins games but teamwork wins championships!” – Michael Jordan
These types of questions help you take a look at the team to see how each can help or hurt the overall performance. No one wakes up to say they want to be an underperformer – are they a better fit in a different role? After you have led by by example and have provided the proper resources, training, development, tools, and environment, it is up to each employee to ultimately execute!
So there you have it – 3 steps to take to take your team to the next level! Although not easy, these 3 steps allow you to build a sustainable and consistently high performing team. If you likes this article, you’ll love my free MASTERCLASS on my 5 Proven Ways to Shorten Your Sales Cycle! Access it below now!