If you want to build an elite sales organization, you need a team of great coaches on board. Think about the great coaches you’ve had in your own life. They likely had two things in common.
- They had an exceptional ability to meet people where they were.
- They knew how to teach.
A common mistake many organizations make is to treat all salespeople the same. Different motivations are at play and different actions will be required to (1) move lower performers into better performers and (2) maximize opportunities with top performers.
The Skill/Will model is an effective tool for managers to use to meet people where they are.
It’s made up of four areas of focus — defined by a Y-axis of Skill and an X-axis of Will. “Skill” is an individual’s ability to apply the concepts. “Will” is the individual’s motivation to apply the concepts. Level I represents someone with Low Skill and Low Will Level II represents those with High Skill but Low Will Level III represents those with Low Skill but High Will, and Level IV represents those with High Skill and High Will.
Your managers’ ability to coach through this quadrant is directly tied to your ability to be an elite sales organization. When you are focusing too much of your energy on your level 1s and 2s, you’re wasting too much time with people who aren’t going to make it.
You need your front-line managers focusing their energy on your level 3s and level 4s. Unfortunately, this is likely the group we ignore the most as managers. With our level 3s we feel guilty because we don’t spend enough time with them. Our level 4s are left alone as we deal with bigger problems. Our 1s and 2s end up with all of our attention.
Think about your own teams. Where do the majority of your reps fall?
If you have too many 1s and 2s, you likely need to drive better consistency on how you are identifying the requirements of your sales positions and how you are aligning your hiring process with selecting those who have the competencies and behaviors needed to succeed.
If you are worried you aren’t doing right by your 3s and 4s, it’s time to put in a manager cadence and succession plan so you are able to retain your top performers. Here’s a quick “Action-Step” quadrant to help you identify your action steps with each group of people. Once you understand where your salespeople fall, the next step is to coach him/her accordingly.
Learn coaching best practices and how the Skill/Will model enables you to build an elite sales organization.