When I see sales managers put their time attempting to boost their under-performers, I have to redirect their focus. Why invest in people who aren’t invested in your business? They’re siphoning your knowledge, energy, and time, with no return. Instead, I offer a form of stargazing—how to look at your sales stars, those who are and those who could be.
The 5 Levels of “Star”
Evaluate your sales team. They each have their own degree of brilliance; consider it how brightly they shine. Start by looking at the 5 categories of “stars”.
Superstar. This group, which likely represents about 5 to 10% of your team, comprises the new home sales professionals who consistently knock it out of the park. You count on them to keep performing, because they’re motivated, smart, and able to adhere to a successful process. All you need to do with your Superstars is to be available.
Rising Star. These people have the potential to become Sales Superstars. Of your total sales team, Rising Stars can represent 20 to 25%. They are driven but haven’t found the formula for success yet, yet it’s not far out of their reach. Take a good look at your Rising Stars and give them what they need to move to the next level. Your investment here will pay off big time!
Middle Stars. Let’s continue with my baseball references. If you saw the movie or read the book, “Money Ball”, you know that your team should have players who can get on base. They hit singles or doubles, and know how to read a pitch to get a walk. That’s valuable! The only way you score is by getting into play. These are your Middle Stars. Just as a Rising Star can elevate to Superstar, the individuals in the mid-range have the desire and ability to move up. They just need guidance. And sales training.
Within your Middle Stars, zero in to identify their strengths even more. Who is a Rising Middle Star, for example? Who is a Super Middle Star? By better understanding where they fit right now, you can see how you need to coach them. Play to their strengths and help them improve.
Falling Stars. No one likes to talk about the lowest echelon of performers. It might feel as though you failed them—and that could be true. But in order to best allocate your leadership and training time, you do need to be realistic. In my experience, about 10% of a sales team could be Falling Stars. They aren’t a good fit. They know it. You know it. But no one is doing anything about it.
I believe that you don’t fire an individual. They “de-hire” themselves. They don’t meet expectations that you have laid out. They don’t follow processes. They might not even be coachable, For all these reasons, cut them loose and let your Falling Stars find a position that better matches their skills and goals, a place where they can rise in the galaxy.
Your role as a sales leader is to lead. You can’t lead people who aren’t following.
The best investment of your time as a sales leader is to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your team. Every weakness you identify is actually an opportunity to grow. If you need help reading your Stars, ask me.