Sales Staff Assessment

by Howard Maslich, Specialized Training Services Inc

Lao Tzu wrote, “He who knows others is wise. He who knows himself is enlightened.” What that means for us in the sales world is, If you need to sell more, increase your value. To increase your value, develop your strengths.

On the face of it, that’s a pretty easy concept to grasp. It’s almost axiomatic. But, when you’re working the territory or managing a team who is out there daily looking to increase sales, actually applying that principle becomes a difficult task.

As a Manager, what does that mean to you? What does a Sales Staff Assessment mean to you? Do you know what the strengths and weaknesses of your sales team are, both as a team and as individuals? Can you assess their core competencies and, from that assessment, identify areas from which you can draw on strengths as well as areas in which you – and they – can learn to turn weaknesses into a growing positive force?

With a sales staff assessment, at the sales team level, how would your team rate in experience, skills, abilities, personality, motivation, judgment, and culture fit? Do they have the overall ability as team players to align and apply their combined strengths to gain maximum advantage in overall sales? What’s missing? What needs some work? What can be done to leverage the positive while working to build the negative? Sometimes, an honest and thorough sales staff assessment at the team level is even more difficult than assessing each individual for those same core competencies.

You might want to consider, as well, the staff assessment at the individual level. More often than not, your team members are pretty much out there on their own, expected to meet and exceed the goals you have set for them. How do their individual skills sets work in meeting those individual goals, in supporting the team goals, in meeting your own goals?

As a former sales team manager, I can honestly say that going through a sales staff assessment in my organization led me to understand – and accept – that every member of the team, myself included, had both strengths and weaknesses. And, I can and will honestly say, that I, as a sales manager, learned that my own skills – and lack thereof – were standing in the way of overall team and of individual team member growth. Once I put the ego aside, I was able to accept that a thorough and professional sales staff assessment was needed. We scheduled that assessment from which we discovered that, with the proper training, each of us could and would develop those core competencies which we had assumed were far better than they actually were…which we assumed were something nice to have but not something necessary for success.

In the end, we accepted the recommendations of the assessment specialist, enrolled in targeted training, and, over a remarkably short period of time, discovered a vast improvement in the way we, as a team were doing things out there in the field. Our relationships with our current customers became stronger. We began to locate and gain new customers. And that bottom line began to grow…and grow…and grow. And the funny thing about this whole experience was that through the sales team assessment by an impartial and outside source, we have moved from a district that was on the low end of the middle ranking of all the districts to now being the second from the top on the list.

Sales Staff Assessment! Best thing I ever did!!!

  • Who’s in charge of assessing your sales force?
  • Who has the strongest core competencies in your sales team and why?
  • How much of a team is your sales force…really?
  • Do you work to strengthen the core competencies of your sales team?
  • Who works to strengthen yours?
  • Are you qualified to make your sales team perform better?

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