Balancing the Scales of Achievement & Development

Filed Under (OP Sales Training) by Don on 04-06-2008

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In the June edition of Independent Dealer magazine there is a great article by Krista Moore on sales management.  One area in specific caught my attention and that was the personal, not group, development of sales reps.  In my current role I am sales manager and marketing manager for the company.  In the 23+ years I’ve been in the office products and equipment industry I’ve filled the roles of sales rep, business owner, delivery guy, service man (laser printers), controller, sales manager, warehouse manager, janitor and cook.  Although I consider myself as being successful in my rolls I enjoy the marketing and sales manager the most.  I am a research and reading fanatic and these rolls always offer many areas of personal growth and knowledge development.  I’ve sold the office products, printing, ad specialty and equipment for years so I am comfortable with the products themselves.

What drew my attention to Krista’s article was individual growth goals and personal development.  I always had my own goals and development and never had anyone else to set them for me.  I’m to much of a perfectionist to ever allow that to happen anyway!  Krista’s message made me realize that I set group and individual goals but train as a group and not so much as individuals.  What I have not done is considered the individual strengths and weaknesses of the rep and made any adjustments to their personal training and goals based on their needs.  I simply tried to hard to accommodate the group needs and forgot to consider how the individual needs of each rep must be addressed.  I do have weekly sales meetings and one-on-one’s with my team and seek to discover areas of improvement but I haven’t gone so far as to have written personal development plans.  Krista was spot on when she states, “For development, you should have a list of core competencies that successful sales reps in our industry must possess in order to succeed and score your reps on a scale that you can share with them.”  Therein lies the area I need to improve in for my teams sake.

I work hard to coach, reward, recognize and give constructive feedback to my team and I hold them accountable for their successes or failures.  Ultimately however, I am the person that must accept success or failure for them and recognizing my own weaknesses will better enable me to meet their needs and develop an achievement plan that will yield successful results for the company and the reps.  Do you have individual plans for your reps or do you apply a broad brush to your company goals and set your quotas/goals as such?  Do you have a step-by-step system to drive your company sales growth and personal growth development?  Do you balance achievement and development?  More information regarding Krista Moore can be found on her website at www.opwebinar.com with information regarding her online training classes specific to our industry.

The last word: “There is no short cut to achievement. Life requires thorough preparation – veneer isn’t worth anything.”– George Washington Carver