Welcome back to the Building a Championship Sales Team blog series. In this post, we share why establishing the development plan is key #3 to building a championship sales team. We have been discussing the keys to strategic talent development and how it can enable sales leaders to build a championship sales team. A sales team that meets its number every quarter despite higher and higher quotas.
Many sales organizations have development plans for their sales teams, but that doesn’t mean they have the right plan for their business or that they will be able to execute their development plan. In order to develop your organization’s talent and build a championship sales team, we suggest the following 5 best practices for successful adoption and execution of the talent development plan:
1. Align the Development Plan to the Goals and Objectives of the Organization
Every organization has goals and objectives which filter down to department goals and then individual goals. In order for the development plan to be effective, it must align development goals with the goals of the entire business.
2. Gain Buy-In from Management and the Individual
For the development plan to be effective, team members will have to be committed to working it and managers will have to be committed to following-up on development activities and coaching. Everyone on the sales team must understand and buy into the development plan and its role in their success, as well as the success of the business.
3. Communicate the Expectations to Management and the Individual
In alignment with gaining buy-in for the development plan, you also need to be sure you clearly and concisely communicate the expectations for development within the plan. The development plan is based on the competencies, knowledge, skills and attributes we want team members to develop from the Success Guide. Team members and managers must be clear on what those expectations are and how and when they are supposed to meet them.
4. Establish the Cadence for Follow-up and Reinforcement
This may be the most important part of the development plan. Without follow-up and reinforcement, people are likely to revert back to what is most familiar or easiest when elements of their development become challenging. Having a regular cadence for follow-up on development activities along with reinforcement through coaching will drive adoption and execution of the plan.
5. Establish a Plan for Measurement
Before building the development plan, we determined the current makeup of the sales team by assessing each individual against the expectations of the Success Guide. In order to measure the effectiveness of the development plan, before beginning the development journey, set a timeline for when the next round of assessment will be to ensure people are progressing at the desired rate.
Follow these best practices to successful adoption and execution of sales talent development plans and you will be one step closer to building a championship sales team. Be sure to check back for our last key to Building a Championship Sales Team: Developing Talent for Ongoing Success.
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Establishing the Development Plan is Key #3 to Building a Championship Sales Team