How Sales Managers Discover Top Players’ Needs

By Butch Bellah

Alright sales manager, a segment of your sales team has earned the right — note the word earned — to be considered your top performers. You should align most, if not all, of your systems, reporting, and other ancillary tasks to fit their needs.

But, how do you find out what they need? How can you help them grow?

One of the things you may find about the top salespeople is that they’re usually quiet, they keep to themselves, and they get the job done. They aren’t necessarily prone to going around making a lot of noise and asking for help. They didn’t get to the top by complaining.

So, how do you find out what you can do for them?

Here are three methods to uncover ways to be of assistance to those superstars. And remember, your job is to help your salespeople grow; they’re leading the charge.

  • Ask questions: What a novel concept, huh? Take time to ask your best salespeople how you can make them more efficient and help them build their business. Generally, they’re so focused on the task at hand they need you to put them in the mode of thinking bigger.

  • Mastermind sessions: The power of a mastermind session is invigorating and enlightening. If you’ve not held one before, you should. Study ways to get everyone involved and use the combined knowledge to make the entire team stronger. (See the nearby sidebar “The power of the mastermind.”)

    A mastermind session is simply a gathering of two or more people who then harness the power of all their knowledge and experience to work toward a common goal. It is literally a meeting of the minds where you let everyone participate. Two heads truly are better than one, and three or four are phenomenal.

    Ideally, hold a mastermind session a minimum of once per quarter. Get your people involved and in tune with sharing ideas. You’ll find each session is more productive than the last as people begin to open up more and share their ideas. Stress that these sessions are off limits to ridicule and comments like, “That’ll never work.” That kills creativity and creativity is what you want to foster.

  • Roundtables: Not as formal as a mastermind session, roundtables can be used to spitball ideas and brainstorm quickly. These are more for everyday use than the mastermind session. Think of a roundtable session as simply getting a few people together and brainstorming ideas or looking for a solution to a problem.

    It’s much less formal than a true mastermind session and can be put together on a moment’s notice. Brainstorming sessions are less structured and aren’t necessarily scheduled.

    For example, if one of your top people has a problem the two of you can’t seem to find a solution for, call a brainstorming session with your top people. Have them meet up somewhere, throw the issue out on the table, and let everyone talk. You’ll be amazed at the ideas and solutions that come naturally to some that you may never have thought of.

When it comes to finding what your best sellers need, get them involved. By involving them in the process you can solve some issues as soon as they’re uncovered.

Your top salespeople are the best of the best and the brightest of the bright. Use their talents and skills accordingly and never let them get complacent. Show them favor and pay attention to their needs and you’ll be well on your way to building a winning team.