The top seller’s job is to sell in their territory as a sole contributor. Many sales leaders, managers, and companies make the mistake of thinking that a sales team is like a soccer team where everyone has to be playing together in an orchestrated fashion in order for sales to grow. However, a sales team is more like a track and field team where every individual has to excel in their own narrow parameters. They have to be really good at managing their specific customers in their specific area of expertise in their specific territory.
Tasks or sales may require different skill sets just as a 10,000-meter runner needs a different skill set than a 100-meter runner. Both of those members are equally important to the team, even if they need different development. This is the way that we need to think about our sales team as every top seller may need something different in terms of coaching and communication. You need to tailor your coaching and communication techniques to each individual sales rep and not expect them to be a team player.
The downside of making your top sellers focused on the team instead of themselves is that they will leave because they really want to focus on what’s good for them. They’re not going to do that to the detriment of the company because that would be a disservice to their organization and themselves. But don’t insist that they be a team player. Build a team of individual top performers and your company will accelerate in growth far faster than it is now.
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