What’s Your People Process | A Sales Guy's Sales Blog Copy & Close
January 8, 2013 Keenan

What’s Your People Process

What is your people process?

For sales leaders of large organizations this is a big question. When you run a sales organization with multiple levels, 3, 4, 5 or more, having a people process becomes increasingly important.

Do you know who the best sales people in your organization are? Not the top dogs from a quota achievement perspective, but the best overall sales people? Do you know who the best sales managers, sales directors and sale VP’s are? Again, not the top performing sales leaders, but the BEST sales leaders. You should know!

When you have a team of 50, 100, 200, 500, or 1000 sales people, to know who your people are, you need a people process. It’s not enough to have performance reviews, you need a more robust process that gets you deep into who the people are who are selling for you and the organization.

Which of your teams are the strongest and why? – Is it your northeast team, is it the Asia team? Is it the US Sales Engineers? Knowing who is the best team allows you to understand what approaches, leadership styles, processes and structures work best. It allows you to identify best of breed approaches and nurture them through out the organization. All organizations have a team that sets the standard, knowing which teams is and why is critical.

Who is ready for promotion? Again, it’s not enough to know who the best performing sales people are. Knowing who is ready to for the next level and to be promoted is key to scaling, employee satisfaction and growth. It’s too easy to lose track of up and coming superstars without a solid process to find them. As a sales leader you can’t rely on performance reviews and the suggestions of a single manager. Finding your next generation of leaders is an ongoing process that requires more than a reflex and situational decision making.

What are the teams overall strengths and weaknesses? Every team has it’s strengths and weaknesses. Some teams are great at cold calling, prospecting and hunting, but lack industry knowledge, farming skills, business acumen and planning skills. Some organizations are great with relationship building and farming, but are not very creative, innovative and aggressive. One of the most important aspects of understanding your organization is understanding it’s collective, overall strengths and weaknesses. Knowing this allows sales leaders to determine if their sales organizations strengths and weaknesses align with the companies sales goals. A robust people process allows you to know where your team, as a whole, excels and where it’s lacking.

Who are your best sales people? Large organizations have a number of good sales people. Knowing who they are and what they are doing is a huge asset to a company. The idea of spreading and sharing best practices is in itself a best practice. To propagate the unique and effective approaches, tactics and strategies your best sales people are using, requires knowing who they are. Your process has to give you visibility into all your sales people, no matter where they are, what territory they have or products they sell. You want to want to know who your best sales people are and what they are doing.

Sales Resource Planning – How well is your entire sales organization aligned and prepared to meet the organizations goals? Does the team posses the skills and talent required to achieve plan. Is the team you have today, the team you need today, tomorrow and out into the future? Is the team missing some real and substantial skills your organization requires? Are there some real initiatives you need to employ to increase the probability of success? To ensure you have the right team in place to make your goals, today and tomorrow requires a strong people process.

A people process is more than simple biannual or annual performance reviews. It’s a robust process that infiltrates every layer of your organization. It’s more than a “ranking” system. A good people process is both quantitative AND qualitative. It provides you with a in depth insight into the quality, preparedness, moral, opportunities, readiness, and strength of your sales organization.

People are the most important and valuable tool a sales organization has. Everything is done through the people. Therefore, if you don’t have a robust people process and cadence, you are at a competitive disadvantage.

Start your people process now, design it to get you deep into you organization. When you know your entire organization, you know you’re there.

  • Good post, especially the part about identifying the strengths and weaknesses within your sales organization. It’s important to not only know which reps are the best at skills, but also what reps do naturally well by measuring their innate traits. So for example – is your US sales engineering team made up of people who love solving complex problems? Are they driven towards results and the bottom line? It’s good for any manager or sales exec to know these things as it will give them a fuller picture of what their teams do well and need improvement on.

  • Michael

    Keenan , I agree with your point of view , we all know that now world has grown by leaps and bounds , every department is at the real heights but still most of the people don’t know who is the right guy in their sales team and what are their strengths and weaknesses , still thhe most respectable and top paid are the people in a chain from top to bottom but they don’t know the real potential of their own staff , who is best at what , who is ready to be promoted , who is our main sales person ? what is the weakness in our team ? these are the questions that should get more attention than they are now getting, If a company discovers the right potential of its staff it can do much more in very less time. I myself deal in 1099 sales .

  • Well said Mike, this is a weakness with many companies, so it’s not something that is taught to up and coming leaders.
    Big blind spot for a lot companies.

  • lata kusum

    Your point of view is acceptable .It is a well known fact that the top nochs in a chain from top to bottom hardly know the real value and worth of the staff working with them ,A company or an organization who discovers the correct potential of its staff members can do wonders in no time