What are the secrets to developing a successful sales team? Having managed several successful sales teams over the years, I discovered a pattern of success that led my teams to climb to their highest level of performance. This process, takes 11 steps — as the band Spinal Tap will attest is better than only 10 — which I call the “Golden Formula,” will motivate, re-energize and produce record-breaking results.

  1. Care

    Caring for your staff is one of the most important factors. When your staff knows that you care about them, they will go the extra mile for you and the club. All it takes is to stop and listen to your staff. Find out what they are all about. Show them you care through your actions.

  2. Hire winners

    How many times have you hired someone in sales, trained them, spent hours integrating them into your club, just to find out that they were not the right fit. It is imperative that you take the time to hire the right person. Not hiring the right person is one of the most costly mistakes club managers make. In order to ensure you hire the right person, you must identify what the perfect candidate would look like. Develop a list of what ‘musts’ this candidate must possess and what ‘prefers’ would be preferable that they possess.

  3. Provide them the tools

    Training and development of your sales staff is an investment. It is critical to their success. In order for salespeople to be successful, they must be given the proper tools to do their jobs well. Not only is it important to have an official training program, but ongoing training is important in order to keep their skills up to date.

  4. Empower them

    Empower your team to be the best that they can be. Allow them to try new ideas and learn new things — even by making mistakes. Micromanaging is the killer of productivity, creativity and independence.

  5. Set great expectations and goals

    It is important that the sales reps know and understand what is expected of them. Writing down these expectations leaves no room for the reps to second guess what is expected of them. Another important point is goal setting with your sales team to allow them to plan their success. Goal setting should be done individually, as well as in a group.

  6. Create motivational tools and incentives

    Most people assume that money is the top motivating factor. This is not true in many cases. Although financial compensation is important and is one of the top five motivating factors for most salespeople, other factors come into play. Find out what motivates your team.

  7. Inspect what you expect (sales tracking and statistics)

    Keeping daily, weekly and monthly tracking of each sales rep is crucial. Each rep should also track his or her own statistics like how many tours they had, how many sales were closed on the first visit, how did the potential member hear about the club, how many telephone inquiries, etc. This allows the rep to comprehend his or her strengths and weaknesses. It allows the sales manager to understand what areas require additional training. It also identifies what marketing efforts are successful.

  8. Hold meetings

    Meet with your sales team once a week. This helps set a plan and goals for the week. Get the team to share ideas and experiences — it will build team unity and increase motivation. Also, meet each sales rep on a regular basis. This allows you to spend more quality time training and developing the rep, setting goals, and building a closer bond.

  9. Hit the road

    One of the keys to success for a sales team is a prospecting game plan for inside and outside of the club. Creating a monthly prospecting plan will allow the team to plan what actions they will take to get that door swinging and that phone ringing. Getting the team involved in this process, will create team unity and empower them to be in control of their own success.

  10. Be a great role model

    People do what people see. Your team is watching you. In order to earn respect from your team, you must be a great role model.

  11. Make it fun

    Create a fun team atmosphere. Planning monthly outings, off-site sales meetings, running off to a movie matinee one afternoon, or bringing in treats once in a while, creates positive energy and builds team unity.

By following these 11 steps, you will foster a fun, close-knit, and caring family atmosphere. Take the time to plan a path to success. You will increase morale, reduce turnover, and bring your sales team's productivity levels to new heights.

Sonia Ricotti has years of management experience with prominent health club organizations. She is a speaker, sales and management trainer, and a consultant specializing in ‘club turnarounds.’ She can be reached at 416-804-1974 or via e-mail at sonia.ricotti@sympatico.ca.