Getting people to do things differently – Part 2

Getting people to do things differently – Part 2

Focusing on the positives

When you’re ready to start transforming sales one of the the first steps involves building capability for your new processes. So what’s the trickiest part about that?

When you call a sales person into your office for a performance review what is the first thing that comes into their mind?

  • What can you do to make it a positive experience?
  • How can you get real benefits from your performance assessment?
  • How do you ensure that you identify the right training?


Perhaps the first thing to do is to sit down and spend time with them. One way to help people to understand what their training needs are is by starting with what they already do well  rather than what they don’t. By recognising their strengths, which is what you want them to do more of, you empower them to work out for themselves what they could do differently. Leaders in strengths based performance management and assessment work on the knowledge that when people use their strengths they are more likely to achieve their goals and objectives. Focusing on strengths makes them happier, more confident and better able to develop themselves and grow as individuals.

Effective sales force assessment finds the gaps in what people do in real life rather than what they might do in a hypothetical situation. Asking a series of behavioural questions about what they’ve actually done in situations that relate to the key performance areas of their job can help you identify what they’re really good at as well as what they need to do differently. When you keep the focus on the positives you can get measurable results from your good performers as well as those who need to improve.

And who says you have to do reviews in the office? Carrying out sales force assessments with sales people on their daily calls helped us to revitalise a regional sales team’s performance because we saw the gaps in their performance for real. Those barriers to their success which were outside of their control we put to the management for resolution. In this way we showed we were listening to them and were commited to helping them build their capablity. A positive experience for them and an effective one for the business.

This is the second in a set of articles on practical approaches to help you optimise your sales performance. If you missed Part 1 read here about getting people’s buy in to your transformation strategy. 

If you’d like to explore ways that you could build on your team’s strengths please call Cathy on 01189 9526993 or email her at

2000 1303 Vertical Sales