Why are your star performers so successful?

We all tend to spend a lot of time trying to figure out why our salespeople are missing numbers and not making goals. But we often don’t spend enough (or any) time with the people who are making their numbers in order to better understand why they are so successful.

We must focus on understanding why we’re succeeding as well as why we’re failing – so that we can replicate the formula for success and spread it among our team.

As a sales leader, do you know why your star performers are so successful?

If you don’t, but want to, then consider these recommendations from HSMAI’s Sales Advisory Board.

  • The best performers are self-reliant and disciplined with business acumen and a strategic perspective. You’re lucky when you find people who exhibit these attributes and core competencies.  Why aren’t we hiring more sales people with these traits off the bat?!
  • What happens if you inherit a sales team that is a bit lack luster? How do you mold them into self-reliant and disciplined thinkers with a strategic mindset? Providing the tips and tools of a successful sales person or giving them exposure to someone in a similar field who is experiencing success will help them strive for excellence in a radical new way.
  • Clearly articulate the high level enterprise and property expectations on a regular basis. Sometime star performers need as much communication, if not more, than the weakest link. Never assume anything is inherently understood by your team.
  • Sales leaders have a great responsibility to support their sales team members by removing roadblocks in their way. Check in personally every morning to make sure your sales people (at all levels of performance) have the resources they need – whether it is the right software or your support and advocacy between them and another department. Marcus Buckingham reinforces this idea: “Team members who check in frequently with their team leaders are more engaged. It’s a simple equation: Radically frequent check-ins = higher engagement. Higher engagement = higher performance.”
  • Spend more time on “fire prevention” than “fire fighting.” Sit down regularly with your top performers and ask them to tell you in their own words what they are doing and thinking about – and take those lessons out to the rest of your team.
  • Star performers typically know what needs to get done and have the internal drive to stay on task. Because they don’t require much support, they often end up on the back burner. Keep this in mind and find unique ways to challenge, recognize, and reward them. For instance, involve them in special projects and be clear that you value their opinions and meaningful input.
  • Managers typically manage and motivate salespeople the way that they themselves like to be motivated, which isn’t the best approach. One size does not fit all. Use an assessment tool (like the DiSC Profile), and an appreciation of generational sensitivities, to understand what does and does not motivate your specific team members. These assessments can also give you useful insights for your hiring process (e.g., what issues you should explore in interviews, whether a candidate will perform well based on their supervisor’s characteristics, etc.).
  • Find your weakest links’ strengths and figure out how to use them to contribute to the whole team’s success. No one does the job of sales the same way – look for ways to help them personalize the role – finding the tools and methods that leverage their assets and work for them. Be cautious here: there is a fine line between being flexible and coddling.
  • Consider pairing a weak performer with a star performer in a mentor-like relationship.
  • For all on your team, give proportionate amounts of positive feedback as well as advice. Don’t wait for the quarterly or annual review to offer praise. Star performers especially give fewer indications than others when they are in need of praise.
  • It all starts with your leadership. So set your priorities and lead by example – on the sales floor and off.  Your team will watch you and learn from your example.

Time spent developing and supporting top talent will have a greater ROI.

Resources & Recommended Reading

About HSMAI’s Sales Advisory Board

HSMAI’s Sales Advisory Board leverages insights, emerging trends, and industry innovations to fuel sales for hotels. Members include:

  • CHAIR: Ed Skapinok, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Hostmark Hospitality Group
  • C. Becker, Principal, Titan Group of New York, LLC
  • Brian Burton, CHSE,CRME, Vice President Revenue Strategy & Optimization, White Lodging
  • Michelle Crosby, CMP, National Sales Manager, Allied PRA Dallas/Fort Worth
  • Katie Davin, CHSE, Associate Professor, Johnson & Wales University-Providence
  • Lisa Giaimo, VP of Sales & Marketing, OTO Development LLC
  • Linda Gulrajani, CRME, Vice President, Revenue Strategy & Distribution, Marcus Hotels & Resorts
  • Kaaren Hamilton, CMP, CMM, VP, Global Sales, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group
  • Melissa Kouvelas, Senior Manager, Worldwide Sales, Best Western Hotels & Resorts
  • Joel Pyser, Senior Vice President, Sales, Newmarket, an Amadeus Company
  • Larry Silman, Director of Strategic Sales, Americas, IDeaS – A SAS COMPANY
  • Ronald Taylor, Vice President of Sales and Development, WCG Hotels
  • Jim Vandevender, Chief Marketing Officer, The Knowland Group
  • Christine Wight, Director of Resort & Conference Sales, Angel Fire Resort
  • Tony Yeung, Principal, ZS Associates

Categories: Sales
Insight Type: Articles