A clear plan to develop your team

Develop your team using these techniques for a clear strategy, and your company will quickly reap the rewards.

Secure Your Own Mask First

You know how on an airplane the flight attendants tell you to secure your own oxygen mask before you help another? Well, developing your team follows the same strategy. Once you’ve begun to develop yourself as a sales leader, you’re more able to help your sales team develop and reach their goals. If you haven’t already read my post 2 Things You Can Do to Ensure Your Success This Year, #1 is develop yourself and #2 is develop your team. In this article, I focus on developing your team.

Develop Your Team

It’s your job to develop your team. Not doing so is very risky. You may lose good salespeople and worse, the low performers might stay. Top performers want a development plan. They want to improve, they want your guidance. Middle performers want the same and they need development to become top performers. Low performers either need to move up or out quickly. If you provide them a development plan and they don’t develop, it becomes very clear to all that this person needs to move on, and you can provide what I call a graceful exit.

Develop your team


If you are unhappy in your job, maybe it’s time to look for a new career path. Our Returner Roll-Up Session can help you to Learn how to identify your transferable skills.

Getting Started

You’ve made a development plan for yourself and have started to change. Your team will notice. Next, start their development plans by asking them what they would like to learn this year, what they would like to become better at and how you can help them. Determine the best way to help them learn. Maybe reading a book, shadowing a more seasoned salesperson, taking training or working directly with you on a skill. Then have them write down their development plan with what they will learn, how they will learn it and by when. The only thing left is to get started. Read, shadow, listen, attend and then test to see what they learned and then try it. Practice! Don’t forget to review their development plans with them frequently.

If you do all of this, you won’t believe how fast they will start changing and developing into a better salesperson.

Note: Some of the things your team needs will be individual and will require a separate plan. Some will be things they all want to learn and can be done in a group setting.

Get Started Developing Your Team

Ask Them

  • What would you like to learn?
  • What do you want to become better at?
  • How can I best help you?

Best Way to Learn

  • Read a book
  • Shadow someone
  • Find a mentor
  • Watch a web training
  • Bring in an instructor

Write it Down

  • What will you learn?
  • How will you learn it?
  • By when?

Get Started

  • Schedule the time to learn
  • Test the learning
  • Try what was learned
  • Practice


  • What have you completed?
  • What remains to be done?
  • What’s next?

Making it Happen

As Nike says, “Just do it.” You have to start somewhere. Here’s a form you could give to each salesperson to help you get started.

Things I’d like to learn or improve on:

For example, if several of your salespeople would like to improve on handling objections, you might find some reading on that topic and have them form a group to read and discuss.

If most of your team are good at time management but two of them felt they wanted to improve, have them work together to find a time management course. They can take the course and become accountability partners to implement what they learned.

If all of them want to learn to write better prospecting emails, find an instructor to come in and teach them. If you don’t have the budget, you can find resources like the ones on SalesFolk and get them started. They can work together to write emails, edit each other’s, test the emails and share what is working.

Use Your Tools

Another part of developing your team is making sure they are using the tools they were given.

There are so many tools out there that reps can get tool overload. Choose the ones you need and use them well.

Continue Learning

Continue learning together. You can use book clubs or interest groups to keep them learning and sharing about your company, your products, their customers, their customer’s industries and their customer’s customers. Share best practices and strategies that reps are using to penetrate large accounts, as well as getting better positioned in existing accounts to expand them. Everyone is busy. The reps have tremendous pressure on them, but they need to know that learning is important, expected and that you will hold them accountable to take the time to do it.

Track It

Figure out a way to keep track of each development plan. In your one to one meetings, ask each salesperson to bring their plan so you can review it. During your sales team meetings, ask salespeople to share their success in implementing their development plan and to share things they have been learning. This is part of the accountability; building a culture that expects everyone to keep developing themselves because you are encouraging it.

Take Good Care

Developing your salespeople means making sure they are in the right mindset to learn and do their job. Overworked, tired, disgruntled salespeople are not open to learning and are not doing a good job. They are not impressing your prospects and customers.

Be a Model

Start by modeling what it means to take good care of yourself and keep a positive mindset. Discuss it. Make it part of your culture. Show them ways they can take good care of themselves. Simple things like getting enough sleep, eating healthy, exercising and staying hydrated. You think you shouldn’t have to tell them these things, but the pressure put on them by your organization may prevent them from doing these simple things. Show them how taking breaks actually makes them more productive. Don’t applaud the people working 12-hour days consistently. Find out why and help them work 8 to 9 hours most days with only the occasional long day or weekend instead.

Enjoy Your Work

Make sure they are enjoying their work. Ask them, “Do you enjoy your work?” If the answer is no, figure out how to make the needed changes so they can enjoy their work, or help them move on to something they will enjoy. Happy people make great salespeople. Your customers want to work with happy, upbeat, well informed, delightful people. That is what you get when you make a plan to develop your salespeople. They win, you win, the customers win.

A key aspect of development is having role models and experienced people you can ask for help. This is often particularly tricky for women. However, 3Plus has a wide range of experienced Mentors available to help you. Contact us NOW for more details.

Originally posted in Pulse LinkedIn  

Alice Heiman Contributor
Exceptional growth starts at the top, so for the last 20 years Alice Heiman, has been helping sales leaders, business owners, and CEOs drive sales growth.
follow me

Found that interesting?
Learn more about our services

Individual services

Make your dreams a reality with a professional evaluation of your career to date.

Corporate services

The evidence is in. More women in your company can deliver 35% greater financial returns. (Catalyst)

Upcoming events

Book Now

Linkedin Live on Ageism Friday 24th September 2pm BST with Hung Lee

Join Dorothy Dalton and colleagues -  Jo Weech, Head of People, (Exemplary Consultants),  Jacob Sten Madsen, Talent Acquisition Advisor (Nielsen) & Anne-Hermine Nicolas, Head of Executive Recruitment (ex-Deloitte), Frank Zupan, Director of Talent Management (Associated Materials) to discuss critical issues in Hung Lee’s Brainfood Live.

You can register here.




Dates for the Diary

September  21st -  ENGIE Gender bias in Performance Assessment online
September 24th -  Linkedin Live on Ageism with Hung Lee
October 26th - Banque de Luxembourg Préjugés sexistes dans le processus de recrutment.



We have Remote Learning Programs available 

Check out our exciting portfolio of offerings to support your business in upskilling and competence building for your teams, to address the unprecedented challenges that women face in this new totally a digital world.

Download and listen free podcasts

Related articles

A small way men can be better allies

A small way men can be better allies

There are situations that most men would not give a second thought to, but women are programmed to think about their personal security. There are ways men can be better allies to women with simple steps.

read more

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
3 Plus International Call Back Request