Top-performing Bank Sales Leaders are skilled at:
Building a Bench: Everybody loses people. But the best sales leaders are able to recover quicker because they are always recruiting. It translates into less time without key slots filled. (The very best also occasionally hire a top performer when they don’t have an opening.)
Spending more than 50% of their time coaching: They make lots of joint calls. But they also allocate time to 1 on 1 meetings with their team members. And the conversations aren’t just about deals. Top Bank Sales Leaders view every conversation with one of their people as a coaching opportunity. They have figured out how to balance administrative, internal meetings and (here I editorialize) the really important stuff (See #1, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7.)
Developing team members: The best are committed to developing their people. That means improving their bankers’ skills and enhancing their chances for success. It invariably begins with creating an annual Development Plan for each RM.
Finding their successor: The best know who is going to succeed them, in large part because of all the coaching they’re doing. Needless to say, it makes them highly promotable. And this often helps them attract high-performers to their teams.
Strategizing on the best opportunities: They help their RMs think through opportunities. They also are adept at relationship planning—essentially, what to do when there is no immediate transaction with a top client or prospect. They are master teachers, who take advantage of strategy sessions to reinforce the bank’s sales process and best practices.
Eliminating obstacles: The best Sales Managers are ruthless in removing obstacles to free up people’s time. They’re also quick to identify anything—tools, training, market movements—that could give their team an edge.
Important message for Bank Management: Developing your Sales Managers means that you have to:
Commit to their ongoing development. This means investing both time and money. Your time matters—as does the time spent coaching and mentoring by other bank members of your leadership team. But so does footing the bill for professional development, which could include training, experiential learning and outside coaching.
Find ways to coach your Sales Managers. There are lots of opportunities: 1 on 1s, sales meetings, quarterly business plan reviews and joint calls should all be built into your plan.
Create together an Individual Development Plan for each Sales Manager. You will need to agree on two to three areas to focus on for improvement in the next 12 months. The regular 1 on 1s you have will provide ample time to review progress and make any mid-course coaching corrections needed.
What do you think? What can bank management do to develop the next generation of top-performing sales leaders? Please share your advice, insights, and experiences in the COMMENTS area below.
In a future blog post we’ll publish comments from successful Sales Leaders on this article.