Part III: How To Become Relentless About Skill Development

by Jeff Shore

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been talking about the behaviors that drive sales results and why sales leaders must become OBSESSED with those behaviors. (If you missed the first post, you can read it here.) Those behaviors are:

Obsession #1 – Obsessing over the quality of the team

Obsession #2 – Obsessing over skill development

Obsession #3 – Obsessing over inspirational leadership

Obsession #4 – Obsessing over lead conversion maximization

Today’s obsession: Skill Development

What does a culture that demands relentless performance improvement look like?

Professional ballet dancers will practice for six to seven hours a day…at a minimum. That’s impressive on the surface, but stop and consider what kind of abuse the body will take in those hours. Have you ever seen photos of the feet of ballet dancers? Google it…just not after you’ve just eaten.

The regimen is brutal and exhausting. Intense physical pain is just a part of the gig. They ache, they bleed, they cry…and they keep dancing.

As a sales leader, what is your “dance?”

How much discomfort are you willing to endure if you really want the prize? How relentless are you about about performance improvement?

The trust is, salespeople (and even some sales leaders!) find role-playing to be uncomfortable. As a sales leader and performance coach, the goal is not simply instruction. And it’s not about barking or yelling or dictating.

The goal is demonstrated proficiency.

It’s about knowing the skill levels of your sales team are top-notch because you demand it, you coach it, you hold people accountable to it, and – this is critical – you watch the finished performance with satisfaction.

Obsessive performance coaching is about demanding the growth of talent. Demanding.

Dan Coyle writes in The Talent Code about three things that must be present to develop talent and to drive performance improvement.

  1. Repetition
  2. Great Coaching
  3. Total Concentration

It is the third element that so often gets ignored. Why? Because it might be the most difficult aspect of all.

When you look at true, gritty, focused performance improvement, there is an element of concentration that is critically important.

It’s also uncomfortable for all involved. So will you – the sales leader – allow your comfort addiction to get in the way of demanding superior sales performance?

When you soft-pedal performance improvement you get mediocre skills. There is nothing obsessive about mediocrity.

Are you gutsy enough to demand the best? Are you gritty enough to push people beyond their comfort zone? If so, then join me at Sales Leadership Summit 2019 this August in Denver, CO. We’ll spend two days together with 350 of the best and brightest in our industry learning exactly how to obsess about the behaviors that drive sales results, so you can out perform the market in 2019 and beyond.

Are you obsessive about performance improvement? Don’t tell me. Show me.


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About the Author: Jeff Shore

Jeff Shore

Jeff Shore is the Founder and President of Shore Consulting, Inc. a company specializing in field-tested and proven consumer psychology-based sales training programs.

Jeff is a top-selling author, host of the popular sales podcast, The Buyer’s Mind, and an award-winning keynote speaker. He holds the prestigious Certified Speaking Professional designation from the National Speakers Association and is a member of the NSA’s exclusive Million Dollar Speaker’s Group.

With over 30 years of real-world, frontline experience, Jeff’s advanced sales strategies spring from extensive research into the psychology of buying and selling. He teaches salespeople how to climb inside the mind of their customers to sell the way their buyers want to buy. Using these modern, game-changing techniques, Jeff Shore’s clients generated over $30 billion in sales last year.