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5 Strategies for Maximizing Sales Team Performance With Chris Orlob, CEO & Co-Founder,

In the dynamic landscape of professional growth, pursuing sales excellence is a cornerstone for achieving remarkable results and nurturing high-performing teams. 

So what’s the key to effective sales coaching, and how can leaders motivate and bring out the best in their teams? 

Chris Orlob, CEO and Co-Founder of, joined the LEARN Podcast to share valuable insights and actionable strategies to drive success in sales, optimize managerial roles, and elevate sales team performance.

Employees must take learning into their own hands

The path to outstanding sales results is paved with a commitment to lifelong learning. Success, as emphasized by Chris, is a product of consistent effort, not mere luck. 

Professionals aiming to excel in sales must adopt a mindset of perpetual growth. This involves investing time in self-improvement, honing skills, and staying abreast of industry trends. By cultivating this culture of continuous learning, sales teams can equip themselves with the knowledge needed to adapt swiftly to changing markets and customer demands.

“The most successful reps I’ve ever met are obsessed with building their skills; they’re obsessed with learning,” Chris says. “So it’s like this long consistent journey of just compounding skills. There’s no greater piece of advice I could give somebody, aside from having clear goals that you’re shooting for to be successful in life, which is just to overinvest in building your own skills.”

Chris credits his own success to this strategy of perpetual learning and improvement. Early in his career, he would wake up at 6 am to read for 45 minutes before work. Then, after work, he would go on websites, take courses, and learn. 

“I would go on websites and take courses and learn stuff,” he says. “I repeated that every day for however long it was 12 years, and then I woke up to this life.”

Chris also notes that while managers should provide training, employees must ultimately be responsible for their learning. “The best salespeople I know don’t let another person hold their success or their development hostage,” he says. “They take learning into their own hands by reading great books, not just sales books, but books on business acumen and how to improve that. Or if reading’s not their thing, they take or listen to podcasts or take some courses or do something to compound their skillset over a very long period of time.”

Managers must take a holistic, 3-pronged approach

Sales managers wield a significant influence on a team’s success. Their role extends beyond mere supervision to actively shaping team performance. 

Divided into three primary domains–managing people, managing the sales process, and managing the business–effective sales management is a delicate balance of skills. Managers must foster a conducive environment for skill development, create a robust sales process, and align team goals with organizational objectives. 

“To me, there are three super sections of being a frontline manager,” Chris says. “There’s manage the people, manage the selling, and manage the business.”

Chris outlines how to break these categories into specific buckets and responsibilities.

Manage the people

  • Hiring and recruiting
  • Coaching and development
  • Running team meetings
  • Motivating
  • Performance management

Manage the selling

  • Co-selling with your reps
  • Deal strategy 
  • Pipeline management
  • Building and managing the sales process
  • Managing metrics and KPIs that facilitate the selling

Manage the business

  • Forecasting
  • Managing sideways
  • Managing up
  • Your organization’s operating rhythm. What’s the cadence of meetings and other rituals you do to facilitate?

This holistic approach empowers managers to navigate challenges while optimizing team performance.

Leaders must influence behavior change to improve performance

Coaching is a potent tool for nurturing sales teams’ potential and driving consistent results. Chris’ experience underscores the importance of individualized coaching tailored to team members’ unique needs. 

The process begins by diagnosing micro-level skill gaps and crafting personalized solutions. It is equally important to differentiate between holding team members accountable and enabling their growth. Effective coaching necessitates understanding each team member’s strengths, weaknesses, and potential, culminating in a strategic plan for improvement.

“My job is not to make you smarter,” Chris says. “If you take this course or this training and you walk away, and you have more information crammed into your brain, but your behavior didn’t change, you failed, and I failed. My job is not to make you smarter. It is to change your behavior in such a way that shows up on sales calls and gets you more performance. Your job as a manager is to get leverage. It’s to get things done through other people, and the best way to do that is to improve their skills so you can get more done through the people you have in your purview.” 

Use data to track and enhance sales output

Chris shares that sales teams require a multifaceted approach to achieve peak performance. This includes mastering the art of deal strategy and pipeline management. It involves building and refining a well-structured sales process that guides the team’s interactions with prospects. 

KPIs and metrics are crucial in tracking progress and identifying areas for enhancement. By implementing robust metrics and regularly reviewing performance data, managers can identify trends, fine-tune strategies, and harness the potential of data-driven decision-making.

Read more: Data-Driven Sales Enablement: Track, Measure, Improve

Cultivate an energetic sales team

Chris also stresses the significance of managing energy, not just time, within a sales team. High-performing sales professionals recognize the importance of managing their physical and mental well-being. 

Balancing work and personal life, practicing healthy habits, and nurturing a sense of purpose contribute to sustained energy levels. When sales teams are energetic and motivated, they bring a higher level of focus, creativity, and resilience to their work, resulting in enhanced sales outcomes.

Chris’ experience and insights offer a treasure trove of wisdom for professionals seeking to master the art of sales, elevate their managerial skills, and foster peak performance within their sales teams. 

By cultivating a culture of continuous learning, enabling effective sales management, unlocking coaching strategies, optimizing sales output, and nurturing energetic teams, professionals can create a ripple effect of success that propels individual careers and organizational growth. 

Check out the full episode to hear more from Chris. And remember to subscribe to the LEARN Podcast on Apple, Spotify, or Google for more expert advice from industry leaders on customer success, customer education, employee development, revenue, enablement, and more. 

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