This is a unique question that all companies would pay a lot to have the secret to reach this objective. Adapted leadership is the key issue to reach this main goal. And because we don´t have all people in the same level of professional maturity we clearly have to manage people according to their stage. The maturity of the employee has to be considered in relation to the specific work assigned:
1.- We must evaluate, as managers, the professional maturity (know how). The experience acquired previously in similar professional contests, but also the professional competence necessary to reach the objectives (also without a continuous guide). How he or she is gaining knowledge of the requisites of the job to carry out
2.- And we must also evaluate the personal or mental maturity (know to be). The willingness and capacity to assume responsibilities and the motivation and desire of achievement. This defines the intensity of commitment, capacity to establish important objectives (self-esteem).
To develop the professional maturity, training and formation are the key issues. We must join with expert colleagues, study, define stage and work experiences and the Methodology is based in action Coaching.
To develop the Psycological maturity we must talk a lot, develop meetings with people. Acknowledgement, Responsibility and Delegation are key critical success factors. The methodology is Counseling.
You must follow the 5 steps spiral of development of salesperson, according to their attitude but also their capability. In step 1 we have people with positive attitude and low capability (this are the new sales Reps that we have, without almost or any experience). We, as managers, must fix objectives, organize, set deadlines, give specific instructions, constant control. Exert authority!
Salespeople in step 1 have basic needs. People wants to learn the key contents of the job, they have a high tendency to follow the procedures, wants to understand the organization and the relationship between structures. We have to develop the knowledge and the basic abilities.
In step 2 the capability is increasing, but the attitude, due to experience in failure that always happens, is turning from positive to negative. You as a leader and manager have to pay a lot of attention to the signs in front of you. Continue to fix objectives, organize, set deadlines, give specific instructions, constant control. Exert authority. But give more responsabilities. This is the time to train to increase the acquisition of good competences. The development program should be based based on the improvement of the abilities that we can transfer, that can be used also in other activities; these are permanent skills of people. This abilities improve the performance. In step 3 people already developed their capability in doing the job, neverthless their confidence is small. You should Visualize high expectations for employees and gradually reduce the level of supervision. Gradually you have to increase the complexity and importance of the tasks and celebrate each stepping stone achievement to maintain/improve morale. Him or her gives you professional support, has visibility outside the operational structure. You have a high risk: can feel itself “untapped” and would like to change. You must develop programs defined to improve the personal abilities. In step 4 you have a unique condition: high capability and high level of attitude. You must support the behaviour, Give support, communicate and involve, facilitate interaction, active listen and give feedbacks. The collaborator is the best in his field. They are developing innovations (he is an anticipator). He improves continuously already good performances. The development programs should be designed to emphasize the activity expressed and improve the personal abilities to allow: active integration / improve Efficacy and Efficiency / Increase the responsibility. Step 5 only happens when you stretch your sales person to another job, as a manager. And then the cycle starts again, because now he is a rookie and you have to teach him everything… And please do never forget that what motivates people is : Self-actualization - A chance to learn a new skill. More responsibility / Self-esteem: Recognition for successful results. Advancement / Social/belonging: Chances to bond with a great team of people / Safety/security and survival: Knowledge that risks are being managed thoughtfully, safety procedures followed, and safety-related equipment available and in good repair. Care and support for self and family members. Wish you a lot of success in the best thing that we have as managers – ability to develop people !!!