Navigating the Sales Team Management Cycle

Posted on March 11, 2019
Navigating the Sales Team Management Cycle

As with any work environment, assembling a strong team and managing people are critical to organizational success. In a sales context, where you are tasked with supplying the lifeblood of your enterprise, it is crucial.

Sales Leaders must use proven techniques and methods for assessing potential team members and help them realize that potential. Your role is now to work through others so that their success becomes your success.

One method of assessing personnel is by using a Talent Matrix, an analytical tool that lets you see where a person is performing well and how much potential they have to become consistent star of the team. Once you determine if a person is a star or a diamond in the rough, you can develop a plan to set them up for growth and success.

The Talent Matrix looks at performance and potential to identify a team member’s strengths in a given role that allows the sales leader to determine their readiness to assume specific team roles and key areas where development is needed. Here is a look at the key indicators in the matrix that helps a manager identify strengths that add to team capabilities and areas of weaknesses for development through training and support.


This is the ability to consistently deliver results over time. The focus is on the person’s sustained performance over the past two to three years and multiple experiences, not one specific accomplishment or performance period.


High potentials are people who can quickly respond to diverse, intense, varied and adverse assignments; demonstrate superior performance under first-time or different – not repeat – conditions and is eager to learns new competencies in order to perform.

Learning agility is a key component of potential. Evaluating potential, as measured by career motivation, experiences and learning agility, is critical to identifying potential for future leaders.


This is the indicator of the degree to which an individual is prepared to take on a new developmental challenge. The Lominger Competency Model includes a list of abilities that can help determine how ready an individual is to change roles based on their development needs. It should not be viewed as readiness to assume a specific role identified as part of the succession planning process.

Readiness/Development Status

  • Ready Now
  • Ready with Development
  • Ready with Long-Term Development
  • Well Placed


David McBrideThis article was adapted from a session of Schulich ExecEd’s newly revised Executive Program in Sales Management (starting June 10, 2019), facilitated by David McBride, an experienced business executive with an extensive background in building sales capability, leadership development, talent and culture, succession planning, change management, and employee and industrial relations. As vice-president, now retired, of HR Operations, Dave had responsibility for the overall HR Operations support for Xerox Canada. He is also a facilitator in Schulich ExecEd’s Masters Certificate in Sales Leadership (starting April 1).