Cultivating rainmakers for your SME


Business owners need to empower their sales force to make it rain without them by training staff to function in their manager’s absence, says Mark Keating, CEO of SalesGuru

The secret is to build a team of individuals that can manage themselves and are proactive and not reactive. Reactive salespeople put themselves on the back foot because they wait for feedback rather than take action. But it’s usually too late then because they’re not in control of the situation. This often results in lack of progression and not adapting as quickly as necessary, which in turn leads to poor sales pipelines and results.

Here’s how make your sales team more proactive:


  1. Have a one-on-one discussion with each salesperson to ensure that you have clearly defined the company, managerial and personal expectations from all parties;
  2. Define the rules of engagement clearly and also the consequences should they choose not to adhere to them;
  3. Define the Minimal Acceptable Standards (MAS) for each individual in order to hold them accountable for the agreed commitment and targets;
  4. Define clearly what is required on a daily, weekly or monthly basis for effective coaching to take place;
  5. Coach on a consistent basis;
  6. Lead by example.


  1. Fail to implement the necessary consequences when required;
  2. Change the rules of engagement or expectations without clear communication and an understanding of why;
  3. Accept non-performance;
  4. Treat each individual differently according to their results and not the company standards;
  5. Not hold individuals accountable for their choices that were agreed to in the one-on-one discussion.


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