In most companies — and probably in your company — a gap exists between average performing sales reps and the high performers.

How can it be that in the same environment and set of conditions, certain sales reps manage to thrive and succeed at the highest-level while others merely get by?

According to former eBay COO Maynard Webb, the answer lies in the outdated business practices many companies still rely on to get their work done. Over the last decade, Webb has become one of the most respected figures in Silicon Valley — the go-to guy for fixing difficult problems.

Last week, he joined us for a Salesforce Sales Leadership Webinar to share four powerful insights and recommendations for how companies can dramatically improve the performance of their sales teams.

You can watch the webinar and see the slides here.

Here are a few key ideas for improving your sales performance:

#1 Big Idea: Think Like an Entrepreneur: 

No one will ever care about your sales career more than you. And, as sales professionals, you understand - more than most other disciplines - the only safety net is the one you build for yourself.

Start by clearly defining your goals, identify the key activities that need to be done in order to reach those goals, and socialize them broadly across your organization. Socials goals give visibility into your priorities, and keep you laser focused on the right activities. Plus – making goals public holds you accountable – and ensures you get credit for doing great work!

#2 Big Idea: Get voted on to the team every day:

Great teams don't have anyone who just “phones it in.” They are constantly inspired to learn from their mistakes and develop their skills so that every player can be an “A” player. 

Highly effective sales professionals realize that coaching and mentorship can be one the most powerful practices to drive the performance of their sales reps – and also make an enormous difference in their value to the team.

Hold 1:1 meetings with your sales reps regularly to outline goals for the upcoming quarter, diagnose skill gaps, and give feedback on their progress. Coaching stretches the capacity of each team member, supports team effectiveness, and empowers sales reps to greater levels of success.

#3 Big Idea: Do what you say, say what you do:

Nothing is more important to sales reps than knowing what is expected of them and when it is expected. Get your team to commit to an action plan – one that is achievable, measureable, and aligned with your team goals.

Provide constant feedback on what your team is doing well, and where they need to improve - so that team members know what to aim for.

Promoting a culture of transparency will keep your team motivated to work hard, build successful working relationships, teamwork and better performance.

#4 Big Idea: Motivate your Team to Work for a Higher Purpose. 

Is it all just about the comp plan? Research from HBR shows sales reps aren’t just coin operated.

So where does the motivation come from on day one of the new quarter? Like all professionals, sales reps want to know that they’re making progress every day and contributing to the overall business.

Anchor your team around a higher purpose - and reinforce the right behaviors with real-time recognition. Gain insight into the specific sales behaviors that generate the best results, and amplify and socialize those behaviors across your team.

To learn more, watch the full Maynard Webb webinar recording here.

Maynard Webb is author of the  New York Times best-selling new book “Rebooting Work: Transform How you Work in the Age of Entrepreneurship.” 

Watch the Maynard Webb Webinar