Are you content with your sales team’s current level of performance? Many sales managers are even though they have salespeople who are underachieving. They are either content with those results or uncertain as to how to drive the team to higher levels of achievement. Competency is a worthwhile goal, but a good sales manager won’t be satisfied with a team that is only competent.

You want a team that performs consistently under the most challenging of circumstances and against the most difficult obstacles. To move your team beyond merely meeting expectations, help them progress beyond sales competence to sales mastery by:

1. Identifying one training priority for each salesperson

Start at the beginning of the sales process. Analyze your rep’s performance through the steps of the sales process until you find your first major skill gap. That’s your training priority. For example, don’t start with presentation skills if your rep isn’t generating any leads from cold calls; they’re never going to have the opportunity to give a presentation unless you address their cold calling performance.

2. Defining the development timeframe (and be patient)

Commit to the amount of time it’s going to take to improve your sales reps performance. Mastery doesn’t occur quickly. To continue the cold calling example, consider a ten-week development schedule.

3. Role-playing continuously

Set the scene for your rep—you will play the gatekeeper at a given business—and have them walk out of your office and then walk back in again to begin the call. Record their cold call using your smartphone. Repeat.

4. Evaluating their performance together

Solicit the sales rep’s feedback about their delivery on the cold call. Play back the video and ask questions about what they observed. If there’s a knowledge gap, address it. Then, do it again.

Coach and practice the specific sales skill with your reps until it becomes as natural as having a conversation with an old friend. With repetition and coaching, they’ll develop the skill (and confidence) to make calls and enjoy the process along the way.

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