Technology has indeed made an otherwise tough sales job a bit easier. However, sales being an inherently people-centric profession, rejection, quotas, and competition are some of the challenges that a sales executive faces day in and day out. These and many other challenges make it difficult to create a winning sales team that is characterized by high morale and a strong sense of mission.
A company can address this challenge effectively by investing a considerable amount of time and effort into building a successful sales team. A stellar sales team can become instrumental in making the business a revenue engine that will fuel long-term growth. While there may be myriads of ways to create such a dream sales team, there are some fundamental ways to create one.
Let’s explore these ways to create a winning sales team.
● Establish a Sales Culture of Engagement
It is never enough that your sales executives love what they do. While personal ambitions are good, it requires a mindset of cultural engagement for a business to grow and sustain itself. Your sales leaders need to engage your teams in a way that each member feels a sense of belonging and is motivated enough to drive the business, not like an employee, but like an owner.
Anna Taromchi, Director of Sales at PartnerStack, says “Building a successful, high-growth sales team starts with a culture that supports empathy, curiosity, and the persistence to grow.”
● Hire Those That Fit Your Sales Culture
It never works when you hire those whom you need to change to be an ideal culture fit. Hence, having established a certain sales culture in your company, it is better to hire those who are a natural culture fit. While every organization may have a different set of cultural values, the hiring process must be focused on the character traits that are essential for your overall mission and vision.
● Set Clear Goals and Expectations
Having hired the right culture fit, sales leaders need to spend time setting clear goals and expectations for the team. It is equally important to communicate these goals and expectations so that sales executives remain focused and motivated.
Providing the team with references of what ideal work looks like and taking the approach of an activity-based sales plan help sales executives remain engaged and encouraged to achieve the desired goals. For example, instead of asking a sales executive to make 10 sales, it is better to ask him to conduct 30 product demos with an expected conversion rate. These kinds of activity-based sales goals challenge them adequately, boost their confidence, and help keep their performance on track.
● Invest Generously in Resources that Sales Executives Need to Succeed
Sales leaders need to provide the sales executives with enough resources to achieve the desired goals. In the words of Alex Olley, co-Founder and CRO of Reachdesk: “Invest in them [sales reps]. Give them the right tools to succeed across multiple channels (email, phone, social, gifting, chat, video, data, etc.). Coach and develop them.”
When your sales executive has been given targets on outbound calls, it is important to train them to make those calls effectively. Every sales executive needs to have a comfortable and encouraging space that motivates them to achieve the desired targets successfully.
● Monitor Vital Sales Metrics
B2B sales cycle is often long and tedious. There are chances that unqualified prospects block the sales pipeline and disrupt the sales plan. Setting up vital sales metrics and monitoring them consistently makes you clear on what the sales team needs to do to close the deals successfully. It is better to keep these metrics simple, measurable, and visible so that all the stakeholders remain on the same page and take accountability for those metrics.
● Give the Teams Consistent and Genuine Feedback
Building a winning sales team involves a lot more than just tangible sales. Sales leaders must take some time out and sit with sales executives to discuss what is working for them and what isn’t. Even if a sales executive might have closed an important deal, giving him feedback on his strengths and weaknesses encourages him to focus on his strengths and work on his weaknesses. It is also one of the ways to make him feel seen and valued.
● Encourage Personal Learning and Development
Sales leaders need to make sales executives think about their personal learning and development goals that would help them achieve their ambitions. Instead of dictating them, leaders should encourage them to decide their own paths. This autonomy steps their trust quotient up a notch and motivates them to remain aligned with the larger business mission while pursuing their personal ambitions.
● Make Data-centric Decisions to Resolve Issues
Sales leaders need to leverage data over gut feelings to make important decisions about the overall team performance. Instead of assuming things, leaders need to assess engagement data to resolve a specific issue that has been raised by people at multiple levels of performance.
● Train the Team to Develop a Customer-centric Mindset
While profit is at the center of creating a winning sales team, it is equally important that this team understands the importance of customer gratification and facilitating a better customer experience. Sales leaders need to encourage the sales executives to develop a mindset that puts the customer first.
When you find sales executives who love their jobs, appreciate inspiration, and growth, nurturing them with the right type of resources and attitude goes a long way in creating a winning sales team that not only helps you make a profit but also build a business legacy.