There is no quick fix when it comes to building a successful sales team; if there was, every sales leader would do it with ease. However today’s #SalesInsights blog post is going to identify the defining characteristics that you will see across every well-performing team, and when combined with hard work could put you on track to creating a very successful sales team
A shared vision
For a team to win, they must first understand what winning looks like and what is required to achieve it. Sharing the vision means ensuring the team have absolute clarity over their individual and team goals and direction, and how these align with the goals and direction of the wider organisation.
Putting a simple dashboard in front of the team can be a very effective tool here, giving them a measure everyday of how close they are to achieving their joint and individual goals in terms of both input and output. Keep things simple and you will see winning behaviours begin to emerge as the team have a clear focus and bench mark to reach.
Winning teams are not only crystal clear on their goals and direction, but crucially they have the freedom to act to achieve those goals. Dictating every step of the journey only serves to disengage a team, whereas giving them the power to make decisions and the confidence to take risks heightens motivation, engagement and accountability.
If you focus your attention on good, quality coaching – paying particular attention to those average performers with the potential to be great – you should then be able to step back in the knowledge they have the commitment and competence to deliver their role well and flourish as they engage themselves.
Trust & accountability
Empowering your people shows your team that you trust them, but trust flows both ways. Winning teams trust their leader; they understand that any issues they raise will be addressed, that commitments will be followed through on and that the leader shares their values.
This also goes hand in hand with accountability and recognition. A winning sales team hold themselves and each other to account. Rather than a culture of blame, accountability is about taking responsibility for your actions and their consequences, whether they be good or bad. Sales can often by purely focused on results or the output of the team, but in fact recognising and rewarding the effort and the input the individual has put in can have a significantly greater impact on your salespeople and their subsequent results.
A leader who ‘models’ the way
When an individual feels that all they are is a cog in the machine, they are unlikely to be engaged in the process. A winning team’s leader recognises their team as individuals, with families, friends and lives outside of work. They show concern and interest and they support their team.
What is more, as the sales leader you need to exhibit all the behaviours required of every member of that team. That is not to say you’re perfect, you take risks and sometimes make mistakes, but you must hold yourself to account when this happens. A winning team’s leader inspires their team by leading through example, so ensure you are constantly asking yourself; could I be doing better, focusing more attention on my team to bring out the best in them?
Constantly working on your own skills though reading and studying will also create a culture of continuous improvement, not only helping you to unlock your team’s highest potential, but giving them something to aspire to as well.
Engagement is fuelled by the desire to participate, to win, to be part of the team and by the level of enjoyment an individual experiences. Desire and enjoyment are personal wants, whether that be the desire for career advancement, for a financial bonus or the enjoyment of the ‘good feeling’ that accompanies success. Winning teams report high levels of engagement because they enjoy the journey; they are empowered, they have trust and accountability and because their personal goals are acknowledged and addressed.
Ensure you are running regular sales meetings that are engaging and have impact on your team to keep this positive mentality. Rather than running a “death by account review” type meeting where the team loose concentration and focus, invest time looking at strategies that will have an impact going forward and working on live opportunity reviews that will fire your team up and motivate them to aim that bit higher.
They are the team that everyone wants to join and no-one wants to leave
Successful sales teams are up there on a pedestal. Other teams look up to them and want to be part of their gang; to emulate both their success and their sense of enjoyment. Those who are in the team know what it means to be on a winning team and (career advancement aside), they want to stay.
If you have any further questions on the characteristics of a winning sales team, please get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org