How to Build a Sales Team for High-Performance Sales (Pt 2)
Through diversity, company culture, and an "ideas first" approach, here's how to build a high-performing sales team.
If you missed Pt 1, you can read How to Build a Sales Team for High-Performance Sales (Pt 1) here.
Every salesperson has a skill that they are great at; it could be one is best at building rapport, and another is great at prospecting and closing.
When sales team building, it’s best to hire in threes. Hiring this way allows you to engage slightly different skill sets to see which will perform the best, or maybe they perform equally but have unique attributes that enhance the team.
Keeping this diversity in mind will ensure that your team has a broad skill-set and draws from a larger pool of ideas, creating a much more resilient sales team.
Create a Winning Culture
Once you've built your sales team, your job is to empower them. Help them be the best version of themselves while working for you. Consider it a privilege to be trusted with helping your team achieve their goals and grow while at your company. Your mantra should be, “How can I help you succeed?”
To create a winning culture, you need a few key ingredients, and once you do, you will be amazed at how you ever worked another way.
Key Ingredient #1 – Autonomy and Mastery
Everyone wants to feel like they are being managed with dignity and respect. Daniel Pink, an award-winning author on motivation, writes extensively about “carrot and stick” vs. “autonomy and mastery” management styles.
The most prevalent method is carrot and stick. Essentially, the “carrot” is a monetary reward for good behavior. The “stick” is screaming about not hitting quotas, making threats, chest-beating, and using fear and intimidation to get the job done. While this method was once viable, it doesn’t work anymore.
If you want a killer work culture, you need to give your people the ability to have autonomy and mastery. Train your salespeople well but provide them with some room to experiment, improve a process and suggest how things might work better. You will be surprised how little effort it takes to allow your salespeople to have some room to work without you micromanaging them. If you followed Pt1 and hired the right person, a problem solver, not a problem creator, this should be easy to implement.
Key Ingredient #2 - Feedback and Check-Ins
Positive reinforcement is the easiest way to get your sales team headed in the right direction. Have an end-of-week meeting where you check-in and ask for feedback. Discuss goals, and achievements and give the team an opportunity to give shout-outs. A shout-out is a personal acknowledgment for doing something above the regular call of duty. The end-of-week meeting gives not only you a chance to say thank you, but allows others to jump in on the positive reinforcement. It’s proven that positive reinforcement and a manager’s ability to say “thank you” result in high retention and employee satisfaction.
Key Ingredient #3 – Best Ideas Win
Companies often claim that they want new and fresh ideas from their employees, but what they say and do, don’t always align. Encourage employees to bring forth new ideas and give them an environment where they feel safe in doing so. What happens if an employee has an idea that competes with an established process? Openly discuss and evaluate, and if it has merit, test it.
Last week, I discovered that a new salesperson was working outside of our standard sales cadence. The employee had only been on the job for a couple of weeks and was already breaking protocol.
A threatened manager or boss might say to themselves, "who does this guy think he is?!" That would be the wrong move for a “Best Ideas Win” culture.
Our salesperson was told that we should constantly be pushing for the best sales cadence. He was asked to document his process, and submit it for review, and it would be tested against the current one; if it works, great, we’ll incorporate it into our process. If it doesn’t, see what we can learn from the test and return to our established process.
We've been able to transform our company through these ideas and hiring practices and I hope they can do the same for you and your team.
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