Building a High Performing Sales Team – Where to Start

High Performing Sales Team shoes are lined up against a red line entitled "Start Here"

Is Building a High Performing Sales Team Part of Your Sales Strategy?
In some ways it is easier to build a high performing sales team from the start than to inherit one with all its ingrown quirks and idiosyncrasies. That way you don’t have to adjust to anyone else’s idea of what it takes to succeed. You get the chance to make your own success (and make your own mistakes).

Five Tips for Building a High Performing Sales Team
At whatever point you have joined the process—creating a high performance sales team out of the ether or fine-tuning an existing one—here are some tips on how to fashion the high performing team of your dreams.

1. Get Smart
Use your network of contacts and any other resources at your disposal. This means asking for help from people you trust who have the experience you need. Listen and learn. You can save yourself a whole boatload of trouble by avoiding the mistakes they have made and by taking advantage of what they learned as a result.

And do your homework by researching the experts in build high a performing sales team and what you need for success.

2. Get the Right Sales Talent
To hire well is hard. Even the best interviewers struggle to consistently identify and hire “A” sales players. The key is to follow a fair and proven process for uncovering the truth behind the resume and the candidate’s attempts to impress. A behavior-based interviewing training program would be well worth the investment.

You will learn how to measure a candidate’s core selling competencies and how to probe for attitude and sales cultural fit, not just consultative selling skills and experience. In general, you want new sales reps who are coachable, share your values, and are committed to your customers’ success.

And even as you work to bring aboard top sales talent, don’t shy away from saying good-bye to someone who does not measure up. As soon as you realize you have made a mistake in hiring—let them go.

3. Get Set to Succeed
Make sure you give your sales team the sales tools they need to succeed. This will involve technology that will make their job easier and save valuable customer-facing time. It may also require targeted business sales training to see that everyone is  using the same sales strategy, methodology and processes.

Use a variety of instructional design techniques such as pre-work, scenarios, simulations, practice, roleplaying, videotaping, coaching and job-aids to help you all pull in the same direction.

4. Get Clear Leading and Lagging Success Metrics in Place
Set clear and specific expectations for sales performance. This could include achievable revenue targets that allow for a ramp-up period, number of calls per week, number of customer meetings per month, etc. Then hold each team member accountable for hitting those numbers.

5. Get Communicating
Talk with your sales team individually and as a group. Learn what makes them tick and what they need to stay motivated. Listen for concerns and deal with them right away.

Establish a high performance sales environment where questions are welcome and ideas for improvement are openly discussed. A sales team that is willing to learn can continuously improve.

To learn more about building a high performing sales team, Download Our Free Sales Toolkit Now.

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