4 Essentials for a High Performing Sales Team

graph showing a High Performing Sales Team

High Performing Sales Team
How would you describe the performance of your sales team?  Not firing on all cylinders?  Regularly having excuses for missing quotas?  Missing the strategic window of opportunity?

Building a high performing sales team – one that consistently achieves or beats sales targets (on-field performance) while getting along with and contributing to the team and their target customers (off-field performance) – is a critical factor for organizations that seek to create and sustain high levels of profitable growth.

What Does It Take to be a High Performing Sales Team?
Of course, you first need a competitive solution to sell and a team with the baseline sales skills to connect with your target buyers.  These however are just the ticket to play the game.  There is a huge difference between the success of a single salesperson or product and the success of an entire sales force over time.

4 Essentials for a High Performing Sales Team
To create a truly high performing sales team, focus on bringing rigor and excellence to the following four essentials:

1. Clear and Compelling Go-to-Market Sales Strategy
Too many sales teams try to be all things to all people or rely upon their product to do the work for them. While it is true that rare products can win on their own (the new iPhone for example), our organizational alignment research found that strategic sales clarity accounts for 31% of the difference between high and low performing sales teams.  High performing sales teams ruthlessly define and prioritize their target markets, ideal customers, value proposition, and the critical big bets for profitable growth.

2. A Healthy, Accountable and Aligned Sales Culture
Sales culture accounts for 40% of the difference between high and low performing sales teams. Once your sales strategy is clear, you must make sure that your sales culture helps and does not hinder your growth plans.  While many companies advocate a sales driven culture, we are continually surprised to uncover how difficult it is to get work done in a way that truly puts the customer first by making it easy to close deals, get customer support, and align with the way the customer wants to buy and use what you have to offer.

You will know you truly have a healthy sales driven culture when your sales team is engaged and when everyone in the company is aligned around making your customers and your customers’ customers successful.  This takes metrics, rewards, processes and systems that support high levels of customer intimacy with a strong externally oriented focus.

3. The Right Sales Talent that Fits
Once your sales strategy and culture are clear and aligned, it is time to create a talent management plan to attract, develop, engage and retain top sales talent to meet your targets. That means having a clear picture of your current capabilities vis-à-vis where you are headed.  Then you can determine how to best fill your sales talent, skill, and process gaps to succeed.

4. Strong Sales Execution
Sales strategies and plans are not worth much if they are not implemented.  Set sales goals in a way that motivates the team to perform the right sales activities, monitor progress, and adjust along the way. It’s all about clarity, alignment, and accountability.

The Bottom Line
A high performing sales team depends the alignment of sales strategy, culture, and talent.  Can you say that your sales strategy is clear, believable, and implementable?  Is your culture helping or hindering sales growth?   Have you provided the systems and processes to enable sales success?

To learn more about building a high performing sales team, download  Sales Culture Lessons – What is the Right Amount of Sales Pressure for Your Sales Team?

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