Building a Winning Sales Team — Where to Start

Building a Winning Sales Team — Where to Start
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Is Building a Winning Sales Team Part of Your Sales Strategy?

In some ways it is easier for sales managers to build a high performing sales team from scratch than to inherit one with all its ingrown quirks and idiosyncrasies. That way you get the chance to make your own success and make your own mistakes.  But that is rarely the case.

Five Tips for Building a Winning Sales Team
At whatever point you have joined the process — creating a high performance sales team from scratch or fine-tuning an existing one — here are some high performance sales tips on how to fashion the high performing sales team to beat the competition.

  1. Get Smart
    Use your network of contacts and any other resources at your disposal to learn. This means asking for help from people who you trust that have the experience you need. Listen and learn.You can save yourself a lot of trouble by avoiding the sales mistakes they have made and by taking advantage of what they learned as a result.  Ask experts how they have created high performing sales teams and what you need for your unique situation.
  2. Get the Right Sales Talent
    Assessing top sales talent is not easy and hiring top sales talent is fraught with bias.  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 and sell themselves.A behavior-based interviewing training program is 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 solution selling sales reps who are coachable, share your values, and are committed to your customers’ success.  And even as you work to onboard 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 — compassionately and fairly let them go.

  3. Set The Stage for Success
    Make sure you give your sales team the sales tools they need to succeed. This will involve sales 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, sales scenarios and sales simulations, practice, role playing, videotaping, coaching, and job-aids to help you all pull in the same direction.
  4. Get Clear Leading and Lagging Sales 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.

The Bottom Line
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 winning performing sales team from the beginning, download our Sales Leadership Toolkit Now

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