Photo by Aman Upadhyay on Unsplash
It’s no big surprise that the core of any sales business relies on the strength of its sales team. Research shows that a heightened focus on teams instead of leaders is key towards heightened business performance. According to a 2018 report from Global Human Capital Trends, 88% of organizations are reorganizing into networked team structures. These sales teams need to be coordinated through talent mobility, information systems, and culture.
Whether your business is a budding start-up or a flourishing corporation, it’s vital that you understand how to assemble a perfect team.
1. Understanding Your Employees
Knowing how your team ticks helps determine if they have the necessary qualities your company needs. A deeper understanding of their individual personalities allows you to match team members together cohesively, avoiding any potential conflicts. Connecting with employees on a personal level shows that you care about their well-being. Investing time and effort to know your team will most definitely pay dividends in your quest to identify sales talent.
Once you understand what each employee wants out of their career, you’ll be able to decide whether they’re a good fit for your team. This will also help set a new mould for future recruitment.
2. Have a Detailed Hiring Process
Each hire you make has the potential to impact your business forever. As such, an excellent hiring process is absolutely necessary. While quality trumps quantity, you should still ensure that your recruiting team has a large database of suitable candidates to assess.
Since many applicants will come off as aces on paper, you need to gauge the coachability and flexibility of each candidate. Aside from past sales experience, good team members should be humble and open-minded enough to go through the learning curve. Hard-headed individuals who don’t take well to coaching can be problematic, especially when they believe their past experience is enough.
The right candidate should naturally demonstrate entrepreneurial flair, with a willingness to learn anything and everything. A successful sales team requires candidates with the initiative to face challenges head-on.
3. Know Who to Fire, and Fire Fast
There’s no guarantee that every hire you make will be successful. Time is money; as a leader, you have to know when and where to draw the line.
Firing fast ensures you don’t suffer significant losses before you decide a candidate is a wrong fit. Sometimes there are instances where a candidate will seem great on paper, but fail to perform once you hire them. Unfortunately, these are the hires that have to be let go.
4. Motivate, Train and Promote Autonomy
Building a successful sales team doesn’t end with recruitment - once the team is onboard, you need to come up with an employee development plan. This helps the team develops a more profound sense of ownership and responsibility.
Further in-house training should be part of this plan, ensuring their performance is constantly developing. You should also grant them autonomy to own their roles with little to no interference from you.
Consider implementing gamification to supplement your growing sales team. Gamification taps into your team’s natural competitive instinct, subsequently increasing motivation and performance. However, don’t lose sight of its underlying message: collaboration, rather than competition.
Communication and discipline are key tools to manage your sales team. Effective two-way communication provides assurance and focus for the entire team, quashing any hints of doubt or ambiguity. Additionally, regular communication allows you to quickly intercept and solve issues as soon as they arise.
Daily huddles are an excellent way for the entire team to take a breather and refocus before the work day begins. Sales challenges and goals can even be set during the huddle.
6. Lead by Example
Last but not least, you need to lead by example. Your contribution as a leader is vital to the total success of the team. You can promote communication skills, dependability, and more simply by being a role model. Be the change you want to see in your team.
When creating a new sales team or hiring new members for an existing team, remember that your employees are more than just robots. Ensure their personalities won’t clash and provide adequate grounds for them to flourish and grow. Remember - the best sales teams go through thick and thin together. And sometimes, that’s really all it takes.