As in our previous article ‘If your sales team can’t develop, how can your business grow?’ – the most effective way of ensuring your business succeeds is to have a motivated staff.
If your sales team is not motivated and empowered to produce results, then it’s simple, they won’t. But finding a method to develop a culture which encourages and rewards the best performance can be a struggle to find the balance between healthy competition and a cutthroat, negative atmosphere.
All is not lost though. There are common characteristics shared by companies which manage to have a high sales culture but still have motivated and committed staff working with, not against, each other.
Here’s the top 6 things high performing teams have in common:
Data driven mindset
All the best teams rely on hard data, not theories or gut feelings, to best optimise their performance and grow revenue. Monitoring metrics should only be the start, don’t stop there. It is critical the sales team derives actionable insights from this data e.g. an analysis of the sales funnel historical conversion rates by stage may reveal a team-wide weakness in qualifying opportunities at the top of the funnel.
Looking for specific areas of improvement as revealed by data analytics will enable senior team members to coach their team much more effectively.
Corporate transparency is another key component of a successful and high performing team. They are proud of their achievements and happy to display their performance metrics to all departments across the company.
Even when things aren’t performing at top level, the sales reps and management teams shouldn’t be blinkered by “happy ears” where they only want to listen to the successes. Improving your team’s transparency by using a sales leader board which displays each rep’s monthly bookings can help not only foster a friendly, healthy competitive attitude but also helps your underperforming reps by highlighting where they might be having problems which can be dealt with.
Coaching for continual improvement
All companies with the best sales cultures use success to motivate not to rest on their laurels. One good quarter is used as a springboard to make the next one even better. One of the key components to developing this mind-set is regular sales coaching.
Coaching a sales team to success requires constant communication with the reps, including regularly scheduled meetings as well as one-to-one individual sessions. In these meetings sales performance metrics are used to identify specific areas where improvement can be made either across the whole team or by an individual rep. This information should then be used to shore up the weak areas and consistently increase booking numbers.
Be agile and flexible
Don’t be afraid of change. Just because “we’ve always done it that way” works, it shouldn’t mean never exploring other ways and means of achieving your team’s goals. The most effective sales managers embrace change and remain flexible at all times. Understanding the value of measuring everything and acting on the data if it says the sales process needs to change, is key to maintaining success.
Encourage healthy competition
Fight complacency from successful sales reps by encouraging a friendly and healthy level of competition. You need to balance this carefully as you want your sales force to work as a team, encouraging each other not cutting business contracts from under each other’s noses.
As the month progresses, sales reps will be competing for the top five spots but also make sure to reward and acknowledge improvement from those who don’t quite make it onto the leader board. Nothing is worse for a sales rep who has brought in more business, but perhaps not as much as someone else, to have their efforts overlooked.
A common goal
The most critical and important aspect of any successful sales team is having a common goal. Develop a shared vision for the company, make sure your team is invested in it so that each individual member knows what they’re trying to accomplish as part of a bigger picture.
If they’re just doing it for the bonuses, to hit targets or to marginally improve the numbers then they’re not working their best for the company but only for themselves. Having employees who are as passionate about seeing the company thrive as they are their own performances will ultimately bring in greater rewards both financially and in terms of an energised workforce.
Here at Sales Improvement Services we help to develop and encourage a culture of coaching within businesses which will, ultimately, lead to passionate and invested staff.
The most powerful tool you have at your disposal isn’t what you might use to sell things or even the things you’re selling – but the people who work for you.