The Foundation of a Sales Team That Wins!
The market is as competitive as it has ever been, and the demand for our Sales Teams to consistently win is greater than ever. As leaders, one of the most important things you should consistently have a pulse on is whether or not your team’s foundation is strong enough for your team to grow and scale.
Here’s a checklist as a reminder to the foundation of a Sales Team that wins:
Hire To Win
If you can’t attract and hire A Players then you don’t stand a chance to survive out there. Just as great athletes want to play for great coaches and programs, top sales people want to work for great managers and exceptional companies. Now, this does not mean you have to have a world recognized brand or be the largest company in your industry. It’s actually just the opposite. The best players care more about winning than they do the company on their business card. They care more about the team, culture, and environment that they are a part of than the floor to ceiling windows in the downtown high-rise. Most importantly, they care more about how they can grow and progress within the organization than a fancy base salary and benefit package. Settling in this category is never an option if you stand a chance to compete. Attract them, hire them, and never let them go. “What about the B and C Players?” you may ask. Leave them alone, and let the B and C companies hire them.
Set Crystal Clear Expectations
The fastest way to frustrate and demotivate great Sales People (aside from surrounding them with B Players) is to hold them accountable to something without setting crystal clear expectations of what you want out of them. This is one of the biggest mistakes I find in Sales Teams I work with. Most of the time, the problem is that the company or leadership team has not developed a “formula of sales metrics/activities” for their sales team to live by, be held accountable to, and see guaranteed success from. Sales Teams with great foundations have a proven sales formula that works and they set crystal clear expectations with every player for what they are signing up for before they even join the team. These expectations need to be clear, measurable, and hard — great Sales People want to know if they are winning or not and they want to be a part of something special. Don’t ever lower the bar with what you expect out of great people.
Be World Class in Your Teaching and Training
Whether you like it or not, the world is changing around us. The Millennial Generation is now the largest generation on our sales teams. While this may scare some of you, this actually pumps me up. This group of young people, if managed properly in the right system, are capable of things you can’t even imagine. However, this new generation of Sales People is motivated a bit differently. What most people don’t know is that TRAINING is now the number one motivator in the mind of Millennials as they analyze teams they want to be a part of. Use the best college athletic programs as an example. Yes, top athletes want to go play for a school that has a history of winning and a team that is surrounded by great players. But, the Nick Sabans of the world attract great people because players know that when they play for Nick Saban they will be taught and trained a system that will guarantee them to be elite in their field. Sales Teams with sound foundations not only find great people and teach them crystal clear expectations, they also make sure they have a world class training program to teach them to be the best.
Create a System of Follow Up and Accountability
The corner of Shortcut Ave and Easy Street is the most popular hangout in the city for Sales People. This fact has nothing to do with whether or not someone is an A Player. This is because Sales People are typically impatient and at the end of the day they are still 100% human. Regardless how Superman you think someone is, the average person left to wander on his/her own will usually fall short in performing up to their true potential. Don’t believe me? Ever done a workout class or trained with a trainer and left the gym feeling like you could die because you pushed yourself so much? When is the last time you left the gym feeling that way after a workout you did all on your own? People need help to push themselves to their true potential in every area of life. The best Sales Teams have a system of follow up and accountability that their Sales People are held to. For starters, if you are not meeting with each individual Sales Person weekly and the Team as a whole (at least bi-weekly) than this system of accountability I’m talking about has not even begun to exist . You can hire the best people, set the best expectations, and have a world class training program all you want. If you are not holding people accountable to staying on the straight and narrow you are missing out on the most important tool that can multiply your sales by 10x or more.
The foundation of a Sales Team that wins, although difficult, is actually quite simple. But, leading a successful Sales Team is hectic, sometimes reactive, and things get off track. Just as sales people need crystal clear expectations, training, and a system of accountability so should our Sales Leadership and Organizations. The best athletic teams bring in the best strength training coaches to make sure they have a system in place for their players to succeed. Every Sales Team should do the same by having someone look under the hood to make sure they are set up to dominate their marketplace. Winning is too important not to.
Written by Josh Mastel — Founder, CEO of UpRoar Partners
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