If there’s one thing about sales, it’s that they’re never guaranteed. Another thing is that you could say they’re pretty important. Strong sales performance is highly sought after but hard to maintain. Consistency is something that high-achieving salespeople and sales teams have in common.
The question that so many businesses ask themselves is how does your sales team excel in all types of economic circumstances? Though there is never a guarantee, part of the answer lies in establishing a culture that facilitates peak performance, despite external pressures and ever-shifting financial landscapes. There are many things that you can do to help develop that culture, and, in turn, improve sales performance.
1. Foster the Mindset You Need for Your Team To Succeed
This mindset that you want to establish among your sales team is far from any kind of rabid, “hard-sell them across the board and who cares if they come back tomorrow” approach. Nor is it approaching sales with a dubious attitude about one’s abilities or the markets; it’s much more holistic.
The right mindset in a salesperson takes time to develop. One caveat is that it takes time and experience to become a consistently high-achieving salesperson. This includes victories and defeats. Remember the expression about spending 10,000 hours doing something before you can master it? It goes for selling, too.
Every sales team has varying levels of experience and abilities, and different personalities. Establishing the proper zeitgeist insists that the team meshes. This can happen when they learn together, play games together and mentor one another. In short, they need to work together. Here are some other ways to create a supportive sales team who works together for the good of the whole:
- Align goals and values
- Share client data among the team
- Encourage salespeople to discuss techniques
- Encourage salespeople to discuss their client relationships
2. Set Clear Expectations
Goals are important and one of the most salient reasons why is because they are measurable. Achievable sales goals must be in place. Even though every salesperson dreams about how their ambitions will set the benchmark for years to come, this is not quantifiable. Rather, clearly defined goals and a plan to reach them is a tried-and-true, effective way to meet a quota.
Managers should be working with salespeople on their individualized sales plans. This way, while your channel sales operations are happening, your own salespeople will benefit from this individualized guidance.
3. Establish Learning as a Priority
Continuous learning should be part of the culture and management should invest in professional development. There should be a training program that applies to all team members in which critical information is learned and reviewed. Examples of effective training programs might include understanding the essentials of the following:
- Competitive intelligence
- Product knowledge
- Opportunity management
- Professional communications
- Territory planning
4. Be Creative and Team-oriented
When it comes to solving problems, especially in sales, there are generally no quick, one-size-fits-all solutions. Sometimes it takes a creative approach to landing that big account and sometimes the approach that might work is in somebody else’s head. This goes back to fostering the mindset of your team.
When one person is dealing with an issue, there should be a system in place that puts them together with their colleagues or managers to better help to solve it. A benefit here is that by spending time working together to solve problems, your sales team is actually engaging in the most salient aspect of their jobs, which is solving their clients’ problems.
5. Celebrate Victories Together
Just as you want your team to help one another evaluate weaknesses, they should also celebrate one another’s victories. This could mean anything from bonuses to a fancy lunch but it certainly means delivering praise for a job well done.
Developing a sales team that excels in any given quarter is not a simple task. Creating the conditions that emphasize team bonding, high expectations, continued learning and strong sales strategies are ways to strengthen both the team itself and its members.