The best sales teams don’t just create a power point five minutes before a call or distribute brand sunglasses at a trade show and call it a day. Instead, they exhibit key characteristics of success, including collaborative communication and constant improvement. Here are the 10 essential qualities of a successful sales team:
- They get the training and mentorship they need.
Like any other department, sales teams need training and mentoring to be successful. This leadership should come from senior members of sales, as well as the rest of the company’s management. Without proper training, sales reps simply won’t be able to reach or close as many potential customers as possible. If your sales team seems less competent than you’d like, check your training programs to see if they need to be revamped.
2. They have support from other teams.
Sales teams do not operate in a vacuum; they need support from other departments. For example, marketing is responsible for creating information brochures and branded merchandise to distribute to the sales team, while IT ensures that the sales team’s software is working as it should. If other departments aren’t providing the support the sales team needs, your salespeople won’t be able to do their best work, so you need to take a holistic look at how the whole business works (or does not work) together.
3. They communicate regularly.
Speaking of not working in silos, successful sales teams communicate regularly with each other as well as with other departments. They keep each other informed of the status of current and potential customers and stay in communication with their peers and superiors. Top sellers aren’t afraid to share tips and best practices and collaborate with each other; they understand that when one of them succeeds, the whole company succeeds.
4. They prepare in advance.
Good salespeople, especially those early in their careers, know they can’t just make a sales call. Instead, they focus on preparing for meetings and learning about the company they’re selling for. This may involve working with the marketing team to review any promotional materials and key selling points that every potential customer should be aware of.
5. They have goals and hold themselves accountable.
Good sales teams have goals and they also hold themselves accountable to those goals. They don’t just set a goal for the week or month and then immediately cancel it. They constantly strive to hit their metrics and figure out what went wrong when they don’t. They also know how to set realistic goals that are difficult but still achievable instead of choosing metrics they know they can never achieve.
6. They get to know the customers.
Great sales teams know they can’t follow the same script with every customer. Instead, they get to know customers and understand their preferences and what motivates them so they can better solve their problems and win their business. (And they also have a CRM system to help them track of all that customer information, so they always have the data they need at their fingertips.) Customers are no longer satisfied with generic service, and great sales teams will deliver the personalization they are looking for .
7. They adapt quickly and show flexibility.
Every salesperson will have to deal with curve balls throughout their career, so they need to be comfortable if potential customers ask them unexpected questions or requests. A great sales team can think quickly and come up with the right answer immediately, even if it’s just a quick “I’m not sure about this; I’ll have to ask my manager and get back to you.
8. They manage their time well.
Sales teams are always stretched in terms of their time, both inside and outside the company. To be successful, they must know how to manage their time in order to prioritize tasks and accomplish them efficiently. They also need to know how to delegate tasks to other teams so they don’t try to do everything on their own. This allows them to reach more potential customers in less time and benefits both the sales department and the business as a whole.
9. They don’t overpromise.
It’s tempting to tell a potential customer what they want to hear in order to get them to sign on the dotted line, even if it misrepresents the capabilities of your product or service. While this may finalize the deal, it essentially guarantees you a disgruntled or even angry customer – a customer who could tell all of their peers to never use your business again. Instead, good salespeople focus on promising what they know they can deliver and making sure they accurately represent the capabilities of the business.
10. They are constantly trying to improve.
The most successful sales teams don’t rest on their laurels. Instead, they remain focused on constant improvement both as individuals and as a team. They know that the key to staying great at sales is to constantly work on their weaknesses and build on their strengths in order to stay competitive in the industry. Compliant sales teams can get great results now, but that won’t continue to be the case if they don’t work to improve.
Building a successful sales team involves a lot more work than just handing them a sales desk and a bunch of promotional gifts. However, all of this work will pay off in the form of a more positive team experience and better long-term sales results. Instill these 10 essential qualities in your sales team, and you will see a difference in their performance!