The best sales teams don’t just slap together a power point five minutes before a call or hand out branded 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.
Just like any other department, sales teams need training and mentorship to succeed. This leadership should come from senior members in sales, as well as the rest of the company’s leadership. Without proper training, sales reps simply will not be able to reach or close as many potential customers as possible. If your sales team seems to be less competent than you’d like, look to your training programs to see if they need to be revamped.
2. They have support from other teams.
Sales teams don’t operate in a vacuum; they need support from other departments. For instance, marketing is responsible for creating informational brochures and branded merchandise for the sales team to hand out, while IT ensures that the sales team’s software works as it should. If the other departments aren’t providing the assistance the sales team needs, then your salespeople won’t be able to do their best work, so you need to take a holistic look about how the entire company is (or isn’t) working together.
3. They communicate regularly.
Speaking of not working in a vacuum, successful sales teams regularly communicate with each other as well as with other departments. They keep each other updated about the status of current and potential clients and stay in communication with both peers and superiors. The best sales people aren’t afraid to share tips and best practices and otherwise collaborate with each other; they understand that when one of them succeeds, the entire company succeeds.
4. They prepare ahead of time.
Good sales people, especially those early in their career, know that they can’t just wing it on a sales call. Instead, they are dedicated to preparing for meetings and educating themselves about the company they are selling for. This may involve working with the marketing team in order to review any promotional materials and key selling points that every potential customer should know.
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 target for the week or month and then immediately blow it off. 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 challenging yet still attainable instead of choosing metrics that they know they will never be able to meet.
6. They get to know customers.
Great sales teams know that they can’t follow the same script with every single customer. Instead, they get to know customers and understand their preferences and what makes them tick so they can best address their problems and win over their business. (And they also have a CRM system to help them keep track of all this 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 provide the personalization they are looking for.
7. They adapt quickly and show flexibility.
Every single salesperson will have to deal with curveballs throughout their careers, so they need to be comfortable if potential clients put them on the spot with unexpected questions or requests. A great sales team can think on their feet and come up with the right answer immediately, even if it’s just a quick “I’m not sure of that; I’ll have to ask my manager and get back to you.”
8. They manage their time well.
Sales teams always have a lot of demands on their time, from both within and outside the company. To be successful, they need to know how to manage their time in order to prioritize tasks and complete them efficiently. They also need to be skilled at delegating tasks to other teams so that they aren’t trying 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 company as a whole.
9. They don’t over-promise.
It’s tempting to tell a potential customer whatever they want to hear in order to get them to sign on the dotted line, even if that misrepresents your product or service’s capabilities. While this might get the contract finalized, it basically guarantees you a disgruntled or even angry customer — one who might tell all their peers to never use your company again. Instead, good sales reps focus on promising only what they know they can deliver on and make sure to represent the company’s abilities accurately.
10. They are constantly trying to improve.
The most successful sales teams don’t rest on their laurels. Instead, they stay focused on constantly improving both as individuals and as a team. They know that the key to remaining great at sales is to constantly work on their weaknesses and shore up their strengths so they will remain competitive in the industry. Complacent sales teams may be turning in great results now, but that won’t continue to be the case if they won’t work to improve.
Perform with Success
Creating a successful sales team involves so much more work than just handing them a sales desk and a bunch of promotional gifts. However, all that work will pay off in the form of a more positive team experience and better sales results in the long run. Instill these 10 essential qualities in your sales team, and you will see a difference in their performance!