Building a sales team for long term success

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Create a collaborative sales culture

Over the last few years, I have seen a decline in the ‘hero’ salesperson archetype. This is changing the makeup of every sales team I work with. This welcome change is thanks to the volume of information available to buyers today. This change came from increased visibility across teams, thanks to continuously evolving sales and marketing technology. Instead, I am now seeing the emergence of high performing sales teams made up of highly collaborative members.

This collaborative sales team can drive the future of complex sales performance. It is about each individual using their skills and talents to achieve a common objective. Dependent on the businesses and territories you serve, you should structure collaborative sales teams according to their skillsets. These skill sets blend across all sales functions. For example, SDRs provide leads to account executives; account executives win deals and hand them over to Customer Success.

Set the right goals for your sales team

Your collaborative sales team’s success depends on many moving parts working together for the common good. This means blending skills, which presents challenges. To overcome these challenges, each salesperson should have a clear, attainable target. When you combine the targets of the sales team, the total should exceed your overall business targets.

To set the right targets, it is key that you clearly define the roles of each salesperson. They need to clearly understand what their targets are and how that affects the sales department. In setting these goals, work from the bottom up. Work with your sales team to define what they think is achievable and set that figure as their target. It is also advisable to put a reasonable stretch target on top of what they think is achievable.

Enable your sales team with tools and technology

Thriving in the complex B2B sales environment requires the right tools for your sales team. There are many sales tools to choose from, and I have summarised the key types of technology required below:

  • Lead handling and prospecting: Leads are the start of any healthy sales pipeline. Boost your sales team with the right tools to find, categorise and manage your optimal leads.
  • CRM: Your CRM is the core of your sales tools. It needs to enable your current sales process so that you can track all deals, contacts, and activities.
  • Sales and marketing intelligence: Having the data inside your CRM is important, but do not let it die there. You can leverage tools that will help you identify key insights such as probability, time frame and closing cues.
  • Analytics and reporting: These tools help you gain vital insights into the performance of your team. Simply put, they can help you improve decision making.
  • Process and training: Ensure you know what your salespeople are up to when engaging your clients. Give them on-the-job skills with training and process tools.
  • Automation and integration: Having the right tools is important. Now that you have them, you can get them to speak to each other through automation and integration.

Train your team thoroughly

Even with the right salespeople and tools, your team will require ongoing training. There are still many legacy challenges that impact the effectiveness of training. Many training methods follow a one-size-fits-all approach. To get the most from training, you need to align it with your sales team’s requirements.

Your training programs should ensure your prospects are getting the best from your services. This entails a detailed and clearly defined sales process, ensuring your salespeople follow sequential steps. You should load this process into your CRM for performance tracking and train your sales team on the processes. You can couple this training with ongoing market and product training to ensure maximum effectiveness.

Next steps to build your sales team

Start by assessing a few things side-by-side: the levels of talent and commitment in your sales team; their individual input; and their sales results. Think about where your revenue will come from in 18 months’ time. Will it come from the same top performer you depend on today?

Consider what other sales capabilities the team needs to build as a whole for the business to get to its goals. And… don’t forget to take a look in the mirror. What do you as an exec, owner, or sales leader need to change?

Resonate act as external advisors and consultants to Australian leaders building their sales function. Our sales solutions incorporate strategic advisory, and ongoing consulting that turns a plan into execution and revenue.

RK is the CEO & Co-Founder of Resonate.

RK is Resonate’s chief strategist, thought leader, and IT industry veteran. Our clients depend on RK to advise on their business strategy, channel strategy, and sales strategy. 

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