A recent survey showed low productivity/performance is the #1 challenge for sales managers. At NuGrowth Solutions, we focus on finding what’s slowing these teams down. The blockades we see boil down to four key factors: team diversity, culture, training/coaching, and communication. Let’s break down these four factors for sales team success:
#1: Team Diversity
Here we look at the strengths, working styles, skill sets, and other factors that make up a sales team. There’s no one ideal sales team member type; no one can tackle all aspects of a solid sales strategy. You need individuals who excel in business development, others in enterprise sales, and still others in service and growing current accounts. However, there are key strengths to look for when building your team:
- Good listener: People who ask the right questions, hitting at the heart of discovery. Personable, relatable, and charismatic.
- Empathetic: Able to show genuine interest in and concerns for a prospect or client’s needs.
- Competitiveness: Driven by accomplishing a goal, chasing a win, and beating their own best. This competitive spirit needs to be driven by more than money, but by a hunger to improve at all times.
- Tenacity: Someone who isn’t afraid to make the call, knock on the door, or get on the stage. Needs to be excited to take a risk that could land a big reward and have the confidence and emotional intelligence to understand the root of the “no” and turn it into a “yes.”
- Resiliency: Needs to be able to bounce back from a setback and learn from it. Not easily discouraged and doesn’t take rejection personally.
- Passion: A real commitment to what they’re selling. They need to be able to believe your product or service is the solution to a client’s problems and convey that to prospects.
- Integrity and honesty: Your team members need to establish trust not only with prospects but with each other.
- Creativity and flexibility: Be able to see a prospect’s problems and target the real solutions, even if they don’t know them yet. And the flexibility to know deals can flip overnight and the road to success is paved with unplanned opportunities.
To succeed, your team needs to work in an environment that breeds success. That means creating a culture that both supports and motivates. Acknowledge accomplishments while feeding on the competitive nature of sales. You can do this in formal and informal ways.
Here at NuGrowth, we host a Monthly Awards luncheon to celebrate the prior month’s accomplishments. It’s a great opportunity to recognize milestones in an account while giving the team opportunities to learn about the initiatives in other areas of the business. This provides transparency and builds trust, bringing the entire organization together.
Foster healthy rivalry between teams to help everyone sharpen their competitive edge while working together for a common goal. At NuGrowth, we enjoy building a company community dedicated to serving local charities. Activities like our annual March Madness competition hit at that competitive spirit, but in the end, entry fee funds go to support a local charity.
These small additions go a long way in creating an environment where everyone feels connected in achieving a common goal.
Once you have a diverse team with traits you can’t teach, focus on the skills you can teach. No matter their level of experience, it’s crucial for each member of your team to go through training to educate on culture and processes in your organization. Training allows you to give your team a common vocabulary and similar expectations, easing transition and making communication easier.
Beyond training, new team members should also receive consistent coaching. Whether in a group or individual environment, everyone will, at some point, need help learning a lesson or improving a skill. Having a go-to person or group makes it that much easier for your team to reach farther.
Training and coaching also provide leadership opportunities within the team as a salesperson grows within their role. After learning the ropes and getting a year of experience under their belt, the trainee becomes the trainer. This cycle of experience training brings teams closer and helps them grow by offering these chances to lead the next generation.
Structured check-ins are an essential part of building a successful team. As part of your coaching, team members should meet with their coach and team regularly for standing feedback sessions. Beyond these structured sessions, coaches should always be open to questions. An open door and receptivity to stop-ins can go a long way here.
Beyond fostering open communication, you should also foster honest communication. Honesty and trust are essential pieces for a successful team. Show your team it’s important to be honest in both small and large things, like being forthcoming about whether or not they’re able to take on an account or if they need retraining in a part of your sales process. This kind of honest communication helps your team feel comfortable and function at their highest capacity.
Keep in mind communication is so much more than talking. Real communication is connected to trust and respect, both of which stem from your team’s culture. Once you have respect and trust established, your team will be able to hear and understand each other better, making real improvements as a result of feedback.
Looking to Join a Winning Team?
We know what it takes to make a winning team because that’s what we are here at NuGrowth Solutions. With $95 million in ACV pipeline revenue and $43 million in ACV closed revenue reported for our clients this past year, we know what it takes to build, grow, and scale a team to success now and for years to come.
Our focus on people and culture are what make NuGrowth stand out. We build lifelong skills through our NuGrowth University training and sales coach mentorship matching and foster integral team connections with events like Food Truck Fridays and our Monthly Awards Luncheon. We’re always looking for ways to help each team member be healthier, happier, and more successful than the day before.
Can you see yourself on the NuGrowth team? Find out more about our opportunities at https://nugrowth.com/careers/.
Author: Sarah Deak
Sarah is a veteran copywriter and content strategist with NuGrowth Solutions. She likes to look for the unexpected angle and uses her background in education, business development, and marketing to create interesting and informative pieces to equip readers with actionable data.