Eight Tips to Building a Successful Team if you Appreciate Skills

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Building the perfect sales team can be a real challenge.

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The world’s best universities offer courses on how to do it, seminars and conferences on team building abound and you can even attend lectures on leadership by football managers like Sir Alex Ferguson.

Each salesperson can naturally forge their own path but there are several key aspects everyone should use in building a successful team. Bearing these aspects in mind will boost your collective sales skills, create a protective corporate environment and ensure your staff appreciate you. If you implement these aspects you’ll be set for success so let’s dive in and take a look.

Embrace experimentation & diversity

How were the greatest empires built? Hard work and determination play their part but successful empires last because their rulers experimented with new ideas and identified news areas to profit from. Alexander the Great adapted his tactics to win every battle whereas Samsung started out as a grocery store.

Look for salespeople who are willing to take risks and try new ideas that will boost your profits. You can set aside time each week to come up with new concepts separately from other sales meetings. Your team will appreciate being part of the decision making process and being part of a challenge supportive environment.

You should also hire people who’ll work differently than you would. There’s no point in hiring people who’re the same as you, otherwise you could do their job, right? Embracing intellectual diversity will ensure you consider methods and ideas you never normally would.

Invest in communication

Nothing kills sales more than poor communication. You need to consistently and concisely convey what you want and how you want it achieved if you want to succeed.

Set up clear channels of communication that are easy for the team to understand and follow. Involve every team member relevant to the task to ensure no one misses out. Make sure you follow up on every sales lead and internal memo.

Try setting up team building exercises based on different forms of communication including written, verbal and even body language. This will boost both your team’s communication skills as well as their cohesion as a unit and they’ll appreciate having fun in the process. You’ll also discover new ways you can convey information to your customers.

Kill your ego

We cannot overemphasize how many businesses have gone under because the leader had too much ego. Ego can destroy the best product, the best sales team, and it can be so insidious you don’t realise it’s doing so. Yes, salespeople need to be confident but ego is an altogether different creature.

Ego prevents you from building a successful team because it clouds your judgement, makes you appear arrogant to the customer and prevents you from recognising your colleague’s skills. Ego makes you think you’re the best, so why bother trying something new? Why hire new staff when you’re clearly more skilled?

Bear in mind Sigmund Freud’s advice on the subject; “The ego is not master in its own house.” You don’t rule your ego, it rules you, so kill it.

Don’t micromanage.

Nearly as deadly as ego to building a successful team is micromanagement. This blight on business is guaranteed to ruin staff morale and make your team feel like they’re not working in a supportive environment. Nobody likes a micromanager so don’t become one.

Micromanagement creates drones who don’t appreciate the company and won’t take the initiative because they’re afraid of upsetting the boss. Avoid this by embracing experimentation as we mentioned before and allow your staff to take risks even if they make mistakes. In fact, if one of your salespeople fails to close a deal but worked hard and took a risk rather than giving up, you should reward them.

This might sound risky but in the long run it’s better for your team because you’ll be able to focus on the strategic direction of your company. Don’t get bogged down in everyday decisions, focus on your long term goals. Focus on motivating your sales team rather than day to day management.

Set clear goals.

How will you know if you’ve got anywhere if you don’t have a plan for getting there? If you’re set on building a successful sales team you have to lay out goals that go beyond just ‘making X amount of money’ or ‘I want to live on a beach in two years.’ Your goals need to be short and long term, concise, and clear to everybody on your team.

Explain the vision of your company and product by setting long term goals. Explain how you’ll achieve your vision by setting short term goals. Sell these goals to your team and see if they buy them.

Don’t be too protective of your goals as everyone on the team should know them, even if you fail. Teams can learn a lot from their mistakes, the key here is to be realistic so that you don’t feel like you are working for a lost cause, you should be fair to yourself and your employees.

Share your success.

Sharing your success needs to go beyond just publishing profit figures and increased customer uptake. Once you’ve set your goals, ie, you know where you’re going, don’t forget where you’ve come from. Make sure everyone has access to previous goals, both successful and failed, as this will make your team appreciate everyone’s work.

Sharing your success needs to go beyond just publishing profit figures and increased customer uptake. Once you’ve set your goals, ie, you know where you’re going, don’t forget where you’ve come from. Make sure everyone has access to previous goals, both successful and failed, as this will make your team appreciate everyone’s work.

Also, we live in the era of big data so you need to share your success metrics and KPIs. Everyone on the team should know their own targets and those of their colleagues. Think of this system as your success scorecard.

This scorecard will make sure your team will be more connected with their colleagues and empower them to make choices that will benefit the company. If you don’t share success your team will at best make ill-informed decisions, at worst, they won’t make decisions at all.

Whatever kind of team you want to set up, remember to do your research and always consider what new skills you can implement to improve. Remember, as a leader you must lead by example, so if you want to build a successful sales team always work harder and longer than anyone else.

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Until next time!