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Building a High-performing Sales Team

A strong sales team makes all of the individuals on the team better.

By
Jeb Blount
April 6, 2009

Page 2 of 2

Today most of the friendships that were developed on those teams remain intact-- our connections evolving beyond the original business purpose of being together.

Build a Stronger Team

There is magic that happens on high-performing teams, and there are dozens of books and seminars dedicated exclusively to the subject. Unfortunately it is beyond the scope of a five minute podcast to provide you with a complete instruction book. So I called my good friend and founder of www.MeetingToWin.com, Jill Myrick and asked for some basic tips. Jill is an expert on sales teams and spends a great deal of her time helping sales managers create better team meetings. Jill believes that well-developed sales teams are powerful, and she was kind enough to give me ten easy tips you can implement right now to harness the energy and experience of your sales team to get everyone in position to win.

  1. Once a week get together with your team on the phone or in person for a "war room" discussion.  During this time, share experiences, customer feedback, successes, and disappointments.  By learning from the collective experience of the team, each member of the team will become more equipped to deal with these experiences in the future.

  2. Help each other WIN.  Each week, get together with members of your team and scrutinize pipelines. Get ideas, look for red flags, ask tough questions, and hold each other accountable for next steps. Set up friendly competitions that help raise the bar for everyone.

  3. Ask a team member to analyze your wins and losses with you.  Learn from their feedback and then share the lessons with the entire team.

  4. Challenge your team to take time to share best practices. If you are doing something that is working, share it with the team.

  5. Develop subject matter experts on your team.  Each member of the team can become an expert on a useful topic (competitor, industry, product, tool, etc). The rest of the team can rely on that person to help on that topic.

  6. Invite guest speakers from inside your company to speak to your sales team.  Have your CFO give a business acumen lesson, ask marketing to share current market research or ask a company top performer to share their habits for success.

  7. Review target account lists and determine where referrals sources may exist across your team.  Challenge your team to make sharing referrals a habit.

  8. Make team meetings useful, worthwhile and uplifting. Share responsibilities for meeting agenda items and be sure that everyone participates.

  9. Go do something fun as a group and make this a regular calendar event. Get to know each other on a personal level.

  10. Integrity and trust are the glue that holds great teams together. Hold each other accountable to do what is right in every selling scenario, be honest and forthright with one another, and to follow through on promises and commitments.

Building a high-performing sales team doesn’t happen overnight. It requires an ongoing effort and commitment from both the sales manager and the salespeople. I believe it is worth the effort though. In sales, a strong, functional team helps individual, lone-wolf sales pros become better. A great team makes the brutal world of sales fun and worthwhile. And just like in my son’s case, if an individual is in trouble, the team comes together and provides support and encouragement.

This is Jeb Blount, the Sales Guy. If you have a sales question please send it to salesguy@quickanddirtytips.com.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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