Qualities Of An Over-Achieving Sales Team
With so many business issues and challenges beyond your control, Presidents, CEOs, and business owners who focus on what they can control will put their companies in a better position for growth. Since building your sales team is one such issue, why settle for anything less than an over-achieving sales team?
In our work helping clients to do exactly that, we have identified some qualities that are important for the individuals who make up over-achieving sales teams. Here are three that stand out.
Passion For Sales
The first thing to focus on when building a team of over-achieving sales people is to find people with a true passion for sales. In our consulting practice, one of the first steps in any engagement is to conduct an analysis so we can understand the strengths and hidden weaknesses of everyone on the sales team (along with an assessment of your sales systems and processes and a host of other issues). One of the key strengths we look for - and often find lacking - is the sales team's desire to be in sales.
For many sales professionals, sales is a career of default. There is no passion - it's just a job. Why? Our beliefs drive our worldview and if I ask you to write down the first five things that come to mind when you think of a "sales person" your list will probably include words such as:
However, highly successful sales people tend to have a very different view of their profession. Most really don't think of themselves as "sales people." Rather they see themselves as "helpful problem solvers."
When you build an over-achieving sales team filled with helpful problem solvers who are truly passionate about the products and services you offer and the meaningful impact they can have on the customers you serve it is much easier to grow your business.
Outlook and Attitude
Take a moment to write down the last time you made a major purchase from someone you didn't like. It's difficult because we tend to buy from people we like and who make us feel good. We buy on an emotional level and then rationalize our buying decisions. In other words, sales is about transferring emotion.
So the sales people on your team who can effectively transfer emotion and get a potential buyer as enthusiastic about your product or service as they are will sell more.
But it is difficult to fake a positive outlook or a great attitude. It has to be genuine. If your sales people don't like their job don't truly believe in your product or that your solution is really the best option for the buyer, it won't work. The people who buy your product or service will see right through fake enthusiasm and insincere excitement. Bad attitudes and negative outlooks on your sales team will cost your company serious money.
If you want to build an over-achieving sales team, start by establishing a "No Excuses" culture. Also make sure your sales hiring process can screen out the people with a negative outlook or a bad attitude, and capture those with a great outlook and a positive attitude.
How committed is your sales team? Are they willing to go the extra mile? Will they do whatever it takes to help you grow your business?
If you really want to build an over-achieving sales team, the single most important trait to look for in the people you put on your sales team is their commitment to doing "whatever it takes" to be successful. Obviously when we say "whavever it takes" we do not mean your sales people should break the law, lie to customers and prospects, or engage in other unethical behaviors. What we mean by commitment is having a sales team that will:
- Push beyond their comfort zone
- Improve themselves through training, professional development, and personal development
- Make the extra call, send the extra letter, do the extra follow up, read the extra article, ask the extra question....
- Consistently follow your sales process
- Hold firm on price and preserve margin
- Provide help and advice to their teammates so the entire sales team benefits from their experience and perspective
- Do the "grunt work" that produces results (cold calls, prospecting, working tradeshows, networking, etc.)
- Be responsive to sales coaching and management input, following through even if it makes them uncomfortable
When you build a team of sales people who are truly commited - to their success, to your success, to growing both personally and professionally, to growing your business, to doing "whatever it takes" to be successful, you will be on your way to building an over-achieving sales team.
In our experience CEOs typically get the sales team they deserve. If you choose to let someone else on your management team take responsibility for building your sales team don't be surprised if the results are less than you expect. Commitment starts at the top - how committed are you to building an over-achieving sales team?