7 Simple Habits of High Performance Sales Teams
High performance sales teams don’t get to that level by accident. It takes a commitment to quality, starting at the top.
Hiring well helps, but it’s the sales manager’s day-to-day decisions that really make a long-term impact on the performance of your team. Put together an effective, data-based process, and your team will thrive.
Start by following these seven habits of high performance sales teams.
1. They Follow and Refine an Established Sales Process
You didn’t land in a sales leadership position without first experiencing success in the field. Whether you were self-taught, learned from a mentor, or simply worked for an excellent organization, you found a sales process that delivers results. Don’t let that process go to waste.
Succeeding in sales requires structure, and an established sales process will provide your team with the structure it needs. Just remember that your sales process shouldn’t be static. To reach the top and stay there, you need to continually refine your process based on new data.
2. They Have Systems in Place to Capture and Measure Performance
Are your reps following your sales process effectively? Is your process delivering results? You don’t want to guess at the answers to those questions, and you don’t have to. Take advantage of the analytics offered by your CRM, phone system, Web properties, and anywhere else you collect data.
Today’s technology allows nearly every aspect of sales to be measured and analyzed. If you’ve already got the tools in place, why not use them to their full potential? It’s the best way to analyze the performance of individual reps, and your organization as a whole.
3. They Make Data-Driven Decisions
Once you have the data, use it! The data you collect and the analytics you use to make sense of it should play an important role in every major decision. Data succeeds where the eye test fails. It allows you to gain insights that you’d have never gotten otherwise.
When you’re faced with a decision, consider all available evidence to make the best possible choice.
4. They Test and Improve Continuously
Test everything. Ensure that marketing is delivering the prospects you need by testing your web design, content, and advertisements. Give your sales reps the tools they need by testing call scripts, email templates, and anything else you use to prospect.
A/B testing is a great option when available, but it’s not always the perfect fit depending on what you’re testing. That’s okay. Qualitative data still has plenty of value, especially when gathering meaningful quantitative data is impractical.
5. They Focus on Coaching and Developing Gret Reps
Even the most prolific reps had to start somewhere, and it likely wasn’t at the top. New sales reps become skilled veterans through a combination of hard work and quality coaching. Focus on developing the skills of your sales reps, and turn them into experts in your market segment.
Leverage your own knowledge and the skills of your high performers to continually guide your team in the right direction. You want your reps to be comfortable asking you questions, and confident in the answers you provide. And coaching shouldn’t be limited to new or struggling reps. Your best reps should still be open to learning new things.
6. They Put People First
Sales is still a people-based business, and you can never go wrong putting people first. In the office, that means treating your people with respect, coaching them up, and providing them with the tools they need to succeed. You want to treat your reps with the same level of respect you’d expect them to give your clients.
In the field, putting people first means genuinely listening to clients. Your team is trained to deal with objections, of course, but the process should never feel like a cross-examination for the client. It’s important to understand the client’s needs, before reacting to them. A little common courtesy goes a long way.
7. They Create a Culture of Competition, and Celebrate Wins
Competitiveness is one of the major keys to success in the sales world. Even your less outwardly competitive reps will keep score in their heads, and always remain aware of where they stand.
If you want to boost the performance of your sales reps, you need to embrace that natural state of competition. Piling on to a slumping rep helps no one, but celebrating wins benefits everyone. It validates reps who are performing well, and provides something to shoot for to reps who are struggling.