How to Build a Winning Sales Team

How to Build a Winning Sales Team

Get the insights you need to build a successful sales team and drive results. Know how to build, manage, and motivate your sales professionals.

Kayvon Kay
Kayvon Kay

April 22, 2023

8 Key Steps to Build a Sales Team That Wins

Sales teams are the lifeblood of any company. If you want to succeed in business, you need a great sales team in place. That all sounds great in practice, but what are the practical steps to learn how to build a sales team?

In this article, you'll learn actionable advice you can tomorrow to build an effective sales team. You'll also get practical tips on how to implement the advice below so that your team becomes the envy of the industry. 

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Identify Your Current Sales Situation

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The only way your company will understand how to build a successful sales team is to conduct an audit of your current sales situation. Understanding where you stand in terms of sales performance can help you set realistic goals, develop effective strategies, and allocate resources more efficiently.

One way to identify your current situation is by analyzing your past sales data. Take a look at your revenue metrics or your conversation rates and make some educated guesses on what's not working or what needs to be improved. By examining these metrics over time, you can identify trends and patterns that can inform your future sales strategy.

When you start having a more comprehensive outlook on your sales situation, you can use that information to inform all your future efforts. Your marketing, sales team, and customer service can now be more focused and tailored to your current situation.

It's also important to gather feedback from customers and employees to gain insights into how they perceive your company's products or services. This can help you better understand customer needs and preferences while also identifying areas for improvement within the sales process.

Once you have identified your current sales situation, there are several steps you can take when building a sales team. One key strategy is to hire individuals who possess the skills and experience necessary to achieve your specific sales goals.

Determine the Sales Skills Your Team Needs

Before you start placing job postings and conducting interviews with new sales reps, you'll want to determine what kind of skills and experience your team needs in order to be successful. Use the information you gathered in the last section to start your process.

If you feel like you are getting plenty of highly qualified leads but aren't converting, you need to focus in on a closer for your team — someone with strong negotiation skills and experience in closing high-ticket deals.

If you don't seem to be getting enough leads, you need to focus on bringing someone on board who has a deep understanding of the sales process and a knack for generating new prospects. Agencies like The Sales Connection already have a team of specialized salespeople ready to jump into your process and start making an impact.

Once you have an idea of what kind of individual will best fit your team's needs, it's time to start the recruitment process. Make sure you clearly outline the skills, experience, and qualifications you're looking for in a successful candidate in your job description.

Doing so will help weed out unqualified candidates and save you a great deal of time during the interview process. Also, ask specific questions during the interview that relate to the skills you're looking for. See if the applicant can provide real-life scenarios where they used the exact skills you're looking for.

Track and Measure Sales Metrics

Sales Metrics

When you identified your current sales situation, you looked at various sales metrics to help guide your strategy moving forward. The exact same process should be applied to all your future sales efforts. You need to track and measure the performance of your team in order to evaluate their success.

By tracking metrics such as the revenue generated, conversation rates, customer satisfaction levels, or average deal sizes — you get an accurate picture of how well your sales team is performing. This data will give you the insights to make adjustments to your recruitment process or sales strategy.

A study done by Forrester Consulting showed that 58% of businesses that used data to drive decisions were more likely to beat revenue goals than those that did not. Data allows you to make real-time decisions for your company that produce immediate results.

Are you noticing that sales are dropping off at the end of the week? Is the data showing that one particular member is holding the team back from hitting its goals? These types of insights inform your future sales strategy and enable you to make the right decisions at the right times.

By keeping tabs on your team's performance, you can also identify areas for improvement and provide targeted feedback or additional training when necessary. This helps empower employees while ensuring that they are hitting their goals.

Develop a Strong Sales Hiring Process

Imagine building a rock-solid team of sales reps who are outperforming your sales expectations and helping your business grow. Then, out of nowhere, one sales rep wants to move to Europe. Now, another sales rep just got married and is moving states. The strong team you once had is now just a shell of its former self, and you're struggling just to stay even.

Developing a strong sales hiring process will help you avoid this kind of situation. A great process should include:

  • Developing a job description that outlines the skills, experience, and qualifications required for the role
  • Conducting interviews with candidates to determine who best fits the team
  • Performing background checks and reference checks on potential hires
  • Creating a training program for new hires to ensure everyone is up to date on company protocols.

Clearly defining the job description and qualifications for the sales position is your first step to ensuring a scalable sales hiring process. This should include specific skills, experience, and personality traits that are necessary for success in the role. Consulting with a successful agency like The Sales Connection should give you insights into what you are currently doing wrong and how to improve it. 

Also, create a structured interview process that includes questions designed to assess candidates' knowledge of sales techniques and their ability to handle objections. Use the skills you identified your team needs the most and ask specific questions regarding the candidate's experience with them.

In addition, consider involving current members of your sales team in the hiring process. They can offer valuable insights into what qualities make for a successful salesperson within your organization and help identify candidates who would be a good fit. Have them conduct an interview by themselves with the candidate to determine a good fit.

Create A System For Feedback

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No matter how prepared you are or how much data you gather, your sales team will never be successful without feedback. That includes your own feedback as well as the feedback from the team. It's easy for sales leaders to feel like they have all the answers because employees are constantly looking to them for guidance. The truth is your sales team has intimate experience with your sales process and works in it every single day. Employees who feel heard in their job are 4.6 times more likely to perform to the best of their abilities, according to a Salesforce research survey.

A good feedback system should include frequent check-ins with individual employees, evaluation of sales goals, and a process for providing constructive feedback when needed. Your team should also be aware of the metrics you are tracking in order to track their success.

When providing feedback, make sure you are clear and concise. Explain how the team member's performance is impacting the overall business objectives and provide specific examples of where they can improve.

When you are seeking your employee's feedback, create open office hours where employees can share their opinions on the process. Hosting virtual meetings or roundtable discussions with your team members can also be a great way to encourage open communication.

Share Customer Feedback

Speaking of feedback, just as important for sales team building is your customer's feedback. You want to build an effective sales team? Give them the exact feedback you are hearing from customers. Customer feedback provides valuable insights into how your products or services are perceived in the market and can help identify areas for improvement within your sales process.

One step you can take to implement customer feedback with employees is to hold regular meetings or training sessions focused on improving sales techniques. During these sessions, share specific examples of customer feedback and discuss strategies for addressing any issues that were raised.

Recording sales calls is a great way to give real-time examples of what works well and what doesn't. You might want to go over the recorded calls one-on-one with the employee to avoid any embarrassment.

Another way to incorporate customer feedback is by encouraging team members to actively seek out feedback from customers during the sales process. This can be done through surveys, follow-up calls, or social media engagement. By gathering this information firsthand, team members can better understand customer needs and preferences while also identifying opportunities for improvement.

It's also important to recognize and reward employees who go above and beyond in incorporating customer feedback into their sales approach. This can be done through incentives such as bonuses or promotions, which will encourage others on the team to prioritize customer satisfaction as well.

Keep Your Team Engaged

A group of people execising

Engaged employees are more productive, committed to their work, and more likely to stay with the company long-term. A study on workplace engagement found that in the U.S., organizations paid around $450 to $550 billion each year for disengaged staff.

When you engage employees, you foster a sense of ownership in the company. When individuals feel invested in their work and believe that they have a stake in the success of the company, they are more likely to go above and beyond in their efforts to achieve sales goals. They take responsibility for their actions and proactively look for ways to improve. Sales reps don't want to disappoint their employer or possibly lose their job when they feel a business is making efforts to look out for their best interest.

To implement engagement into your current strategy, consider incorporating regular team-building activities or events. This can include anything from group outings to volunteer opportunities or even virtual happy hours. These activities help build camaraderie among team members and create a sense of community within the workplace. You could try things like, sales enablement or bring in sales development representatives.

Another way to foster engagement is by providing regular feedback and recognition for good performance. This can be done through one-on-one meetings with a sales manager, public recognition during team meetings, or even small rewards such as gift cards or extra time off.

Create Innovative Commission Schemes

It is important for businesses to innovate commission schemes when building an effective sales team because traditional commission structures may not always be the most effective way to motivate and incentivize employees. Traditional commission structures can sometimes lead to unhealthy competition between sales representatives or even discourage teamwork and collaboration.

Innovative commission schemes can help address these issues by providing incentives that encourage positive behaviors and outcomes. One example of an innovative commission scheme is profit-sharing, where a portion of the profits generated from sales is distributed among the sales team. This not only incentivizes individual performance but also encourages teamwork and collaboration toward achieving common goals.

Another example is tiered commissions, which reward employees for reaching specific milestones or targets. For instance, if a sales representative reaches their monthly target, they receive a higher percentage of commission on all subsequent sales made that month.

Some companies have implemented non-financial incentives such as paid time off or professional development opportunities as part of their commission scheme. These types of incentives can help create a more well-rounded compensation package that motivates employees beyond just monetary gain.

Overall, innovating commission schemes is important when building a high-performing sales team because it helps create a culture of continuous improvement and motivation within the workforce. By implementing creative and tailored incentive programs, businesses can ensure that their employees remain engaged and motivated toward achieving long-term success.

Building An Effective Sales Team

An effective sales team has the potential to increase revenue, create customer loyalty, and drive long-term growth. As long as you know the steps required for building a strong sales team, you can work on implementing them over time. However, not all business owners have the time it takes to wait to build a sales team effectively. The Sales Connection is filled with experienced sales professionals that can help you close deals and start creating growth for your business. Start talking with one of our representatives today to see how we can work with your team to start closing more leads.

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Kayvon Kay

Kayvon Kay

Kayvon has over two decades of experience working with high-level closers and perfecting his sales methodologies. He has earned the title of Canada’s #1 pharmaceutical sales representative and continues to share his expertise as a keynote speaker and through his multi-million-dollar coaching program.

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