The crucial question: How can a company develop a top sales crew?

Short answer: Start with a premise — if it were so easy then everybody would be doing it.

Long answer: Some companies are achieving stellar sales results in complex global situations by adopting best practices.

According to a study, they employ strategies that separate them from the average-performing sales organizations.

In essence, the highest-producing sales staffs share three characteristics:

– They understand their customer core.

– They have a collaborative culture.

– They have a calibrated success (they know why they’re successful).

So how do you build the best sales staff?

Here are the five critical fundamentals:

1. Appraise your situation

Understand your company’s goals, what you have in a sales team, what you want, what has to improve, and how to get there.

Every company is different. Some have to increase their number of customers. Some have to improve their margins. Others have to do a better job on moving certain products.

Compensation packages warrant review. And always, it’s important to evaluate each salesperson and how each can improve. In your evaluations, avoid the 12 most-common errors.

Sales managers aren’t perfect in all aspects. Know and hone your strengths.

2. Decide how to improve the quality of your staff

Whether you decide to add to your staff or replace some team members, make the right investments.

With many companies desperately in the hunt for sales revenue, it might surprise you to learn that their predicaments are often self-imposed. Why?

They hire the wrong sales employees for the wrong reasons. It helps to check your motives before hiring sales employees.

3. Inspire your team

Sales is fun. But it isn’t always. Your salespeople need a positive environment at the office, especially after a tough day of rejections.

As the boss, you’re expected to be the inspirational catalyst. Check your attitude to see if it’s contagious — an attitude worth catching.

Celebrate successes. Remember there can be a variety of successes — not just getting a signed contract. It can be anything from celebrating quality of footwork to courage in the face of adversity.

4. Provide continuous training

A short, one or two-week training program for newly hired employees is insufficient in today’s marketplace. Your company, the salespersons and customers will all benefit if your team gets regularly updated training.

5. Recognize performance

Sales is all about passion and execution. Your employees will be motivated to produce more if they feel appreciated on a timely basis.

As sales supervisor, you’ll be more successful if you demonstrate an attitude of gratitude and service.

Show appreciation for tenacity, execution or development of relationships. An attitude of service will show you care about your employees.

From the Coach’s Corner, related content:

Sales Management: Motivate Your Staff in 10 Seconds — All too-often when sales managers are busy, they’re task-oriented. Not to be critical, but they’re focused only on what’s at the end of their noses. For effective management and revenue, the trick is to guard against it.

Is Your Company Underperforming in Marketing / Sales? Evaluate Your CultureIf you’re dissatisfied with your revenue, it’s time for an assessment of your culture’s operation. Why? Superior cultures drive business performance. Specifically, two key elements of culture – innovation and responsiveness – have a direct impact on your company’s sales success.

Checklist – Top 18 Attributes of the Best Salespeople — What’s needed to be effective in sales? Merely having a gregarious personality will no longer cut it in the 21st century. As a manager, if you want to improve your company’s sales performance, become a winning sales organization and review your recruitment techniques in hiring salespeople.

“Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.”

-Winston Churchill 


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.