How to Build a Cohesive Sales Team
A cohesive sales team places the growth of the company before their own growth. Not only are individual and group goals being met, but everyone feels like they have contributed to the team’s overall success.
Having a cohesive sales team means that your individual reps are going to focus more on the group and company’s goals, at times more so than their own quotas. That means the company makes more money and progresses.
As a sales manager, you are going to want to build a team that not only meets the expected revenue goals but also has good communication and works smoothly.
You have to know your team, their strengths, weaknesses, and allow a place for discussion.
Having a set strategy to manage your team will make yours and their lives easier. Let’s take a look at some tips to build a successful sales team:
How to Build a Cohesive Sales Team
Understand and Work With the Strengths of Each Member of the Team
Each member of your sales team is a unique individual who has a set of strengths and weaknesses. Working with the strengths of each team member requires you to first understand what these are.
Oftentimes, strengths and skills are confused with each other, but they aren’t the same thing. Strengths are things we’re VIA character surveywithout any special training. However, to master skills, we need plenty of time and practice, but strengths don’t require you to bridge this gap.
Identifying the strengths of your team members can be as difficult as identifying your own. However, here are two ways you can do so:
- A simple self-assessment where you ask team members to write down the following:
- Anything they feel they’re good at.
- An explanation of what they enjoy doing and why they enjoy it.
Think of it as a personal SWOT analysis where members list down their strengths and weaknesses.
- Have them take the VIA character survey. The test assesses its participants on 24 different character traits. This and other tools can help team members identify what they’re good at.
Asking employees to write down their strengths and weaknesses is the first part of the process. The second part falls on the sales manager.
The sales manager should acquaint themself with an employee’s key strengths and weaknesses. This goes beyond memorizing the results of a test and requires the manager to spend time observing and analyzing their team.
The best sales managers go beyond delegating and supervising work they assign.
They find out who’s the best person for a job and how they can effectively use their strengths.
They ensure that the way they assign work improves the total performance by doing so at the individual level. It is important to focus on the strengths of employees and introduce this behavior into your organizational culture.
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Encourage Open Communication at All Times
The workplace should be an environment where employees don’t feel inhibited from sharing what they think.
A way to encourage communication is by conducting meetings where everyone can share their views freely. For that to happen, these meetings should be informal, and can even take place away from professional office settings.
Such open communication can be truly beneficial to the company.
An open culture helps employees share their views on team and company decisions. This can help make more informed decisions that are in the best interest of everyone in the workplace.
A differing opinion, if right, will save a lot of wasted effort, resources, and money. This is possible when regardless of their role in the team, team members rally around the core mission of the team or the company as a whole.
In order to ensure open communication within their teams, sales managers can follow these tips during meetings:
- Ask participants to write down or talk about their views regarding the company and direction for the future. It can be changes needed in strategy, changes in sales proposals, or something else entirely.
- Discuss what’s needed by the team and organization that you as a manager know about. If these ideas aren’t written down, during the session, it’s imperative you introduce those.
- Divide team members into 5 or 6 groups and assign goals that stem from the meeting.
- Assign participants goals depending on their strengths.
The goal of these meetings is to give participants a unique platform to discuss their strengths and how they can use these in different areas.
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Collaboration, Not Competition Between Team Members
Encourage the habit of collaboration by making each team member realize that collaboration is what can bring success to everyone.
Collaboration is a character of the whole team and not just the person. It needs to be part of the whole organization in the form of company culture.
In a competitive environment, people are driven to results by fear. It continuously prompts sales reps to do more than stated requirements and encourages employees to outperform peers.
Some motivations in a collaborative environment are wanting to keep the job, not stressing over results but improving creativity, sharing ideas openly, and feeling inspired to go to work.
While both environments can bring results, being overworked or driven by fear eventually results in burnout. For instance, a sales rep is more likely to close a sale if they are motivated by more than just the pressure of meeting targets.
Collaborative environments foster positivity, teamwork, and being creative. It’s more sustainable.
It can be something easy like asking successful reps to share lessons from past campaigns and pro tips that help everyone improve.
As a member of a sales team, it can be hard to stay up to date with what other reps are doing. To keep track of your team’s achievements, you can use an app like Badger Maps.
With Badger Maps you can view the status of team member accounts, view territories, and access your team’s activity. This information allows sales managers to understand what’s happening in the field and catch problems before they arise. With a management tool like Badger, everyone on the team will be on the same page, regardless of where they are in the field.
Find People who are Ready to Learn and Improve
It’s easy to recognize coachable people in your team.
The first step to coaching your team is that they’re willing to accept help, feedback, and advice. Also, your sales reps must be able to accept that there is room for improvement, as it shows their good intentions and willingness to learn and do better.
Here are some qualities of a coachable team member:
- Receptiveness to coaching
Receptiveness to coaching shows that the person is willing to improve. The coach should mention the challenges they need to clear before taking on new responsibilities.
A coachable person has no reservations about saying that they are not good at something and are comfortable with changing that.
By responding eagerly when presented with the opportunity to learn something new, sales reps are showing their interest in finding more ways to be successful.
Look at how people engage with mentors or coaches. A person who wants to learn and improve will talk about areas they’re struggling and how they want to improve in those areas and sometimes will seek out a coach on their own.
Coaching isn’t passive.
The person learning has to do something to improve themself and takes advice as constructive criticism--never personally.
Team building doesn’t always need to be serious business. It can be fun as well.
Look for innovative ways in which you can achieve cohesiveness and close every deal you set your team to.
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Building a cohesive and successful sales team takes effort. However, if you apply strategies like having meetings to discuss members’ points of view, encouraging collaboration over competition, and learning how to use others’ strengths to grow collectively, you will have your dream team.
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