How do you develop a high-performing sales team?

A team can achieve more than an individual. The greatest sales organisations have not only hired the right people, but they have retained them within an environment that encourages risk-taking, rewards performance and is a safe place to not be afraid to fail. So how do you foster this? Let’s start with breaking it down into five areas (in no particular order):

Focus on the individual: Every person is different, and might be at different stages of their career. Some may be fresh out of school or college and it is their first entry-level sales role, or, you may have seasoned AEs joining with more than five years of experience. Either way it is working with that individual directly to understand what motivates them. Then you make the link between activity levels and increased leads; meaning results go up, meaning rewards go up. Understanding what motivates them, what they are working towards, will reveal this.

Have an effective onboarding process: Now, more than ever, a well-thought-out and detailed onboarding process for new recruits in a remote environment can be the difference between “up for the challenge” and “I’m going to look elsewhere”. This isn’t just the first week, but the first few months working with the individuals until they get to their full pipe, or time to get a second deal.

Incentive plans: This is more than the base commission scheme is (although very important). It also considers Named Accounts, Territory Splits, Industry splits (if relevant), Accelerators, Referral incentives, and other ways of rewarding salespeople for bringing in new business.

Well defined hiring criteria: So many businesses claim to have a great sales culture and ask for gurus/rockstars/jedis to join their business (don’t ever use these terms in your job adverts by the way,) but you have to hire against that criteria. You don’t have to have all the finished articles in the right seats; that is the beauty of sales. You can take an individual who initially isn’t as competent but very quickly grows, matures and develops into a top performer and that is the person you want on your team.

Coaching and mentoring: As a leader this may sound simplistic, but ongoing coaching and mentoring (listening back to reps calls, being involved in strategic discussions they may be nervous about, offering advice on an ongoing business) to nurture this talent is not only empowering for the individual because they can see results coming as a result of this mentorship, but it sets your team up for success by having extremely strong foundations on which to hire more great talent!

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