Whatever your industry, sport, or other group activity, there is always a star player; one who excels, and without whom team targets would be more difficult to achieve. Or so it seems. However, when it comes down to it, no one player is greater than the sum of the whole. When building an effective sales team, it’s important to use strategies that are designed to motivate the whole team, and not simply to reward an individual star.
If we look at the NBA, not all championship winning teams have had a player make the all-star team. Teams excel not by relying on a single star player, but by becoming an effective team. And that is the secret behind all great teams – even the ones with a star player. So, how do you motivate your sales team to storm the premier league of sales?
How do you build a sales team to excel?
These following four factors are the keys to building effective teams:
- A shared vision
- Team dynamics
How do you create a shared vision?
You have a vision for your organization. You’ve set goals and objectives. Steve Jobs did, too, when he said, “a computer for the rest of us”. His vision changed the world, but it would never have done so if he hadn’t shared it with his team.
It is the shared vision, a common mission, which forms the backbone of team spirit. Discuss the vision with your team, and ensure that your mission is motivating. If it is outdated, have your team decide how to bring it into the 21st century. It is easier and more profitable to share when your people own the vision.
How do you build trust?
Sales is a naturally competitive environment, but teams break down where this competition is not correctly challenged. Too often, sales targets frame competition internally. This creates in-house battles, and destroys trust between colleagues. So how do you build trust?
The key here is to get to know colleagues and understand them. Be open and honest about your own insecurities, strengths and weaknesses. People will respond likewise. It is this level of honesty which is essential when building a bridge of trust, itself an essential factor when building the collaborative leadership that is key to developing a competitive advantage.
How do you communicate effectively?
Communication should be a team task. Make it so. Prepare your people to:
Be clear and concise – all goals and responsibilities need to be communicated clearly and concisely. When these are confused, team morale suffers. Ensure that your team members are at ease with their responsibilities, and that if they are not clear about them they are happy to seek clarification. At the end of each conversation, ask each member what he or she understands of their obligations.
Listen – the art of communication is the ability to listen with empathy. Team members must be committed to listen to what their colleagues say, understanding that body language often speaks louder than words.
Be courteous – allow others to speak, express points of view, ideas, and potential solutions to problems. Personal attacks are unnecessary and unwanted. Instead, foster an environment in which people allow others to speak. Encourage your people to be trusting and offer constructive feedback.
Be flexible – it is likely that not every team member will agree with another’s opinion. Decisions made may not sit well with all. However, with a collaborative approach all views will have been considered. Strategies and plans will be majority led, with all arguments considered. Team members don’t have to agree with a decision to support it.
How do you create good team dynamics?
Team dynamics are the unconscious behaviors of team members that influence performance. A team that benefits from healthy dynamics will be well motivated to perform together, aiding each other’s progress on the way to achieving the team vision. Factors that are critical to effective team dynamics include:
- Matching tasks to people – it is important to understand what tasks need to be done, and which team members are best placed to do them.
- Continual SWOT analysis – understand the team’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Assess these continually, and use them as benchmarks to identify coaching needs and best utilization of your people.
- Developing emotional intelligence – seek to increase the emotional intelligence of your sales personnel. Help your team avoid the common pitfalls of sales with emotional intelligence training. They will better understand their reactions, and those of colleagues and customers. The result is better teamwork, and greater sales.
Efforts to motivate a sales team are thwarted when you don’t tackle:
- Conflict within the team
- Complicated and unworkable team dynamics
- Difficult personalities
You’ll suffer if you and your team don’t communicate effectively with clarity, as you will if roles are not clearly defined and responsibilities misunderstood.
Our Integrity Selling Course will help your sales team adopt new skills, embed methods of identifying customer needs, and hone them to perfection. It helps create the environment where teams gel together. The result will be a high-impact sales team on an exponential sales curve. Contact us today, and discover how we could help your sales team to manage themselves, their prospects, and increase sales.