In this article, we will offer you a few tips on how to build a sales team you can be proud of.
Putting together a sales team can be a challenge for the most experienced managers. Sales being one part art, one part science, it can be difficult to spot the best candidates and harder still to put together a team that works well together. Careful hiring and careful handling of the nascent team both play a role in building a sales team you can be proud of, so this article will offer you a few tips in both arenas–because you’ll need all the help you can get to pull it off right.
Determine Your Goals in Advance. Knowing what you expect from team members and the team as a whole will go miles in making sure you put together a sales team you’re proud of. Do you need people who can get started immediately–experienced workers familiar with any software you’re already using and your industry as a whole? Do you need exceptional talent at a bargain price and have time to wait for beginners to learn the ropes? Do you need certain mindsets, certain backgrounds? If you don’t think about these things, you won’t be satisfied by what you end up with.
Consider the Whole Package. When hiring for your new sales team, you can’t discount variables. For example: Experienced workers sound good on paper, but they cost more for the same level of talent, might have difficulty adjusting to your corporate culture, and may have less familiarity with certain technologies. If you only consider one side of a given employee, you’ll end up blindsided by unexpected problems. Look at everything, because everything matters.
Consider an Expert. Hiring perfect candidates isn’t easy. If you’re not already working with someone who specializes in hiring, consider finding one–either someone within your company or an external recruiter. Either option will give you better results than fumbling around alone. There’s a reason many companies utilize recruiting agencies, or build full-time hiring divisions. Getting the right people for your sales team will more than pay for itself in the years to come. Getting the wrong people for your sales team will cost you far more than you could ever have saved.
Trust Starts with Leadership. Once you have your team members, you need to make them a team. That starts with good leadership. Whether you’re the one leading the sales team or not, you need to be certain of the quality of the leadership. Leaders who interact positively with the team and quickly gain trust as a fair, skilled manager will foster an infectious positivity in their team. Leaders who use threats and make regular mistakes will foster competition, blame games, and drive your nascent sales team straight back out the door. So pay attention to the leadership.
Incentives to Excel. Leadership plays a role here as well, as incentives can be more than money. Recognizing when the team or a team member does something good through benefits, awards, and non-cash rewards can be just as good as a cash bonus. Good incentives make people excel as team members and individuals by rewarding those behaviors that benefit the company. Poorly designed incentives reward the wrong behaviors, foment conflict in your sales team, and squander money and time like few things can.
Trust Your Instincts. Instincts can steer you wrong in many hiring and sales team building situations, because the skillset that lets a prospect sell themselves as a hire aren’t always the same as those they need for the job–but sales is a different beast. If they’ve convinced you they’re right for the job, they can probably convince a potential customer that your product is right for their problem. So trust your instincts. They’re your friend here.
Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.