Did you know that there are more than 6 million sales representatives around the world? While the profession is quickly growing, building the best sales team isn’t as simple as picking from the millions of sellers out there, putting them on your team, and hoping for the best.
When it comes to building a sales team, companies need to be intentional about their strategy and goals. And while a large part of that foundation includes your company’s hiring and vetting process, building a successful sales team doesn’t stop once a new rep officially joins the team. Instead, it’s important for organizations to also focus on a number of areas to ensure that they’ve built a team that can consistently hit goals and grow revenue. So, let’s take a look at eight steps organizations can take to build the best modern sales team possible.
1. Tap into data
Before you hire anyone to join your sales team it’s a good idea to review your current sales force’s performance. Are there certain areas where the team is struggling? Or, is there a certain level of experience or background that would be helpful to add to your open sales roles? By taking a look at the individual skills of your reps and your team as a whole, you’ll likely discover some areas that would be helpful to fill with your new sales teammates.
2. Ramp new reps with quality onboarding
Once you’ve hired your newest teammates, it’s extremely important for new sellers to reach productivity as quickly as possible. However, the average ramp time to productivity for new salespeople is between six and nine months. That means a lot of missed revenue opportunities for your team. And while your newest sellers likely displayed a certain level of skills and competencies during the interview process, it’s time to zero in on training that expands on their skill sets and delivers organization-specific training. This includes everything from your products and services to procedures and systems. In order to build the best sales team, we also suggest showing them what the path to productivity looks like so they have a clear picture of their ramp-up plan.
3. Create a winning training program
Onboarding includes a lot of information, so your reps will also need access to additional training to refresh their memories. In fact, one estimate shows that 84% of sales training is lost in 90 days. While onboarding is extremely important to building sales teams, successful organizations also need to create a sales training program that delivers ongoing training to both new and seasoned sales reps. Ongoing training is a great way for sellers to practice new skills, stay up-to-date on best practices, and learn about new products or services which is essential for every best-in-class sales team.
4. Deliver personalized coaching
Sales is constantly evolving, and sellers have to keep up. If you really want your sales team to reach—and keep—rockstar status, then you should also embrace and provide personalized sales coaching. Effective sales coaching is continuous and customized in a way that focuses on improving skills and reinforces great sales behaviors. Studies also show that the real payoff from good coaching actually lies among the middle 60% of your team as they have the greatest potential for growth. By helping your core performers catch up to your highest-performing sellers, you’ll create a sales team that’s more likely to hit productivity targets, stay engaged, and grow as the team scales.
5. Align marketing and sales
Your sales team can’t do everything—no matter how great they are. In order for your sellers to be the best they can be, sales teams need to align with other departments to create streamlined processes, close communication gaps, and work towards shared goals. When sales and marketing teams align they’re able to create high-quality, relevant, and valuable content that sales reps can use to move deals through the buying cycle. This helps sellers reach new heights and increase year-over-year revenue growth.
6. Set clear expectations
Your team can’t become the best sellers if they don’t know what they are working towards. When building and scaling your sales team, it’s important for everyone to understand both individual and team goals. Sure, your team wants to drive more sales and grow revenue, but it’s crucial that you also share clear expectations on how you can all work together to achieve those targets. This also requires a balance of setting smart goals and pushing your team towards growth. If reps feel targets are unrealistic and unreasonable, they’ll be more likely to take their talents elsewhere.
7. Use the right tools
If you talk to any great sales team, they’ll likely mention that they can’t do their job without a number of different tools. Sales technology has significantly evolved over the past decade and now plays a pivotal role in helping sellers connect with customers in the digital selling era. By investing in content management, sales intelligence, and buyer engagement tools, your sales team will be able to engage with buyers, grow their skills, and close deals successfully.
8. Create the right culture
Just because you hire the best salespeople, deliver training and coaching, and equip them with the right tools, it doesn’t mean your team is automatically destined for success. The best sales teams also need the best culture. Your team’s culture defines, not only what you do, but also the who, where, when, how, and why. This provides both new and veteran reps with a consistent road map of where your team is and what needs to be done. A great team culture should also encourage collaboration and ongoing feedback to ensure that reps feel engaged and empowered to grow in their careers.
Build an all-star sales team with Seismic
If you’re tasked with figuring out how to build a good sales team for your organization—we can help. With the Seismic Enablement Cloud™, organizations like yours can deliver essential enablement to build and grow the best sales team possible. If you’d like to learn more, check out the training, content, enablement, and intelligence tools your team needs to grow like there’s no limit. Get a demo today.