4 Maxims to build a Stellar Sales Team

As mentioned in the best-selling book – ‘First, Break All the Rules’ by Buckingham & Coffman, great managers do four activities extremely well when building a high-performance team – Hiring, Setting clear expectations, Motivating teams and Developing People.


By far this is the most critical aspect of building a team. You need to identify clearly who you need to fill this position, define the attributes you are looking for and build a multi-layer evaluation process to narrow down to the right candidate. Also ensure that every layer in your evaluation process spends enough time with the person you want to hire. Not implementing an effective, hiring funnel reduces the probability of finding a strong candidate. Every minute spent in the selection process is worth a million as hiring the right person is half the battle won. Sales is ultimately about the individual’s ability to develop a good rapport and relationship with the buyer. So if an applicant is unable to establish a connect with you during an interview, think twice before making the hire. Also remember, a Sales associate is the face of your company and can make or break your company’s reputation.

Setting Clear Expectations

It’s important to develop a strong communication and support system for your team. The team needs to be clear about their goals and they should spend a large part of their time working towards achieving them. Involving your team in the goal setting process and ask them to set specific individual goals in addition to team goals is a great idea. Ensure you set realistic goals for the team to achieve. But do not set rules as great salespeople generally want freedom. The better you’re able to remove the obstacles and set them up to produce those results, the more successful they will be and you will be. Don’t ever tell them what they can’t do, because they will simply focus their creativity on finding ways to overcome your rules.

Motivating Teams

Don’t tell your high performers what to do. When discussing a particular issue ask them to put themselves in your shoes, and discuss a variety of options. Let them own the solution to whatever obstacle is at hand. In order to motivate and lead salespeople effectively, you want to think about what’s important to them and what drives them. If you have employees who are not great at documentation but are great at selling then let them SELL. Find someone else to complement their skills and achieve the detail you aim for. Recognition is the key factor to keep your team motivated and gung-ho. Especially with top-performing salespeople, money is often not the main driver. It’s really about being respected. It’s about achieving those unachievable targets. If you adapt your management style to meet their needs, and understand the behaviors needed to maximize employee morale, you’ll have a lot fewer problems and your salespeople will thrive.

Developing People

Continuous improvement of skills, knowledge of products, processes and tools is absolutely necessary to be an even more effective and efficient Salesperson. Sales is an incredibly formidable profession that offers its practitioners a lifetime of challenge. No salesperson is ever as good as he/she could be. You need to create ongoing, measurable and simple support tools to ensure that new techniques get incorporated into your selling style. When I work with teams I take time to help managers to ensure that they know how to reinforce key behaviors. It’s important that any achievement is recognized and your team must create ways to recognize success. A team is always more challenged and focused if they see a clear growth plan and actions taken by the management to hone their individual skills. The commitment and focus you put into creating and growing your team will ultimately translate into stronger sales and a prosperous business.

Happy Selling!! 🙂

Praveen Shetty heads Sales Operations at BigRock. With over 15 years of experience in Sales, Praveen strongly believes in motivating his team and helping them deliver great customer experience at BigRock.

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12 Responses to 4 Maxims to build a Stellar Sales Team

  1. Faridah October 18, 2012 at 9:55 PM #

    Fantastic ,I totally agree with Praveen, , that importance and time has to be given when selecting the candidate, the correct selection will have a long term impact on buisness.

    Praveen has always been very successful and this being one of his contemplary skills ‘ Great Thinker and Strong Analytical Skills’ has made him what he is today.

  2. Saurabh Shah October 18, 2012 at 10:42 PM #

    Praveen Sir, firstly I’d like to congratulate you for creating your own blog & I really found your article is quite impressive, because, while reading every line of your experience, it shows the ability of effort you’ve given for all of us to give the best… Once again A Big Congo!! & All D Best to rock in future…

    Best Wishes
    Saurab Shah

  3. Darshana J October 19, 2012 at 12:13 PM #

    That’s a well articulated synopsis for and by a hard core sales professional.
    The blog has been drafted using simple language but yet focussing on the key areas that contribute in a sales domain.
    This is the just the beginning for your “thought express” and we look forward to much more..
    Happy selling:)

  4. Charanjit Singh October 19, 2012 at 6:17 PM #

    Hi Sir

    Congratulation to create your own blog. I really found your article is very much impressive
    for people who are specially in sales.



  5. Ambica Bangera October 19, 2012 at 7:03 PM #

    Firstly a big big congrats on creating a blog and coming all this from you is really great .

    You have put such a great article that every sales guy must read
    Its worth and will really help the new comers in future

    Keep up the good work looking forward for such more great articles.

  6. Raees October 19, 2012 at 7:13 PM #

    Truly Excellent!!! I think amongst these four pillar, most important is ‘Setting the right expectations’ because even if you hire a right person but if you are not able to set the right expectations, conflict arises and success doesn’t follow.
    Very good article…any sales person would like to follow this thought process and leaders like Praveen.
    Keep it up.

  7. Minakshi Patwa October 19, 2012 at 10:52 PM #

    AbSELLutely agree with you…good sales people are hard to find more than that good sales managers are even harder to find… i think the problem with the companies are that they put too much attention on their grass root contributors and left the managers and leaders to develop their skills and expertise on their own while m not saying that the bottom line development is not important but in the effort we shouldn’t sideline the top line.DEVELOPMENT, as mentioned should be a continuous process it shouldn’t end after hiring and Expectation setting…but this DEVELOPMENT is incomplete without the continuous development of the team leaders and the managers….

    Hope to hear your views on build a Stellar Sales Manager…..Happy Selling 🙂

  8. Selvin October 20, 2012 at 5:22 PM #

    Hi Praveen a very good article.

    ‘ATTITUDE’ is the main aspect which can make or break a person.

  9. Avinash October 29, 2012 at 9:10 PM #

    Hey Praveen,

    Awesome thoughts…!!

    It goes to say how much of thought that has gone into writing this article.

    Best Wishes…


  10. Arvind Kumar Tiwari October 31, 2012 at 3:31 PM #

    It’s great Sir. Thank you for sharing your thought.

  11. Dave Strand November 8, 2012 at 7:59 PM #


    Good point on the identification of whether a sales person has good documentation skills or not. So true that some great sales people don’t necessarily have the “PowerPoint Gift”. Mrketing pros know how to build a foundation under these closers and give them bait to use.


  12. Raviraj Alley December 3, 2012 at 4:34 PM #

    Praveen sir,

    Congratulations! nice blog.

    You have always been my ideal, Your name ‘Praveen’ means Proficient, and that is truly justified by this literature. Keep up the good work and share your knowledge and expertise like you do it always.

    Best wishes,
    Raviraj Alley (erstwhile Yellow Line reportee)

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