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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