There is nothing like working on a great sales team. Everyone is motivated, energized, and is looking out for the success of the team. I believe there are three fundamental characteristics that high-performance sales teams have.
First and probably the most obvious characteristic is that a high-performance team has a strong leader. They set the tone for the team and its culture. The leader outlines the expectations, is a strong communicator and is the type of person the team believes in. They know that the leader has their back and that they’re good at coaching, stretching their people and announcing challenges that the salespeople will gladly accept.
A strong leader knows:
- Their most important time is with their people.
- Every moment with the team is a coaching moment.
- Each person on the team is different with various strengths and different personalities.
- How to leverage the various strengths of the team members.
The bottom line is that the team members respect and trust the decisions the leader makes.
The second characteristic of a successful sales team is focus, knowing their goals and where they should focus on a day-to-day basis. They understand their priorities, the company’s priorities and go about meeting their goals and objectives each day. A high-performance team doesn’t believe in the 80/20 rules where 20% of the team makes 80% of the budget.
I’ll never forget the team I worked with at the old Digital Equipment – we achieved 286% of our budget! Everyone was focused on their goals; our salespeople were not shy about communicating what they needed to be successful, and leadership removed barriers so we could be successful. 100% of the team overachieved their numbers so everyone was on the weeklong bonus trip to Switzerland. Our collective focus resulted in success and happiness!
The third characteristic of a high-performance sales team is diversity. Besides the standard categories of diversity, for me it also means understanding the different personality styles on the team. A strong team leverages their unique strengths and assigns accounts based on them ensuring they are the best match for each of their customers. Many of you know that I developed a color-coded personality tool (https://stuschlackman.com/personality-assessment/) that makes it easy to understand the characteristics of the four personality styles.
Blue is the Relator; Gold is the Director; Green is the Detective; and Orange is the Activator.
Each style brings different strengths and therefore, different insights to the team. Each style shows us a perspective about the customer that we might not have thought about.
Here’s a quick summary of what to expect from the different styles on your team and among your clients.
- Blues are great at building strong long-term relationships and are the most creative.
- Golds are very organized and methodical and are good at harnessing the resources of the company.
- Greens are visionary and great problem solvers.
- Oranges are great for energizing the customer and the sales team.
When you need a particular insight about a customer, go to the salesperson on your team with the same personality style. If your customer is Green, reach out to a Green teammate and the same for other customers. They can help you understand the others point of view.
Remember, great teams are built when salespeople know how to work together and help each other out. My favorite team story is when the Dallas Mavericks beat the Miami Heat years ago. Miami had more talent, but the Mav’s had great teamwork. The Mav’s leveraged their strengths and went on to win the NBA championship.
High-performance teams are built on a great leader, focus and diversity which is understanding the personality styles of others.
Here’s to good selling!