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  • Writer's pictureSteve Johnson

6 Keys to Build a High-Performance Sales Team

A coordinated sales team always outperforms a non-coordinated group of individuals, regardless of individual skill or ability.

If your sales team isn't executing with the right structure you're losing sales.

To improve sales where do you start?

Here are the six keys to building and growing a high-performance sales team.

Key #1 - Use a Sales Plan as the Clear Path to your Sales Goals

What are your revenue goals that you need to meet in the next 4 quarters so that you can report success to your board, investors, and most importantly, yourself?

Here are the questions you need to answer with your sales plan.

What are your sales goals for the next 4 quarters, this year and the next 2 years?

How many people do you need to hire each month to make your sales goals?

What will this cost? How much cash will you need?

While writing your sales plan, include the 4R's - Recruiting, Ramp, Revenue, and Retention.

Recruiting-How long does it take to hire a new team member from the day you decide to search to their first day on the job?

Ramp-How many weeks are required for orientation, onboarding, training, and coaching until they are making a full quota contribution to sales?

Revenue-How many months are required until the new salesperson has broken even on their hiring and Ramp costs? They're not contributing revenue until they've broken even.

Retention-Retention is often overlooked. Sourcing successful salespeople are expensive and take months. Each additional month you can retain a salesperson who is contributing revenue increases their contribution to the company.

What are you doing to maximize retention and minimize churn on your sales team?

Key #2 - Solve Your Customers Biggest Problems

Customers buy from you because:

It's valuable to them to solve their problems and . . .

they're motivated to solve them.

The most powerful foundation for a high-performance sales team and sales success is built by positioning your solutions to solve your customer's biggest, most urgent problems.

What are you doing to position your product and sales and marketing messages as urgent and valuable to your customers?

What can you do to make your solutions urgent and valuable?

Key #3 - Hire the Right People to Sell to Your Customers

How do you hire salespeople who can best connect and engage with your customers to win deals?

One of the most powerful ways salespeople influence prospects and customers is to develop conversations about specific business problems before offering solutions.

Clarifying customer problems and helping customers avoid potential risk and loss creates enormous value beyond the sale and is the fastest way to create and build trust.

Don't lose deals by hiring people who aren't able to learn how to speak to your customer's business problems.

What are the key capabilities and qualities that your salespeople need to be successful with your clients in your typical sales opportunities?

Key #4 - Use Processes Wins Deals

Success in sales is the result of processes that ensure the right activities take place at the right times to win deals.

The two key processes are the Sales Process and the Accountability & Coaching Process.

Sales Process

The sales process is a series of crisply defined steps that ensure that you and your sales team know exactly what to do and say and each step of the sales process.

Sales teams that follow a crisp sales process close more deals, reduce sales cycle times, and generate accurate forecasts and sales pipelines.

Accountability & Coaching

Consistent feedback generates constant improvement.

Every high-performing business person and athlete has at least one person who provides outside perspective and coaching to help them generate maximum performance.

Make sure your accountability process has crisp expectations, a simple scorecard to measure results, regular consistent meetings, and check-ins and coaching. These four qualities of accountability work together to create outsized results.

What are the key 3-5 metrics that measure success individually and for your sales team?

Key #5 - Use Data & Systems That Track Results

"What's measured improves." Peter Drucker

Systems that record and report accurate data to provide reports and tools that provide feedback to maximize skill development, enable salespeople to make the best use of their time, and measure results.

What are the systems you need to track and improve performance and enable your teams to sell more?

Look beyond your CRM and consider call recording for coaching, automated nurture campaigns, and AI tools that prompt salespeople to take the right actions at the right time.

Systems combined with feedback and coaching create a virtuous cycle to continuously improve best practices and sales skills to increase sales individually and as a team quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year.

What are the key systems that your sales team could use to close more deals in less time?

Key #6 - Execution, How to Get it Done!

Sales are won because sales teams do and say the right things at the right times during the sales process.

"A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan tomorrow." General George Patton

Patton's quote is almost a cliche but endures because it's true and it works.

At the end of the day, success in sales boils down to what we do and don't do.

The key is action.

Information will always be incomplete. Make the best decisions you can based on the information you have and act, now!

If you would like to learn more about these 6 keys please download my ebook, 6 keys to Build a High-Performance Sales Team, where you'll find more detail on how to implement the 6 keys for your sales team to grow sales!

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