How to Build a Sales Dream Team

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Therese Ferullo, VP of U.S. Sales, Ingram Micro

Inside and outside sales are two of the most critical aspects of your business. When building a winning sales team, company leadership must consider quality over quantity. More salespeople won’t always bring more revenue. You must think about the talent you need and want and determine how you attract, find, and keep them on the team.

Two additional considerations are the process within, as well as the chemistry of the team. Without suitable systems, training, key performance indicators (KPIs) and proper communication, your sales team could be seeking out the wrong customers and solutions. Throw into the mix a salesperson out for themselves at all costs and you toxify the team and send good players looking for a new jersey.

A goal for any sales leader is to grow a sales team of A-players proven to catapult your business, revenues, and profitability while elevating the experience to an untouchable level of service and working across the organization. By putting people first and equipping your team with the right tools and support, you will achieve success at scale and attract the sales talent you seek.

Here are few other tips for building a sales dream team:

  1. Establish a values-based hiring process: Hire the right people who complement your company's values. Look for candidates with the necessary skills, experience, and personality traits to succeed in a sales role. Determine if they are coachable and willing to learn and grow continuously. You also want people who augment the high-intensity, winning mentality and company culture you created and will enhance your existing team. Conduct thorough interviews and assessments to ensure you're hiring the right people to represent your brand and reel in your customers closer to the organization.
  2. Provide comprehensive education and training: The right training will ensure your team knows your products and services, follows the sales process, and engages the customer base. Also, make the time to educate and query them on your key message points, value proposition, competitive differentiators, and company vision. Have fun with this - a motivated team is worth millions!
  3. Clearly define your goals: Set achievable goals and ensure everyone understands what they're working towards and how you will measure their performance. Next, establish clear communication, metrics, KPIs and reasonable expectations. Make sure everyone is aligned with your long-term strategy and vision.
  4. Lead by example: Building a winning sales team requires a positive team culture and a motivational leader. Your leader, your Channel Chief, must encourage collaboration, teamwork, and a healthy competitive spirit. Celebrate successes and provide support when things don't go as planned. In addition, adopt a "more than just a quota" mentality. Don't let numerical targets consume your leadership approach. Instead, consider other objectives that can enhance your team members' skills and motivate them to succeed.
  5. Use technology to your advantage: Thanks to AI and automation, sales teams have more relevant and actionable customer data than ever. Invest in and leverage sales engagement, analytics, and CRM technology to streamline your sales processes and help your team work more efficiently and effectively. Encourage your teams to vet prospects and stay close to customers and the brands they work for by following them on social media. They don’t have to engage online, but if there’s more to know – it’s a great place to listen and learn.
  6. Know the team inside and out: With the increase in remote and hybrid workforces, it’s easy to lose touch with who's on the team and where they are. Prioritize getting to know your salespeople, what motivates them, and what they want out of their careers. Creating this connection is a worthwhile investment because as you buy into your people, they will buy into you. Get to know them personally; show them you care about them and their success.
  7. Continuously measure and improve: Measure your team's performance and adjust your sales and leadership strategies as needed. Seek out feedback from your customers on a regular basis and to the best of your ability, figure out why you lost a sale or, worse, a customer. Document it and share it broadly so as a team, you learn. Use data and analysis to identify any weak spots and areas of improvement. Work collaboratively with your team to develop new strategies and tactics to help everyone stay motivated and succeed.

To build a sales dream team, leadership needs to create a collaborative culture that enhances the company’s values and vision. While hiring is critical, retaining your sales team is even more essential. A winning culture takes careful planning and time to build. If done right, you will be rewarded with a loyal team excited to contribute to the growth and success of your business and their own.

Guest blog courtesy of Ingram Micro. Author Therese Ferullo is VP of U.S. Sales at Ingram Micro. Read more Ingram Micro blogs here. Regularly contributed guest blogs are part of ChannelE2E’s sponsorship program.