How to Lead a High Performing Sales Team

Posted on Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

Leadership and Synergy Concept Illustration : A number of Swans flying against a Bright White sky background lead by a big dark leader swan

There are many different factors to  keep in mind in business to keep productivity high. A crucial factor, of course, is the performance of your sales team. Once you have assembled your team, you need to nurture and lead them. This is a challenge, but not a pipedream. To succeed, you need to know how to read your team and how to get the best out of them without causing unnecessary complications for your business in the long run. Here are a few tips on how to lead your high performance sales team:

Identify Where Your Team  Stands vs  What Your Business Needs

You need to know where your team stands, this cannot be stressed enough. Understanding your business’ needs  will  help you identify the kind of salespeople you need on your team. Does your business need aggressive closers or client relations gurus? From here, you have to look at your sales team to identify their strengths, weaknesses and potential, and evaluate how suitable they are to your business needs. Do they have the necessary expertise to generate sales in your marketplace? Are they able to provide the kind of customer experience you want your customers to have? Next you need to understand your team. If your team is new to your marketplace, it is likely that they will be  starting from scratch. On the other hand,, if they are already veterans sellers in your industry, they may already have “tried and true” strategies and preferences of their own. It is up to you to make the right decisions to motivate your team and give them the right resources they need in order to succeed, and you will find it much easier when you know clearly what your team is able to achieve and what challenges are in their way. .

Manage Expectations Accordingly

Leading is about more than telling others what to do. You need to get your team committed to  their work and provide them with the necessary support to succeed. To do this, you need to carefully consider their feedback and work with them to develop strategies and solutions. You, and your team, also need to have clear communication about the expectations from both yourselves, and your customers. What is the reasonable expectation on your salespeople in your industry and where do you want them to perform at? What do your clients need and is your sales team able to deliver? Work with them to find solutions that will suit everyone.

Setting the Bar High

Setting a high bar works as a great motivator. A great deal of satisfaction can be gained from achieving difficult goals. There is no harm in setting high bars as long as you make sure your sales team sees the value in them . A goal for high sales volumes clearly translates into higher revenue for the company and therefore greater rewards for the sales team, for example. Setting a high bar for customer satisfaction results in greater repeat business and positive word-of-mouth, which makes the sales team’s job of promoting the company easier. More importantly, your team needs to believe in themselves and their ability to reach those goals. Be positive and encouraging as much as possible. Celebrate and reward the goals they do reach. A demoralized sales team is a non-producing sales team.

Invest on Training

Some may consider training to be an unnecessary expenditure, especially in sales. After all, they may argue, it’s just showing the company’s product to someone and getting them to pay for it; how hard can it be? Businesses who think like that do not succeed. In general, training should be incorporated into your business culture for good reason. Investing in your employees not only upgrades their capabilities, capabilities which they will put to use to become more productive for your company, it inspires loyalty and ownership, driving the employee to become more committed and dedicated to their job. Companies with active training cultures see higher productivity, employee morale and employee retention rates than those who do not. Selling, building a rapport with a potential customer and convincing them to purchase the company’s product, is a skill. Like all skills, it needs to be practiced, honed, and benefits from training.   Why not teach your sales team to be more effective? They’ll thank you for it and return it in higher sales performance.

Emphasize Specialization

Each member of your team brings something different to the table. Instead of throwing them all together, partner individual salespersons with other members of your sales team that complement their strengths and weaknesses to create smaller, leaner teams to meet your different business needs.  Match them up to the situations that play best to their strengths.  Let each member work in an aspect of the process that he or she performs best at to raise the overall productivity of the team. This way, you are capitalizing on all the strengths and potentials of your team members. Make sure that your reps are through their jobs contributing to their own sense of purpose and personal goals as a way to ensure continuous performance.


With these tips  in mind, go forth and lead your team to success.  Be open to learning from your team and developing new strategies to boost your sales performance. There is no denying that leadership takes effort, especially to build and lead a good, effective team, but the rewards are definitely worth it.

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