Having a team of successful salespeople can do wonders for your business, just as having a team of lifeless salespeople can bring your company down-- along with your numbers, profitability, and morale.
So what’s the secret to success for any sales team? Practice.
Most salespeople are extremely competitive, not just in sales, but in everything they do. In other words, there’s a reason there are so many sports analogies used in sales. It’s the same reason many businesses head straight for the athletic department when recruiting on college campuses. Successful athletes are highly competitive. It’s the way they’re wired, and it’s what drives them to win.
Like good athletes, good salespeople also draw on their competitive nature to drive success. But just like exceptional athletes, exceptional sales teams know the game isn’t really won on the playing field.
It’s all about practice
Your sales team can give 110% during the game, set, and match. But if they aren’t pouring that same blood, sweat, and tears into their preparation, victory won’t happen.
Is your sales team doing the important prep work that will allow them to perform to their full potential? If not, there are ways you can help.
The best coaches know that effort alone doesn’t always result in a great performance. To be successful, players need to know the game inside and out. They need to know the strategy— what plays will work and why.
Here’s how you can help bring out the best in your key players:
- Recognize that every team has a different dynamic, with different strengths and weaknesses. And as much natural talent as your new recruits may have, they won’t know any of those nuances when they first join the team. Good coaches will take the time to teach and mentor each new addition until they are completely confident in their role.
- Identify individual strengths and who fits best in each position. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking everyone needs to be good at everything. Your catcher is not also going to be a great pitcher. Let him do what he does best. Then groom another teammate to compliment his talents.
- Motivate your team around a common goal. Getting the MVP award is fantastic, but it’s not nearly as satisfying if you’re on the losing side. When your team wins, everybody wins.
- Practice, practice, practice. Then practice some more. Given two equally matched opponents, preparation will win the game every time.
Does your team hate role playing and rehearsing presentations? Too bad. It’s equivalent to lifting weights. The more you do it, the stronger you become.
Talented athletes and salespeople who go out there and “wing it” might occasionally succeed thanks to sheer will, luck, or going up against a less capable opponent. But those who have great coaching and are willing to work hard at practice are far more likely to reach (or exceed!) their goals consistently.
Be that coach to your salespeople and you’ll create a winning team.
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