The main goal of sales is not the selling itself but the end result, that is the sale where there is an exchange of goods or service for the customer’s cash. Businesses exist to make money. Winning teams need to be in place and it takes time and skill to build such teams. There are components that need to come together to produce the right team. The sales organization, the sales leadership have a role to play in building a results oriented team. There must be a correct mix of product, price, promotion, distribution, people and processes to win in the market place. While our focus is on the sales team let me emphasize that these ingredients are critical in making of sales success.
A results oriented sales team is one that is geared in all its efforts towards winning were it matters most, in the market place. Just like in team sport everyone it pulls together and members complement one another resulting in a win. They have shared goals, values and beliefs. They know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and realize that you are only as strong as your weakest link. This team is equipped, skilled and armed to win against competitors who are entering the fray on a daily basis. They are not only motivated by remuneration but genuinely seek to solve an identified customer problem or need. They see themselves as possessing the best solution for the customer. They do a thorough analysis of their customer needs and match their offering to the customer. They don’t assume that they know what the customer wants but they engage them to uncover the real need before presenting their product.
Members of the team must individually possess the right mental attitude, hunger for success and work hard to achieve the objectives of the business. This individual works must add value to the team by focussing on doing a good job. He must be performance minded willing to put in extra time to study even using personal resources to better himself. He must be constantly looking for opportunities to help advance the company, outside office hours. This sales representative must believe in himself and his ability. He needs to immerse himself in product knowledge, doing his best to understand the typical customer or consumer. He must be aware that there are various levels of selling, for example in business to business sales, in order to interact and create valuable relationships with the different gatekeepers, influencers, users, decision makers in the decision – making unit.
The organization plays a very important facilitation in terms of recruiting the best personnel and creating an enabling environment. Apart from recruitment, the organization must create a good operating environment, allocate resources, create quality products and generally support of the sales team in terms of marketing, branding and any sales support needed. Results do not come by themselves but they are embedded in the very culture of the organization. It has been said that we set out to win the sale by the way we clean the floors in our offices, the appearance of our sales staff sends a message. The organization must have a culture that sells the right image and creates the right perception and positioning in the market.
A sales manager you would ideally want to work with a results oriented candidate on the onset but sometimes you don’t get the ideal candidate joining the team, therefore you must train, equip, motivate and coach. Even the best football players in the world need coaches. The job is to ensure that every member of the team is aligned to the vision of the team. Building a goal oriented sales team is a job that is never done, it is ongoing and you can get it right through continuous development and on the job training. It is management’s role to set clear objectives, plan, organize, direct and evaluate team effectiveness. Purpose, clear roles of team members and clear standards of performance must be pre-agreed.
In conclusion, everything that the company does and stands for must have the same orientation, that is to produce excellent sales results. However, the major and ultimate responsibility of delivering and closing the rests on the sales team. As a sales person be excellent and do what you were hired to do.