Building a High-Output Sales Team

February 22, 2023

Putting together a good sales team is incredibly hard, and ensuring that the team delivers high output consistently is even harder. Most companies struggle with finding the right talent that’s able to understand their company, product and the market to deliver impact. Companies shell out a significant amount of their L&D budgets in training sales teams. The impact of that is meant to directly be on business, but due to several factors, that impact is rarely seen.

Sales representatives need what we call “power skills” in order to deliver high output. There are two hurdles here that hamper the development of sales representatives. Sales teams function typically on the back of targets that they are under pressure to achieve on a day-to-day basis. This means that they get little time to take out to invest in their individual professional development. Despite efforts from the organization’s end, it becomes hard for employees to create a learning culture that’s embedded in their flow of work. Subsequently, organizations are yet to adopt a skill-based approach to people strategy and focus a lot of product and process training versus power skill development.

At Fundamento, with our team of I/O psychologists, we’ve identified two skills that if developed in leaders, can dramatically improve the performance of the sales teams. Peer-to-peer learning therefore becomes a key dependent in this effort. These skills are: Planning and Organizing, and Achievement. These skills are also deeply correlated and have a solid impact on how the other skill manifests in an individual.

Power skills deep-dive:

Planning and Organizing is the ability to decide in advance what needs to be done and set up a systematic plan of action bound by time, objectives, priorities and resources.

It is of utmost importance for leaders to set the ball rolling for the team and help them prioritize deliverables. This power skill is the most functional aspect of ensuring that sales representatives don’t take their eyes off the ball and deliver results consistently.

How it manifests in sales leadership:

Leaders that develop the Planning and Organizing power skill are able to set challenging goals and generate action plans for both, the charter they’re assigned and their customer journey node. Additionally, the skill enables them to ensure that action plans across charters and customer journey nodes solve for both short-term and long-term goals.

  • Resource management: Organizes resources efficiently to support business needs by balancing key resources across multiple projects
  • Efficient goal-posting: Sets ambitious goals that require focus and persistence, monitors progress systematically and course corrects if required
  • Informed prioritization: Effectively manages the allocation of tasks in relation to project goals so everyone can prioritize their tasks as per set objectives
  • Financial knowledge: Manages budgets across projects and checks for commercial viability to take financially sound decisions
  • Vision mapping: Plans tasks/projects in a manner that solves for both short-term and long-term goals of the organization
  • Quality execution: Suggests practical solutions to address ongoing challenges that impact the execution of projects and overall results

Achievement is one's ability to accomplish challenging goals and take calculated risks. It is the drive to raise the bar with consistency and determination.

At multiple occasions, sales teams are faced with situations where they need to take on-the-spot decisions and risk while also improving their output consistently. This power skill allows leaders to inculcate a culture of raising the bar within the team.

How it manifests in sales leadership:

Leaders with Achievement as a power skill are able to accomplish challenging goals by taking complete ownership of their assigned charter and customer journey node and are equipped to measure the risks involved. Moreover, they’re able to develop business positively by taking calculated risks while dealing with challenging goals across multiple charters.

  • Enhance productivity: Streamlines operations, optimizes process workflows and eliminates redundancies for increased productivity
  • Go above and beyond: Sets challenging goals for themselves in line with business needs and views them as an opportunity to achieve beyond expectations
  • Top tier output: Delivers high performance by completing all tasks within the decided time frame and raising the bar on quality of output with minimum guidance
  • Experimentation: Challenges existing practices constructively and takes calculated risks to deliver exponential results
  • Look ahead: Identifies the challenges and adjustments needed across projects and sets priorities to execute accordingly
  • Efficient multi-tasking: Switches back and forth among multiple tasks and stakeholders to ensure all projects are executed with high quality

When leaders are equipped with these power skills, they’re able to percolate a culture within their teams that rests upon delivering quality output. Measuring and developing teams in power skills is the first step to ensuring your team delivers high output.

Fundamento works with organizations to not only measure power skills and design interventions, but also to deliver learning in the flow of work.

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