An important part of developing a high-performing sales team is ensuring the group comprises the best-suited individuals who are or have the potential to be high performers. These salespeople have demonstrated success in their ability to generate new business by identifying prospects who are good potential clients and effectively moving them through the sales process.
In today’s business environment, salespeople must also be able to represent the company professionally and prospect competently in person, via phone, and using video conferencing. Salespeople need to be well organized, transparent, and results-focused with the ability to earn the confidence of not only new contacts and prospects but also of the company’s internal stakeholders.
Why You Need High-Performing Salespeople
There is a clear correlation between the quality of your sales team and the success of your business. Studies have shown that top performers can be up to 400% more productive than average performers. Additionally, efficient salespeople:
- Deliver better results faster.
- Serve as a model and can motivate your sales team.
- Make connections and build long-term relationships with clients.
This is essential for the growth and success of the company. However, 82% of companies don’t believe they recruit high-performing talent. Even more shocking, only 23% of managers and top executives believe their strategies to acquire and retain top talent work. To fix this, it is crucial to understand the qualities of effective salespeople and how to attract and retain them.
Traits of Highly Effective Salespeople
In my years of sales management experience, I’ve recognized these eight traits in the most effective salespeople.
- Well organized in planning their sales activities and approach. They have a system, work their system, and spend time planning activities for the next week.
- Ability to use a variety of methods to prospect, including email, telephone, and LinkedIn, and not afraid of technology. They know how to effectively engage prospects using all available methods and create messaging that resonates and engages.
- Professional in their dealings with internal team members and prospects. They are respectful, knowledgeable, and always dress appropriately in business settings.
- The ability to communicate, listen well, and adjust their approach to meet the expectations of the prospect. They have and use their “anti-sales” radar in a way that puts their prospects at ease and fosters conversations.
- Coachable and open to feedback and direction from management. They ask for help when needed and are open to trying new ways to get the best results.
- Highly focused on results and driven to make money. They embrace performance objectives and are confident in their ability to meet their goals. They equate success with making money.
- They always balance the needs of the customer with the needs of the company. They know how to qualify good opportunities and weed out the bad. They also communicate bad news in a way that doesn’t damage the company’s reputation.
- They identify as a team player, not a “lone wolf.” They welcome being part of a team and enjoy healthy competition while being open to sharing best practices.
Attracting and Retaining Top Sales Talent
While some of these traits can be taught and learned by some people, the best way to ensure you have highly effective salespeople is to start by hiring salespeople who already demonstrate all (or most) of these traits.
Start with the job posting. Make sure job descriptions are clear and reflect the traits you’re looking for in a salesperson. Don’t just list a bunch of job requirements and qualifications.
Convey the company’s values and culture and explain the salesperson’s role in helping the business fulfill its mission and achieve goals. Use a mix of hard and soft skills to show what success in this role looks like.
When searching for sales talent, look for connections to industry thought leaders and other high-performing salespeople (both inside and outside your company).
High performers are attracted to business and have higher job satisfaction at companies that provide these four things:
- Leadership that is supportive and empowering.
- Clear values and a company culture that reflects those values.
- Opportunities for growth and advancement.
- Rewards in terms of competitive wages, benefits, perks, and recognition.
Want more tips on how to hire high performers? Contact us online or call 407-578-5277 for help building and managing your sales team.