What makes a successful sales team?

What makes a successful sales team?

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Actually, the answer is simpler thanyou might imagine — all roads lead back to the leader!

The role of a sales leader is totranslate the organization’s vision, mission and values into a meaningfulcontext that sales teams can relate to and feel excited by. If this is achievedthen the sales leader will have created a sales team with a shared mental model.This transforms an ordinary sales team into a high performing one.

For clarity, here is a briefdescription of the following terms:

An organization's vision is aguiding image of success formed in terms of a huge goal. It is a description inwords that conjures up a picture of the organization's destination. Acompelling vision will stretch expectations, aspirations, and performance.Without that powerful, attractive, valuable vision, why bother?

A mission statement communicates theessence of an organisation to its stakeholders and customers, and failure toclearly state and communicate an organisation's mission can have harmfulconsequences around its purpose.

As Lewis Caroll, through the wordsof the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland says, "If you don't knowwhere you're going, it doesn't matter which way you go."

Guiding principles are theconsequence of a mission statement that are intended to inform or shape allsubsequent decision-making, which also provides normative criteria allowingpolicy-makers to accept, reject or modify policy interventions and activities.They are a guiding set of ideas that are articulated, understood and supportedby the organization’s workforce.

Values are beliefs which theorganization's workforce hold in common and endeavor to put into practice. Thevalues guide their performance and the decisions that are taken. Ideally, anindividual's personal values will align with the spoken and unspoken values ofthe organization. By developing a written statement of the values of theorganization, individuals have a chance to contribute to the articulation ofthese values, as well as to evaluate how well their personal values andmotivation match those of the organization.

The "Human CapitalDevelopment Model," created by Krauthammer International, is a logicalprocess that can take top management concepts, and translate them into acontext that has real meaning for staff at all levels.

The key to bringing this model tolife is to answer the following questions:

  • Does my team understand the organization's vision and how their role moves the organization closer to achieving it?
  • How can my sales team translate the organization's mission into one that is relevant to them?
  • How do the organization’s guiding principles impact on the day-to-day responsibilities of sales people?
  • Which of the organization's values does my sales team relate to?
  • How can we interpret these values so they become compelling for each sales person?

An effective sales team understandsthe big picture and the context of their team's work to the greatest degreepossible. That includes understanding the relevance of their job and how itimpacts the effectiveness of others and the overall team effort.

Too often, sales people are asked towork on an activity without being told how their role contributes toorganization's vision, much less how their efforts are impacting the ability ofothers to do their work. Understanding the organization's vision promotescollaboration, increases commitment and improves quality.

An effective team workscollaboratively and with a keen awareness of interdependency.

Collaboration and a solid sense ofinterdependency in a team will defuse blaming behavior and stimulateopportunities for learning and improvement.

Without this sense of interdependencyin responsibility and reward, blaming behaviors can occur which will quicklyerode team effectiveness and morale.