What do the Edmonton Oilers (1983-1990), Chicago Bulls (1991-1998) and Los Angeles Lakers (1979-1989.) all have in common? Each of these legendary teams was widely recognized as a “dream team” that was masterfully assembled for greatness and destined for success. However, these championship-caliber squads of elite athletes weren’t formed overnight. It took careful planning, negotiation and strategy by management to build them over time.
Every successful technology company needs a sales dream team to drive revenue and grow the business, but so many struggle with how to build sales teams. In fact, 71 percent of sales leaders state that their ability to hire and retain sales talent is a top concern.
Before you make cuts to your existing team, let’s focus on the retention aspect and ways to nurture your bench warmers into MVPs.
1. Creative Motivation
Believe it or not, money isn’t the only thing that motivates sales reps. Your company culture and values can make a significant impact on motivation levels. Today’s top talent (especially in the tech world) wants to work in a company that:
- Strive to carry out a clear mission and purpose
- Encourage personal and professional development
- Facilitate opportunities to grow within the company
Beyond focusing on your company culture and values, you may also want to consider the creative and effective strategies to increase motivation without money implemented by companies that really know how to build sales teams, like public recognition, hand-written notes, or singing, dancing, yoga and beer.
2. Realistic Quotas
You don’t want to dangle the proverbial carrot on a string as your team sprints on the treadmill just to keep up to the average. Unachievable quotas will simply wear your sales reps out and set your team up for failure. That being said, you still need to drive revenue and push your organization’s goals forward.
The trick is to keep your quotas aggressive but realistic. It’s a delicate balance to not set quotas too low so salespeople find them easily attainable, but not so high that it’s a difficult playing field because in both scenarios, your revenue will suffer.
3. Celebrate Success
Going back to the sports analogy that kicked off this post, one of the reasons that those teams were so successful was their team spirit. Every player knew their role, was dedicated to playing it well and encouraged and celebrated their teammates’ successes.
This is something that can be replicated from your boardroom to your sales floor. Everybody appreciates being recognized for their hard work. Quarterly contests or congratulatory events go a long way in adding to the positive fabric of your company culture.
There’s so much advice available on how to build sales teams, but before you re-build yours, take these three tips into consideration and see if you can turn your existing sales team into your sales dream team.
When you are ready to hire sales reps, our free eBook: How to Hire Software Sales Talent will set you up for success with ways to bring on the best sales talent out there while saving precious time and money.