Three Steps to Creating a Successful Sales Team


High Performance Begins with Good Practices of Individuals and the Team

Three Steps to Creating a Successful Sales TeamI often assist clients on the subject of strengthening sales capability. These assignments, seminars and consulting are more commonly focused on the entire sales team rather than focused on individuals.

When I am working with these clients, I am always conscious that it is up to me to “create good practices,” or in other words, “create a good norm.” A good process combined with good actions creates good results. This is universal logic.

Exactly how are good processes and good actions created? They are formed by the practices maintained by the team. Is it not the same for you? Are your actions not only rooted in your own beliefs and mindset, but also affected by the policies, rules, and practices of the team to which you belong? People’s actions become determined by the influence of both the individual and of their environment.

The Three Habits of a High Performing Team Leader

Within the sales departments of clients I have helped, there have been excellent team leaders who were improving business performance and effectively developing their employees. When speaking with these outstanding leaders, even if the business or industry type differed and the wording was not the same, I noticed that there were three common practices which made each team leader successful. Through helping various companies strengthen their sales capability, I realized firsthand that if these particular practices take root, transformation into a successful team can be achieved.

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What exactly are the three practices that make a team leader successful?

The First Habit: Regular Strategy Meetings

Clearly understanding the gap between the current situation and your goal, and examining specific measures to fill that gap, must happen in order to make a team leader successful. This is what a strategy meeting is. It is not an evaluation session or a time to read out numbers; it is a meeting for facing reality and searching for opportunities. Needless to say, it is based on the 5W2H analysis. You should regularly participate in this process with all members of your team.

Second Habit: Reflection

Every day, reflect on the results of the implemented measures decided upon in the strategy meeting. The worst practice is to boost sales performance, then leave things as-is or without following through. After action is taken, you should reflect upon why you succeeded, or why you failed.  This leads to learning, and can be used to benefit the next phase of action. The practice of reflection refers to establishing this cycle of action and learning.

Third Habit: Personal Contact

The team leader should establish contact with each salesperson, and offer advice that fits their level. In Japan, there are many cases where the employee’s job performance greatly changes based on whether this advice is effective or not. This may be difficult to do if you have many people working under you; however, you should still engage with each person. This kind of detailed guidance is essential and is what makes a team leader successful.

Continuity Leads to Strength

These three practices sound simple when put into words, but are essential. They are also difficult to carry out thoroughly. “It’s too much hassle,” “I don’t have time,” “I’m not seeing immediate results”…are some excuses given for the many cases where these practices are not thoroughly executed.

It is said that in order to acquire a new habit, you should be thorough in carrying it out for 90 days, but you must be thorough in all aspects. Earlier, I said that I often help clients on the subject of strengthening sales capability. Whenever I have conducted training and consulting and remained until these three practices took root within the team leader and the team,there were changes in action and improvement in business performance most of the time.
Try challenging yourself for 90 days at first. You can start at any time.

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