Like having a script idea for a Hollywood movie, everyone also has their opinion of what is needed to make up a high performance sales team and not to be outdone, this is mine.
Over the years I’ve played a role in a couple of high performance teams, some average ones and way too many poor performing ones.
Whether it has been a team I was directing, or a team that I was a part of, I have experienced first-hand the mistakes companies, managers (me included) and sales people (again me) make and also seen (sometimes too late) what is needed to rectify those mistakes.
With the help of the Justice League and the Avengers and way too much time in front of YouTube, I’ve managed to group these into 7 steps which I’d like to share with you;
Sounds obvious, but to build a great team, you need to recruit great individuals who each bring something special to the table.
These people need to have the motivation, skills and ability to be great sales people.
I’m not necessarily referring to a natural born ability to sell, I’m talking about the capacity to listen, learn and apply knowledge when selling.
If they haven’t discovered their own personal sales superpower; self-belief, they aren’t yet ready to be part of a super sales team.
Each superhero in a sales team needs their own logo.
They need clarity on what part they play in the wider team, where their role, responsibility or territory ends and where their team mate’s begins.
This gives everyone in the team a clear view of what is expected of them and avoids people stepping on each other’s toes, which can cause massive disruption to a high performing team.
Make it clear to everyone, what part each of the individuals play.
Whether its kryptonite or gamma radiation, even people with superpowers have moments of weakness and vulnerability, as such they need to have an S.H.I.E.L.D. base to return to.
Environments, in which they can take off their mask, recoup and top up on the resources they need to keep fighting.
In order to provide innovative solutions, sales people need to feel comfortable to take calculated risks, learn from their mistakes and to know that someone has their back.
Sales heroes need a leader who can shelter them from the politics of an organisation, so they can get on with saving the (business) world.
4. The Joker
As with Batman and the Joker; a super sales hero is only as good as their arch nemesis; their competition.
Sales people are competitive by nature, that’s one of the reasons that they are in Sales, because they want to measure themselves against an antagonist or adversary.
If you don’t want members of the same team fighting and bickering amongst each other (which let’s face it is wasted energy), give them an external foe to compete with.
Unite your super sales team by showing them that the fight needs to be taken outside the four walls of their office.
5. Sky Beam
Why do all superhero movies have an ending involving an extra-terrestrial machine or other worldly portal which emits a bright beam of light into the sky?
It’s to give the group of heroes a collective target to hit; a focus.
Sales super heroes are the same. They need to know what they are aiming for and what they need to achieve. For us, the beam is a number, a new customer or a personal goal.
Tell your sales team where they need to get to, make it visual and remind them of its importance.
And remember, if there’s more than one beam in the sky, all of a sudden you’ll find that they’ll be flying in different directions.
6. Gotham City
Who is the greatest superhero of them all? Well of course it’s Batman. Not because he has the greatest powers, or the coolest costume, but because of his story, his motive…his purpose.
Most of us aren’t aliens from a distant planet, or members of a mythical Amazonian warrior nation. But much like Batman, we sales people are all humans seeking a greater purpose other than a purely monetary one.
For Batman, his purpose, his reason for being is to protect Gotham City from that which threatens what he loves, that’s what keeps him going when the chips are down.
Great sales superheroes sell, not because they just want to hit a target, but because of what hitting that target represents. They have understood the target is merely a marker on the road to a greater purpose.
7. Alter Ego
In today’s continuous business cycle of annual targets, quarterly incentives, monthly reviews and daily quotas, there is little to no respite before we are expected to suit up and get back out to bring in more revenue to save the day.
If you work in Sales, you’re expected to always be on top of your game. But even the best superhero sales person needs to have downtime, when they can take off the mask, put on their spectacles and become their alter ego.
Make sure that your team celebrate their successes, reflect on the journey and get to enjoy the rewards that they have worked so hard to achieve.
Everyone needs a moment to stop, look out beyond the horizon and let their cape blow in the wind behind them.
Well that’s it from me this week and I hope you enjoyed the article.
If you haven’t read any of our previous posts, feel free to click here.
Post credit scene
Of course, no superhero themed article is complete without a post credits section.
Great sales people are naturally inquisitive, curious and in demand from other employers wanting their services.
So if you want to keep your A-list cast for next year’s installment, keep them wanting more of what you have to offer by showing them what is Coming Soon!
Next week – Why Sales is no longer an Art or a Science.