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How to Build a Savvy Sales Team

Authored by Greg Brush on August 8, 2014

In the sales industry, you can teach many skills: how to create a report, how to negotiate on pricing and even how to craft a persuasive pitch. All of this instruction is done to lead to the greater objective of building a savvy sales team. One that has the confidence and edge in their ongoing training to close more deals. Of course, this is much easier written down on pen and paper than done. However, as competition in the global marketplace grows, it’s become more and more evident that such a task is not infeasible, nor a years long undertaking.

What does it take though to quickly turnaround hard skills into strong savvy?

Start with the most obvious: diagnosing the problem. Whether you’re a small business or large corporation, middle management or C-level everyone has a problem they are trying to solve within their sales team. It might be hard to find internal communication inefficiencies, but it could also be as blatant as the drop in your profit margins quarter-over-quarter. Regardless, improvements can always stand to be made within your sales process. Identifying them in a transparent regard is the the first great stride you can make in shaping a confident team. Addressing internal (or even external) issues openly with your team allows for proper evaluation in growing business. Sharing ideas, acknowledging strengths as well as weaknesses makes everyone feel more comfortable to self-correct and pivot. Moreover, once a problem is recognized and attention can be made to fixing it, then greater time is allowed for working deals and further driving the pipeline. The other solution problem domain provides when implemented correctly, is informing management of the the right people to hire and the experience level at which they need them. A certain continuum exists around the complexity of a sales cycle. As that is discovered at various levels and milestones in the process, it will become clear the caliber of management and representatives needed.

What should serve as checkpoints in determining the appropriate profile of a sales leader or representative on your team?

Before a formal sales process is ever implemented in your organization, a value system made up of specific traits will have already been in place. In other words, there will be an existing culture. Your company’s culture should always be a priority to keep in tact as it was purpose built to ensure success across all departments. Recruiting with this top-of-mind will create a more efficient and effective workforce. From a more tactical perspective, you want to make sure early on that your sales people can function within the given sales model, and are aware of their own career ambitions. It’s essential to have people on your team who understand the ins and outs of the process, exhibit the skills needed to get the job done and have a tremendous drive. However, if their long-term - or even short-term - ambitions fall outside of the sales spectrum, you will ultimately end up with a distracted worker whose objectives may not align with the given KPIs. Among other issues such as a possible decrease in morale, this will contribute to decline in productivity that you need. As your sales team grows, its goals will become more illuminated. Certain data and analytics will make themselves clear as to their importance (or lack thereof) in determining close rate success. Additionally, collaborating on best practices brings about shared objectives will enable peer partnerships. Ultimately, it comes down to how complex you intend for your sales model to be. Proper and accurate diagnosis of the task at hand is the first crucial component. Followed by developing an inventory of attributes, traits and necessary skills for your organization’s culture as well as the roles in it. This will help to align employees with the company’s executive leadership team. Finally, always make sure there’s a layman among team members and management to help the organization achieve its means. Having an advocate for the right resources, technologies and content to support the sales team will contribute a great deal to the confidence of everyone. Remember that every opportunity in using these tools to simplify communication will help to inspire your sales team.


TopOPPS, Inc. began as an idea faced at two previous start-ups: How to get accurate forecasts and understand where opportunities are in the sales pipeline?  As a result, TopOPPS sponsored GlobalHack I in St. Louis, MO and began its rapid journey from idea to fully formed product. The goal of TopOPPS product suite is to ensure that sales teams hit their quota every quarter through better opportunity management and more accurate forecasting. TopOPPS now offers products TopVIEW and TopMOBILE to allow sales reps to update their opportunities from their mobile devices and gives sales managers the ability to see the data from all of their reps’ opportunities in a clean and concise dashboard. Get started on TopOPPS today with your free demo.

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