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8 Traits Successful High Performing Sales Teams Have

Mark Jung

Aug 16, 2021

Running a sales team is hard. Not only do you have to inspire people who have different motivations (and different personalities), but you’re also unable to do the work yourself, relying on your team to hit the goals set by upper management, which is no easy feat, even in good economic times.

According to RepVue, in the last twelve months, only 30 teams out of 988 have hit their quota. That breaks out to a staggeringly low 3%, a number that neither sales leaders nor their reps are likely to be happy with, and one that doesn’t paint a great picture of most sales organizations.

So why are some teams able to get it done while others struggle month after month, year after year? We’ve dug into data, read the opinions of successful sales leaders, and come up with the following trends. Here are eight things the highest performing sales teams usually do:

1. They follow a process

Working without a sales process might work for some individual reps, but according to a study conducted by the Harvard Business Review, high performing sales reps employ a more structured sales process. This means a process that is monitored, strictly enforced, or automated. While winging it might be tempting, if you want a high performing sales team, you’ll want to add structure.

2. They’re run by managers who stay closely involved

Similar to the above, a hands-off manager might be a dream come true for some sales reps, but in terms of team performance, managers who are there to oversee the pipeline, work closely with reps on training, and manage the team’s processes are more likely to have higher-performing sales teams than those who are not. Unless your team has proven they can function on auto-pilot, taking a laissez faire approach to sales management isn’t a good idea.

3. They qualify ruthlessly

High performing sales teams don’t try to sell to everyone. Instead, they’re aggressive about qualifying prospects out, ensuring that their time is put to good use, and not spent chasing those who have no intention (or ability) to buy. Whether it’s through the work of BDR’s, SDR’s, or the AE’s themselves, qualification is the name of the game if you want to maximize your selling time effectively.

4. They compensate their reps well

Hungry sales reps love to chase after big commission checks, and companies who compensate their reps accordingly won’t just attract the cream of the crop, they’ll see people going above and beyond in pursuit of those big numbers. On the flip side, a company can hardly complain that they’re not retaining talent, or getting maximum effort out of their sales teams if they’re paying them peanuts — you can’t have it both ways.

5. They save time with technology

You can bet that the highest-performing sales teams aren’t using post-it notes to manage their pipelines, and you can bet their management teams don’t balk at software fees when the technology is proven to increase efficiency. Dooly does this by eliminating over five hours of Salesforce grunt work every week, freeing up sales reps to spend more time selling. An investment in proven sales technology will pay for itself a few times over.

6. They constantly iterate

It can be tempting to keep doing the same things you’re used to doing, especially if they’re working. But high-performing sales teams are constantly refining, changing processes, and iterating in order to take things to the next level. This can be a tricky endeavor, and can be uncomfortable for those who aren’t used to rapid change. But regularly tweaking your processes can pay dividends, as long as you’re willing to change, and, occasionally, to fail.

7. They’re aligned with marketing (and the rest of the company)

Top-performing sales teams don’t behave as if they exist in a vacuum. Instead, they stay in constant contact with other teams, from marketing to customer success (support), and even operations. By doing this, they get ahead of many customer problems before they arise, and aren’t caught off guard when things (as they sometimes do) inevitably go wrong. Selling is, of course, still their top priority, but they go above and beyond to ensure they’re constantly plugged in.

8. They hold their sales reps accountable

For sales reps, accountability is a double-edged sword. We all want to produce, but when we’re not doing well, more pressure can be frustrating, and, for some people, have the opposite of its intended effect. That being said, top-performing sales teams hold their reps accountable, letting poor performers go when working with them to help them improve hasn’t paid off. It’s an unpleasant aspect of running a sales team, and few people enjoy this aspect of the business, but accountability is a necessary aspect of sales, even if it’s the most difficult one.

Join the thousands of top-performing AEs who use Dooly every day to stay more organized, instantly update their pipeline, and spend more time selling instead of mindless admin work. Try Dooly free, no credit card required. Or, Request a demo to speak with a Dooly product expert right now.

Mark Jung

Head of Marketing

Mark Jung is VP of Marketing at Sales Impact Academy. He builds B2B SaaS brands that dominate their categories by creating new strategic narratives that people rally behind. Mark is a great podcast guest, a stellar Fire Talks show host, and a bona fide leader in the revenue marketing space.