What Makes a Good B2B Sales Team?
B2B and B2C marketing have different approaches in many ways. In B2C marketing, you can predict whether consumers will buy your product or service based on common ascertainable factors, such as price, quality, or popularity. Thus, you can better promote your brand based using these consumer triggers.
In the case of B2B sales, buyers make decisions based on business value or potential profit – things that you might not be entirely privy to. Thus, it’s crucial that you have the right people in your sales team. A premier sales team can help you determine what kind of strategy will effectively close sales with a specific B2B buyer whose motivations are unique to their organization.
Characteristics of a Good Sales Team
Some mediocre salespeople fall a little short on meeting the company’s sales goals on a consistent basis. On the other hand, there are those who continuously drive results and numbers for the team.
Here are the qualities that make a good sales team.
1. The team works well collectively and individually.
Whatever the size of your company, you will need to define the organizational makeup of your sales department. If you’re a startup, your chief executive officer (CEO) is most likely the company’s chief marketer and sales director working with a handful of sales personnel. On the other hand, a larger enterprise would have multiple account executives, marketers, and customer service representatives.
An ideal B2B sales team also has defined roles and responsibilities for every team member, similar to how sports relay participants perform an action at their designated post to help the team move forward and ultimately finish the course.
At the same time, all members of the sales team should be comfortable working with one another. There should be proper coordination and communication between each unit, especially when it comes to addressing issues that directly affect your customers.
2. Team members possess both hard skills and soft skills.
Selling is both a skill and an art. It becomes a skill when you use the tools of the trade to communicate to your prospects or customers the benefits that your product or service offers. On the other hand, selling becomes an art when you focus more on the relationship that you build with your sales leads. Gaining their trust and confidence will help you convince them how they can directly experience the benefits of buying from you.
In other words, you need to develop both hard skills and soft skills in your salesforce. Hard skills pertain to the know-how that you develop over time through training, while soft skills include the attributes that define your character or personality.
Here’s an initial list of those must-have skills:
- Presentation skills enable you to make and deliver winning sales pitches to a prospective client.
- Product knowledge refers to your ability to explain the features and benefits of your product based on the needs of the customer.
- Research skills include the tools and methods that you use to understand the nature of business of the company that you want to do work with.
- Networking skills are the techniques that you use to find new prospects and grow your client base.
Communication skills do not only pertain to your ability to express ideas or concepts, but they also extend to your being a good listener as you get to the bottom of your customer’s problem or concern.
Decision-making skills require that you can make judgment calls and assume responsibility for the outcome.
Emotional intelligence (EQ) means being able to deal with your emotions and with those of other people, especially during stressful or critical situations.
3. The team is in tune with market trends.
The marketing environment has changed radically with digital technologies taking over traditional advertising. Along with this transformation, new trends in customer behavior and the buying process are emerging, too. This calls for your sales team to align their sales approach based on these new driving factors.
If you’re used to doing a lot of cold calling, you might find that it is no longer the easiest or most effective way to reach out to business movers and shakers. Instead, you should start exploring the power of content marketing and social media to help you generate or engage with sales leads.
4. There’s a mix of critical and creative thinkers in the team.
Top B2B sales teams are composed of problem solvers who help their business customer find the best solution to their problem. At times, customers don’t realize that there are pain points in their business until your salespeople bring them up and present their recommendations.
In some cases, customers may express that they are not interested in your product or service. However, success-oriented salespeople are capable of recognizing when customers have a particular need that another product or service (other than yours) can fulfill better.
Tips for Creating Your Sales Dream Team
Learn how to build a dream team that would make killer sales for your company.
Hire the right people. Focusing on one specific personality type cannot guarantee sales success. You need well-rounded salespeople who are confident and experienced, yet coachable at the same time. Moreover, they have to demonstrate that they can handle failures or rejections and use these experiences to improve their sales record.
While you’re trying to find the best talent, you should also aim to have a diverse sales team. Having a good mix of aggressive and passive sales personnel will allow you to cater to different types of business leads such as those who already know what they want versus those who are still in the early stage of the sales cycle. Knowing how to hire the right people will go a long way.
Give them the set of tools they need. Selling is mostly about interacting with customers, so make sure that your salespeople have access to relevant customer data that they can leverage to engage their prospects. Invest in modern technologies to make it easy for your team to find and target future customers. The right software and tools will also let your people focus on more important goals rather than mundane, repetitive tasks that can otherwise be accomplished with automation.
There should also be a way for your team members to track each other’s progress. Look for a team collaboration platform that will enable your salespeople to share the status of every sales campaign they’re working on. If someone or something is not on track, other members could step up to help the team achieve its goal and reach their numbers.
Train your team. Training programs encourage continuous learning and improvement. As you expose your salespeople to various training events, they will have an opportunity to learn from their peers and sales experts as each one shares the best practices that have worked for them.
Some training ideas for your team might include a phone call role play and product demonstrations, either on a periodic or regular basis so that team members can share helpful sales techniques to each other.
The Key to a Good B2B Sales Team
The most successful B2B sales teams did not acquire that status in a short span of time and the largest companies wouldn’t be where they are today without the hard work of their sales department. Master salespeople have to work day in and day out to gain relevant skills to help them perform well in their craft. They also embrace new technologies and methodologies to improve the customer experience. Finally, they’re not afraid to be rejected the first time and instead create opportunities to serve customers and close sales along the way.