6 Characteristics of a High Performing Sales Team

The hallmark of a high performing sales team is their ability to push through obstacles and continue to provide a constant revenue stream for the business. But what do high performers have that others don’t? Let’s take a look at some of the top characteristics of high performing sales teams.

HireDNA sales recruiting, evaluation, and training services can help you build a winning sales team. Contact us today.

1. Invested in Better Customer Research

With the dramatic rise of social media and other public communication platforms, the modern consumer is well-aware and has access to various sources of information. In many cases, by the time consumers get in touch with a sales team, they are already midway through their buying journey.

Top salespeople recognize the need to invest time into understanding their consumers better, instead of relying on conventional selling pitches and tactics. In fact, research shows that high performing sales teams are 2.8X more focused on personalizing customer interactions.

Highly successful sales teams invest resources in researching for their target audience. This includes developing call objectives before you even pick the phone, asking highly targeted questions, and tailoring your solution to fit the prospect’s requirements.

2. Ruthless with Qualification

A top tier sales team knows how to make the most of every single minute of their time. This means identifying high-value targets and dedicating more time to cultivating high-quality leads.

The best salespeople are decisive when it comes to wasting time on prospects. Some consumers do not convert, regardless of the effort you put in. A distinguished sales team knows every minute spent on an unsuccessful lead is a minute lost that could have been used to close a deal.

By closely analyzing your pipeline and evaluating every opportunity that comes your way, you can make sure to only dedicate your time on the highest value leads.

3. Exceptional Sales Managers

One of the major driving forces behind the success of a sales team is exceptional leadership. Every salesperson is likely to hit a slump at some point in time, but teams with outstanding sales managers tend to do a lot better than teams without one.

Read our blog on Essential Sales Manager Skills for more insight into what makes the best sales managers.

Successful teams rely on the coaching skills of the manager to improve their performance, and the best managers dedicate more than 50% of their time to transferring their skills to their colleagues.

According to a recent study, managers of sales teams that achieved 75% or more of their quota were not only more proficient at training their sales team, but they actually spent more time in training their sales staff compared to low performing sales teams.

HireDNA can help you build out custom sales training programs to improve performance at both the individual and team levels. Learn more.

4. Increased Accountability

Regardless of the fact that they work as a unit, a high-performing sales team holds every individual salesperson accountable for their own performance. Every sales rep has to be accountable for their sales quotas. If there isn’t a clear system to help ensure accountability, your performance can quickly decline..

Some key tips to improve accountability within your sales team include:

  • Set clear, realistic, and actionable goals. Your team can’t be held accountable for goals that are not clear.
  • Establish periodic check-ins. While you don’t want to be overbearing, regular check-ins at both the individual and team level can let your team know that their performance is being monitored. You will also be able to take action if you notice a team member’s performance lagging.
  • Make corrective actions clear and fair. What is your plan to improve performance for a lagging team member? Your reps should know what to expect if they begin to or repeatedly miss goals.
  • Coach and train when needed. Corrective action doesn’t have to be the threat of termination. Remaining positive and providing essential coaching and training to lagging team members can help to establish a culture of improvement and success.
  • Congratulate successes. Incentives and recognition can go a long way to motivate your team and keep them accountable for their quotas.

At HireDNA, we offer thorough sales evaluations to identify and resolve weaknesses and skill gaps limiting your sales results. Learn more.

5. No Space for Poor Performers

As a sales manager, you need to enforce accountability in order for your team members to actually take their quotas seriously. That may include making some tough decisions, such as terminating continuously low performing sales reps.

A high performing sales team is made up of over-achievers who meet their goals consistently. If coaching is not helping to improve an individual’s performance, a sales performance improvement plan (PIP) can be a great way to get them back on track.

However, if they fail to improve beyond a certain period, they don’t deserve a place in your high performing sales team. Terminating a rep may be tough, but it may be necessary to keep the team on track.

6. Continuously Striving for Improvement

A relentless desire to improve and get better is one of the hallmarks of a highly successful sales team. Never be content with previous achievements, and always show a determination to exceed previous goals.

A determination for improvement can be made visible through the metrics your team sets each year, such as a 10% raise on annual quotas every year. While this may seem like an aggressive tactic, it can help to push your sales team to achieve grander goals.

On a more micro level, this translates to every sales rep trying to overcome their weaknesses. Unable to land high-quality leads? Prospect more diligently. Struggling to make it past the demo stage? Research and customize your offering to the consumers’ pain points.

Build an Exceptional Sales Team

A highly efficient and productive sales team is the cornerstone of organizational success. A high performing sales team has several unique characteristics that allow them to scale their performance.

At HireDNA, we bring 10 years of experience to help you recruit, manage, evaluate, and develop an efficient sales team.

Ready to take your sales performance to the next level?

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How to Create an Effective Sales Performance Improvement Plan (PIP)

Your sales team’s performance is crucial to your organization’s bottom-line. Every underperforming salesperson represents missed opportunities and lost revenue that could have contributed toward your business. While the most straightforward fix may appear to let the salesperson go, think again.

Rather than spend time and resources on ramping up a new hire, it may be more cost-effective to work to improve the underperforming rep’s performance. That’s where a sales performance improvement plan (PIP) comes in.

Evaluate performance gaps and develop a highly successful training program to boost your sales team’s output. Contact a HireDNA expert today.

5 Ways To Create An Effective Sales Performance Plan

A sales performance plan, also known as a performance improvement plan (PIP), is a detailed strategy that outlines the steps underperforming sales reps need to take in order to regain their optimal performance levels.  

This plan defines clear goals and growth metrics along with the roadmap to achieve those goals. With a timeline added to the strategy, your salesperson has a fair chance to improve their performance.

So, how do you create an effective sales PIP? Here are some key tips to building the right PIP:

Evaluation Your Team’s Performance

Before building out your PIP, it’s important to evaluate your salespeople and understand why they are underperforming. Once you do that, you’ll have the groundwork you need to understand what it will take to help them improve in those areas and ultimately increase their performance altogether.

Start with an evaluation to understand your reps’ strengths and weaknesses to determine where you should focus your time and attention. An evaluation will also help to determine if your rep is capable of improving their skills and ultimately their results. 

With thorough sales team evaluations, HireDNA can help you identify KPIs, uncover skill gaps, and discover opportunities for future growth. Learn more.

Provide A Precise Overview

Your performance improvement plan should not include vague statements and motives. Instead, it should clearly state what has been lacking in the sales rep’s performance.

For increased clarity, consider restating their job description and provide a comparative overview of what has been missing. For instance, if a sales rep is expected to meet a minimum of 70% of their quarterly quota and they have failed to do so, mention that with their exact figures in your performance plan.

Remember to include specific examples such as missed projects, exceeded deadlines, or incidents where the sales rep did not meet their role’s expectations.

Outline Tangible Goals

To provide further clarity in expectations, sales managers should provide highly targeted breakdowns of goals and objectives. Consider setting specific activity-based goals, like appointing a minimum number of leads per week or imposing minimum demonstrations per quarter. When defining your goals, be sure to prioritize what you want to accomplish first, and outline incentives for meeting smaller objectives.

For more tips here, read our blog post on How to Set Measurable Sales Goals & Objectives.

Make Your PIP Realistic

The entire performance improvement plan should include steps, learning procedures, and relevant metrics that can be achieved in the apportioned timeframe. If a sales rep is struggling to generate leads, they might require additional training and further time to put that into practice. Cramming the entire strategy into a week is unlikely to bear any fruit. Make sure you work closely with the rep and compare with other reps to help ensure the goals you set are realistic.

Establish Timely Follow-Ups

Once you have presented your sales performance plan to the salesperson, it is essential to schedule periodical follow-ups. As a sales manager, you should remain up to date on the progress your underperforming team members are making.

Regular coaching is key for a sales manager to help reps improve performance. Check-ins will allow you to stay at the forefront of any issues or troubles they may be facing with the plan. Be careful not to make these check-ins overly negative. They should be encouraging and include coaching to uncover obstacles and provide advice to help the salesperson meet their objectives. By showing that you are dedicated to helping them improve their performance, you can build loyalty and motivate them to put in more effort.

Effective coaching can also help to prevent the need for a PIP, as a sales manager can work closely with their reps to improve skills and ensure performance is on track with expectations.

Keep It On The Low

The enactment of a sales performance plan does not have to be a team-wide affair. Particularly in the case of veteran salespeople who are struggling to meet their targets, a publicized sales performance improvement plan can have a dampening effect on their morale. It is okay and often-times preferred to have the PIP remain a matter between the sales manager and the underperforming salesperson.

As a sales manager, it’s important to ensure that the entire process remains a positive experience. Outlining the advantages of the plan and providing positive encouragement can go a long way to boost a rep’s morale and performance.

Develop A High Performing Sales Team

Finding and recruiting talented sales reps is one of the toughest tasks for sales managers. An underperforming sales rep can become a highly successful performer if provided with a meticulously designed performance plan.

At HireDNA, we help organizations build high-performance sales machines. With science-backed sales performance evaluations, we can help you uncover skill gaps on both the team and individual level. Then, through customizable training programs, we can target those gaps and help you to ramp up performance in no time. Let us help you build a winning sales team!


HireDNA Ranked Among Best Corporate Sales Training Programs by Clutch

At HireDNA, our mission is to provide our clients with the tools and training needed to build a successful company. Our work is focused on core principles that drive our sales and hiring projects. We are proud to acknowledge that based on reviews from our clients, we have been considered by Clutch as one of the top global agencies focusing on Corporate Sales Training Programs in the IT and Business Services category.

What is Clutch?

Clutch is a DC-based reviews site that allows companies to use verified client reviews to pick solutions providers for business needs such as HR services. After evaluating all client reviews and descriptions of projects, Clutch organizes the providers in leader matrices in their respective fields.

Corporate Training Leader

Below, you can see the leader matrix that includes HireDNA as an emerging leader in corporate coaching. We could not have received this recognition without the kind words of our clients, for whom we are grateful to and hope to continue our work with.

“We are thrilled to have been chosen as one of the leading sales recruiting and training companies in Washington, DC by Clutch!” – Anwar Allen, CEO

Top Human Resources Company

HireDNA has also been listed on Clutch’s sister site, The Manifest, as one of the top human resource companies. These lists are supported by data and expertise to help improve the experience for businesses to choose partners. Clutch also supports an additional site, Visual Objects, which is a portfolio-based site that allows businesses to view portfolios of past client projects to make more informed partnership decisions.

Get In Touch

In the long run, investing in proper training and strategies in the human resources department can be extremely beneficial for company operations. We want to see our clients succeed and maximize their potential with a transformative hiring process. If you are interested in learning more about our corporate sales training programs, please contact us!

Offer Stage Recruitment Tips to Win Over Top Candidates

Sales organizations are always on the lookout for standout reps that can boost their team’s performance. These exceptional individuals bring a proven track record of success, a wealth of experience and a role model presence to your team that positively affects the entire organization.

While recruiting top sales reps is a unique challenge on its own, the offer stage represents the last hurdle before you get them on board. Some recruiters mistake the offer stage as a mere formality, assuming the deal is already closed. Instead, it is arguably the most important stage where the candidate will make their final choice. Here are some offer stage recruitment tips to help you win over top candidates.

Do away with guesswork and hire the best candidates for your organization based on a data-backed predictive hiring system. Get in touch with a HireDNA sales recruiting expert today.

4 Offer Stage Tips For Top Candidates

If a candidate makes it to the offer stage, it means that they have been vetted, interviewed and passed all relevant organizational checks. Now is the time to close the deal effectively, and you should be well prepared. Here are some tips that can help increase your odds of attracting the best sales talent available.

Highlight The Details Behind Your Offer

Many times, sales managers simply parrot the offer details without attempting to extrapolate the value behind it and lend insight as to how your offer can truly benefit the candidate.

Simply repeating what you have been told by your HR manager is less likely to impress a top candidate that may very well have several other offers on their desk. Instead, you should take the time to help them understand the nuances behind the offer. For instance, if equity is involved, it is your duty to help the candidate understand the value of the equity being offered. Beyond the routine discussion involving vesting cycles and benefits, try to highlight how your offer can work toward their benefit down the line.

Of course, it’s important to have a detailed and realistic compensation plan available to walk the candidate through. Top candidates will want to know how existing reps are performing against targets and will want a clear roadmap for achieving success. No candidate wants to sign up for a role with unrealistic expectations.

Partner With Human Resources

Highly talented salespeople know their worth and often have the freedom to choose between several organizations. When seeking a new opportunity, the culture, onboarding process, and career growth opportunities are some of the commonplace concerns top sales reps share.

Partnering with your hiring manager or human resource manager can allow you to have a knowledgeable aid by your side who can answer pertinent questions with ease. They can help to elaborate on the individual growth prospects available at your organization and other key benefits available.

Eliminate hiring mistakes and improve retention rates with our proven hiring tools. Learn More.

Don’t Go Overboard

Asking too many questions, making too many calls or scheduling too many interviews are all signs of an organization going overboard with their recruitment process. Hiring top sales talent is a priority for many companies—and once you get to the offer stage, you are more likely to anticipate the deal as good as done. However, as the candidate is nearing their decision, they may become increasingly observant of their (potential) next employer.

Excessively nagging them to conduct multiple touchpoints will not only convey your organization as desperate but may adversely affect the candidate’s decision to stick with their current employer or go with another opportunity. Furthermore, asking repetitive questions regarding their desired role or salary can also work against you. You may come across as unsure, or unwilling—and when you’re aiming to recruit top sales talent, such ambiguity can work against you.

We recommend no more than three steps to the interview process before extending an offer. Any more is overkill. If you thoroughly screen candidates before the interview and use a sales specific assessment to predict compatibility and success, there’s no reason you need more than three interviews to make a decision. In today’s low unemployment market, you risk losing top talent to an overly complex, long, and unproductive interview process. 

Don’t Start From Your Lowest

The modern business world is highly competitive, and every company can benefit from having a high performing salesperson. Once you’ve found a top candidate and have managed to hold on to them until the offer-stage, don’t risk losing them because your offer couldn’t match their ambition.

Many organizations still deploy the age-old tactic of lowballing. However, there is one major flaw in this strategy—it doesn’t work with modern salespeople. Modern salespeople know their worth. By offering them a low starting offer, you are signaling that you don’t value them as much.

The best strategy is to present what you think is the strongest possible offer and elaborate on why you think it is right. It is important to remember that top sales talent may not be actively pursuing a new opportunity, so your offer needs to have the persuasive element that eases their decision in your favor.

There are online resources like salary.com that will provide insights on competitive comp plans. A good recruiting firm will also have data they can share and will identify each candidate’s desired comp in the screening process to help you determine what a competitive offer looks like. 

Build A Highly Talented Sales Team

Recruiting and retaining top sales talent is one of the greatest challenges sales managers face. HireDNA offers you a modern approach to the hiring process with our data-backed, scientific technology that allows you to discover top candidates, eliminate hiring mistakes, decrease onboarding ramp-up times, and grow your sales potential!

Why Choose Us?

  • 80% placement success
  • 79% candidate retention
  • 50% faster new hire ramp-up