Creating a Team Environment in the Sales Department

Turning Salespeople into Team PlayersMany companies may view their representatives on a personal basis rather than part of a team, as the cold calls and lead generation are usually done in a manner that promotes self-sufficiency and individualism within the larger business.

While the focal point of selling products may be on the personal relationship that exists between the representative and the customer, sales management teams may want to consider the implications of having their employees thinking on a me-first basis.

Each part of a company is important, from the janitorial staff to upper management, as the individual cogs need to be functioning in order to have a working machine. When the pieces of a sales department begin to operate on their own behalf, the entire business may suffer.

Cash bonuses for excellent work in other areas of the company concerning each account might help to motivate the people that are on the fringe of the sales team and may let the representatives see that other individuals make their job easier, according to Inc.com.

If the concept of teamwork is emphasized from the outset, employees may buy into more of a communal atmosphere instead of focusing on their own accomplishments. While personal ambition is important for each representative, they need to understand that sales is not the only important division within the company, the business website reported.

Teamwork within the sales team is also important, as representatives who are covering the same territory need to act in accordance with an established policy in order to prevent account poaching and infighting, Barrett Riddleberger, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Resolution Systems, Inc., a sales training and consulting firm, said.

Firewalls and specific policies may be needed to prevent representatives from attacking each other’s business, especially when commission-based compensation is involved in the transaction, according to the executive.

“Everything has to be clearly thought through,” Riddleberger noted. “Territories have rich and poor pockets – take that into consideration when assigning territories so there is fairness.”

Sales management teams can give an equal number of the large accounts and smaller clients in each territory to the representatives, preventing disagreements about the lack of fairness for the distribution of commission, the executive reported.

The distribution of the specific accounts should be done by nature of the product, geography and relationship with the account manager, as long as the lines are drawn clearly, according to Riddleberger.