3 Questions to Ask When Building a World-Class Sales Team
Coach Ken Eissing once shaved his head after losing a bet to his sales team that he wouldn’t hit an outrageous target. (They crushed it.)
Coach Meghan Watkins used to do wine deliveries in heels alongside her sales team whenever she got the chance. (She’d run from deliveries to client dinners back-to-back.)
Building a world-class sales team isn’t easy…though it doesn’t necessarily require shaving your head or dancing backwards in heels to do it. If you’re looking to drive exponential growth, then your sales engine is the place to start.
Here’s what you need to ask yourself and your team if you’re looking to build a world-class sales engine that helps you grow:
1. What’s the best sales channel?
Every business has access to multiple levers of growth. As CEO, you need to determine which ones you want to pull.
“Your sales team, your product mix, and your go-to-market strategy determine how you can really optimize your revenue channels. Focus on fit, potential, and feasibility,” says coach Meghan Watkins. “We encourage leveraging data analytics to determine what is resonating with customer behavior and your preferences, then evaluating those distribution costs, and understand if you need different salespeople for different channels.”
What worked for your competitor—or a market leader like Apple or Google, for that matter—won’t necessarily work for your business. The more data-driven you can make your decisions as you scale, the better. As you evaluate different channels, know that there is a bit of trial and error to determine what’s going to work best.
2. Are we looking at the right metrics?
What gets measured, gets improved.
That’s why determining which metrics you’ll pay attention to matters.
“I’ve come into many businesses as either CEO and president, sales leader, or as a coach. And what I’ve found is that there may be things getting measured, but they’re not the things that drive the revenue of the business,” says coach Ken Eissing. “I’ll give you an example from my past. One of the sales organizations I led had been in business for 30 years. They always focused on the sale. But what drove revenue of the business wasn’t the sale, it was product usage.”
A few key metrics our coaches recommend tracking for your sales team:
- Annual Recurring Revenue
- Average Revenue Per Account
- Win Rate or Conversion Rate
- Quota Attainment Levels
- Sales Cycle Length
- Deal Size
- Churn Rate/Retention
Choose three to five key metrics for your team to focus on—no more. If there’s any team that is in it to win it, it’s your sales team. Giving them targeted guidance on what to spend their time on (and what to leave behind) helps them get their job done more efficiently and with more autonomy.
3. Should we hire a sales expert?
Don’t be afraid to look for some outside help, whether that means hiring an outside firm for the training and development of your reps or working with a CEO coach who will hold you accountable to your sales numbers.
“I’m a firm believer that you cannot have a world-class sales organization if you don’t have a customer-focused culture,” says Ken. “It becomes infinitely easier to sell when you’ve got a great product that’s delivering great results for clients. Your job as a CEO and a leader is to break through all the crap and make it so that it’s easy for the sales team to do what they do best, which is to serve your customers and drive revenue.”
If you’re not sure how to make it easy for your sales teams, it may be time to call in an expert. Whether they’re facilitating your sales strategy planning session or holding you accountable if you start to miss your numbers, a coach who’s been there and done that has the experience and the outside perspective you need to stick to the system, maintain momentum, and keep Making BIG Happen. That’s why hiring a coach can be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make. Learn more >
Learn more with our free eBook, How to Build a World-Class Sales Team
This seven-step playbook is designed to help you build a world-class sales team that sets you up for exponential growth. It’s filled with the wisdom and insights from our world-class coaches, many of whom have extensive sales backgrounds.
About CEO Coaching International
CEO Coaching International works with CEOs and their leadership teams to achieve extraordinary results quarter after quarter, year after year. Known globally for its success in coaching growth-focused entrepreneurs to meaningful exits, CEO Coaching International has coached more than 1,000 CEOs and entrepreneurs in more than 60 countries and 45 industries. The coaches at CEO Coaching International are former CEOs, presidents, or executives who have made BIG happen. The firm’s coaches have led double-digit sales and profit growth in businesses ranging in size from startups to over $10 billion, and many are founders that have led their companies through successful eight, nine, and ten-figure exits. Companies working with CEO Coaching International for two years or more have experienced an average EBITDA CAGR of 53.5% during their time as a client, more than three times the U.S. average, and a revenue CAGR of 26.2%, nearly twice the U.S. average.