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5 Traits of a High-Performing Sales Team

high performing sales team celebrating success
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A high-performing sales team is consistently achieving excellent results. Is it a dream or a reality for your company? Over the years, we have identified some traits that all occur in sales teams that outperform their competitors and deliver results.

Hiring the right person is core to building a high-performing sales team. However, finding the right people and placing them in the right role takes time.

Far too often, companies hire a salesperson and then expect that they will do everything in the sales process. A generalist that will prospect new business, manage accounts and close deals with new customers. This can be a problem in today’s market as each part of the role is time-consuming, and salespeople need to be masters of time management to make it all happen.

The reality is they end up doing only one part of the role, often being account management and closing deals that come to them.

High-performing sales teams have salespeople that are specialists. If you need to fill a pipeline, you hire a person whose total focus is converting leads from marketing to opportunities in the pipeline. That person can manage a high number of opportunities at once if they are handing them over to another member of the sales team who specialises in proposing and closing deals. An account manager is focused on building sales within the existing accounts and protecting your customer base.

High-performing sales teams have specialist roles enabling the team to contribute effectively to deal outcomes. When hiring a specialist, they test to understand the salesperson’s cognitive and predictive indices and analyse if the candidate has the desired traits required for the role. The hiring process involves interviewing, testing, and identifying the training and development they need to excel in the role.

High-performing sales teams know their numbers. They know how many telephone calls, emails, visits, and follow-up calls are required to get results. Therefore, they do not object to being measured as those numbers define how much effort is needed daily. However, when the numbers start to go wrong, it’s time to check what is being discussed with prospective and existing customers to bring the numbers back into play to achieve results.

There is a defined sales process that works for the company and the decision-makers and influencers the sales team will meet with or talk about your offerings. The sales process has a series of gateways that must be completed before moving to the next step.

This is not about ticking off operational quoting requirements. It is about the information they have gained from the customer. When sufficient information is gathered, they move to the next phase building a solid business case for closing deals.

A study from reveals that sales professionals only spend about a third (36.6 percent) of their time selling. They are spending too much of their time on administrative and manual tasks, which affects their ability to keep up with the selling activities.

Sales enablement tools can assist in streamlining their workload. A well-designed CRM is important, one that is mobile-friendly and easy to use. The CRM should be linked to marketing collateral and sales content materials.

Content is at the heart of sales enablement. The right piece of sales content at the right time can make or break a deal — or the client’s trust.

Sales professionals often complain about inconsistencies in messaging or the availability of content. Yet, knowing where to find everything when needed is a game-changer in delivering sales results.

Ideally, your sales enablement software assists you in organising and delivering relevant content effortlessly.

concept sign of content is king

High-performing salespeople like to know their scores on demand. They know their numbers and want to track their performance, just like you would see with athletes.

How much velocity is there in the pipeline? How many deals are in negotiation? Where do they need to add some more effort to make the number?

Consistent review of the numbers is a key contributor to delivering the number each month, quarter and year.

Ensure the data is kept in real-time and displayed to allow salespeople visibility to their numbers in five seconds or less.

High-performing sales teams engage in more coaching and sales training than their lesser-performing counterparts. Lesser performing salespeople are often managed with an autopilot sales leadership where they set targets and expect the revenue to roll in.

Great sales teams understand how to sell their products and services. The sales coach links the training to the work environment and customer requirements making it relevant and effective for each sales team member. There is a sales culture of learning and development.

In order for your sales team to improve sales performance and consistently produce results, you need to coach your salespeople frequently one-on-one. Roughly three-quarters (74 percent) of leading companies say the most important role sales managers play are coaching and mentoring.

Ensure that you set expectations with your sales leaders on the number of hours they should be observing, coaching, and learning alongside their direct reports. And hold them accountable. Regularly ask your sales team how they’re being trained and coached and ask if they can tie that coaching to an increase in their performance.

Over the years, I have found that high-performing sales professionals work for above-average organisations—a symbiotic relationship. They are led by strong leadership and each sales rep is given the opportunity to excel. A company cannot excel without high-performing salespeople, and those same salespeople cannot excel without a company that understands what it takes to hire and retain top-performing salespeople. So if you want a whole team of high-performing sales professionals, you must first create a high-performance sales organisation.

If you employ the above strategies to create a successful sales team. You can change your sales team to be a top-performing sales team.

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About the Author: Adele Crane

A leader in Implementation Consulting.
CEOs and Managing Directors have relied on Adele Crane to solve challenges with the performance of their sales and marketing since 1990. Her consulting experience in delivering results in 90-120 days is unprecedented by any other known sales and marketing consulting professional in the world. As an author of 3 acclaimed books, appearances on major media, and publications in USA, NZ and Australia, Adele’s experience brings fresh thinking and contemporary practices to business.