3 Sales Managers Share Their Blueprint for Building an A-Team

by Janey Zitomer
November 19, 2019

We look for empathy among our friends, doctors and therapists. But films like “The Wolf of Wall Street” depict that characteristic as having little to no place in business or finance. A peek inside the sales teams of three Seattle tech companies tells a different story. 

Hiring and training the right people for the job came up again and again in our conversations –– a strategy not to be confused with hiring the best individual seller or the most enthusiastic. While attitude and credibility is crucial in any role, you want your front line of defense to be straightforward and trustworthy, from their first interaction with a client to their last. 

 

 

Auth0 team meeting
Auth0

Identity theft is a phenomenon that unfortunately pretty much everyone can relate to. But worse than having to cancel your credit card? Having your tech stack compromised. Auth0 is dedicated to making that an issue of the past, with an identity solution that’s easy to implement and customize. VP/GM Ghazi Masood told us how he authorizes top talent for the business. 

 

What’s your blueprint for building a sales team? How did you identify these keys and how have they made an impact as you build a team?

First, assess market segments and geographies that require focus. Next, hire professionals who come from credible software organizations with track records for success. Additionally, hone in on key traits such as tenacity, drive, hunger and being a team player, which are paramount in building an A-team. 

Hire professionals who come from credible software organizations with track records for success.’’

 

When scaling, how do you ensure your team doesn’t lose the elements that made it so successful in the first place? 

We should never sacrifice the amount of investment being made during the hiring and onboarding process. We take this quite seriously and feel we have a blueprint for one of the most thorough onboarding programs in the industry. Additionally, we foster a promote-from-within culture where the individuals can clearly see what lies ahead and what metrics and benchmarks are needed for career advancement.

 

vCita team
vCita

Orel Levit, director of sales at vCita, is all about structure. Before he told his team what to expect from him, he mapped out leadership qualities that he expects from himself. And it’s clear where that structure and hard work fits into the business management and client engagement app, from the scheduling software feature to the online payment portal. 

 

What’s your blueprint for building a sales team? How did you identify these keys and how have they made an impact as you build a team?

When building a sales team, it’s important to understand what sales methodology is right for the type of customers you’re facing and the product you’re selling. Once I figured that out, I chose four values for myself and my team to follow: hard work, believing in yourself, proportion and appreciation. These four values create two pillars: momentum and resilience. 

Working hard and believing in yourself and in your team creates momentum. Putting your successes and failures into proportion and appreciating the opportunities you get every day creates resilience. Being resilient and keeping the momentum going has led to our success.

Your leading representative shouldn’t always be your first pick to become a manager.’’ 

 

When scaling, how do you ensure your team doesn’t lose the elements that made it so successful in the first place? 

This might be the hardest part about growing your sales team. Your highest priority is making sure you promote the right people to sales management. Your leading representative shouldn’t always be your first pick to become a manager. Choose the person who isn’t focusing only on their individual success but also helps the rest of the team while performing at a high level.

Once you have a quality leader, focus on training. Have weekly group meetings and one-on-ones to go over objection handling, pitches and call structure. But make it scalable. We created an online sales playbook available for the team that we update weekly.

 

K2 team
k2

When it comes to successful achievement of any goal, whether it be frequenting that new boxing class or finishing the book you started last summer, all roads lead to consistency. Block off two days a week on your calendar and before you know it, you’ll be a regular. K2’s Director of Inside Sales Jennifer Dema recently told us that in terms of setting clear targets, sales isn’t much different. The company builds and runs business applications including forms, workflow, data and reports.

 

What’s your blueprint for building a sales team? How did you identify these keys and how have they made an impact as you build a team?   

Our approach to building a sales team is defined by our overarching business objectives and how the sales team can support them. This starts with providing transparency around roles and responsibilities. We spend time defining and documenting expectations. This gives our team clear targets as well as the tools, training and resources needed to succeed. 

Establishing a program that clearly defines the career path for individuals who are achieving success within the sales organization has been vital for us. When team members have clear career progression and growth opportunities, they are innately more engaged, find ways to hit their goals and want to stay.  

Our environment is collaborative and team-focused.’’

 

When scaling, how do you ensure your team doesn’t lose the elements that made it so successful in the first place? 

For our team to scale effectively, we have a repeatable sales process in place. This allows us to measure progress and make informed decisions along the way. We make sure that our process is accessible to all new hires so they can jump into their role, add value and hit revenue targets out of the gate. 

We also make sure all team members are focused on the same activities. This allows us to easily measure and monitor whether each individual is following the sales process, leading to less reliance on managers and empowerment to self-start. 

Our environment is collaborative and team-focused. We want our sales team to be with us for a long time, so we are committed to ensuring their success through monthly sales enablement sessions, monthly and quarterly incentives, as well as call review and shadowing for constructive feedback.

 

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