By Carolyn Hollowell, Senior Director of Marketing, DiscoverOrg

What are the keys to building a successful enterprise sales team?

Keeping It Simple

There are a variety of ideas on how to build a sales team from the ground floor up. However, they all mostly come back repeatedly to one theme: keep it simple and strategic.

It has to be stressed that there is no need to build a sales empire overnight. In fact, one suggestion would be to focus on the executive team first and then hiring the sales team, driving these executives to have a real vested interest in hiring the right people and establishing the right processes early on. Another suggestion concentrated on hiring only two sales people and nurturing them to become the “ideals” for the company. They will then serve as advocates (and examples) for others to join the team.

Finding the Super Star

Panelists at VMworld were asked to describe common characteristics of top performing sales people. The answer across the board was: Activity, Activity and more Activity. Great sales reps were described as hard workers who invariably prove to have the most sales activity. Smart, competitive and very personable were other common traits. In addition, those who can sell should be able to sell themselves – and not just in the interview. During the hiring phase of building your sales team, look for their follow-up and the numbers that they are able present (close rates, revenue generated) for real insight into how they will perform on your team.

Setting Up for Success

As your sales team grows, how do you keep them motivated? How do you improve their performance? Communication is key. Understanding what each sales rep wants in his or her career allows you to map those goals to your team goals and provide a path to success for everyone. Investing in training and the right tools is a key to ensuring success. Educating your team on how to effectively sell to CIOs and overcome sales objections are crucial to improving their close rate and revenue potential.

Leveraging technology to increase your sales team’s efficiency is also a hot discussion topic. Today’s sales reps spend an average of 35% of their time actually selling. Sales intelligence database tools can enable sales teams to spend more time selling effectively.

DiscoverOrg’s database provides multiple points of entry with detailed organizational charts for each of the 17,500+ companies we profile, including verified contact data – so your reps don’t have to guess who is the decision maker or research in order to make contact. Our insider intel provides sales people with fodder to start actual conversations, including current IT initiatives, installed technology base and leadership changes – warming up cold calls and establishing credibility from the first meeting.

Building an effective enterprise sales team starts with good planning and smart investment. Empowering well-built teams with sales enablement tools such as these allows them to focus their time filling the pipeline and closing deals.