Traits of the Highest-Performing Sales Teams

There is a method to the madness of creating a high-performing sales team. Whether you’re just starting out, or trying to revise your business for more growth and success, there are certain characteristics that are common to every high-performing sales team.

Here are five traits that make a high-performing sales team, backed up by the data successful sales teams use to make decisions.

High-performing sales teams train their new sales people well.

Streamlining the onboarding process is important, but only as much as it gets your team members to the field faster without compromising the quality of their training.

High performing sales organizations provide an average of 13.3 classroom days of full-time sales onboarding, and are more than twice as likely to provide ongoing training that goes beyond initial on-boarding.

Nearly two weeks of onboarding training might seem like a lot. However, high-performing organizations are 28% more likely than low-performing organizations to require pass-fail testing at the end of their onboarding training.

If you read the Five Steps to Scaling a Sales Team, you know that it’s best to hire in groups of two to three, so that you can perform quality control on your new sales people without losing your scaling momentum.

The takeaway here, is that your training for new team members should be thorough, ongoing, and involve some sort of knowledge check.

High-performing sales teams focus on creating sales opportunities.

There is a direct correlation between the number of opportunities you bring into your sales pipeline every month, and whether or not your meet your sales quota.

72% of organizations with fewer than 50 new sales opportunities each month failed to attain their sales quotas. In contrast, 96% of companies with 101-200 new sales opportunities every month achieved their sales goals.

The best way to do this is to consistently devote time to prospecting. Average sales teams make far more sales calls in the last month of the quarter than in the first two.

These end-of-quarter cramming sessions decrease call quality, and result in lower converting calls. Break your quarterly quotas down into weekly and monthly goals to help keep a consistent pace and maintain call quality for better sales numbers, and be better than an average sales team.

High-performing sales teams learn how to solve customer problems to get sales.

According to buyers, these are the best ways to create a positive sales experience:
1. 69% of buyers want you to listen to their needs.
2. 61% of buyers say don’t be pushy.
3. 61% of buyers want you to provide relevant information.

The data shows that asking more questions increases the chances that a sales call will be successful. The highest performing sales teams asked 11-14 questions, spread out over the course of a sales call.

Asking questions about the customer’s pain points is tied to higher conversion rates. Additionally, high-performing sales teams are ten times more likely to use collaborative language, such as, “we,” “us,” “our,” and “together,” when speaking with clients.

The bottom line here is that the anatomy of a great sales interaction is a collaborative effort to identify the customer’s pain points, and help them solve their problems using your product or service. Avoid the hard sell.

High-performing teams use social media.

Given the importance of creating sales opportunities, it makes sense that organizations which embrace social media experience better sales volume than companies which do not.

65% of sales teams who use social selling will fill their prospect pipeline, compared to 47% who do not.

Social selling influences over half of the revenue generated in 14 industries, including marketing and advertising, computer software, and management consulting.

Using social media tools can increase win rates by 5% and deal sizes by 35%.

Considering that nearly half of buyers are millennials, it’s unsurprising that high-performing organizations have embraced social selling tools. If you want to walk the footsteps of a high-performing sales team, you need to be on the social media bandwagon.

High-performing sales teams make all their information available to team members.

The highest-performing companies make all their analytics tools available to sales team members. Access to CRM and analytics data is necessary for salespeople to build detailed customer profiles, and provide targeted information and insights for each customer.

Team members use an average of six tools for sales development. Give your sales teams as many tools and access to as much information as possible to set them up for success.


Building a high-performing sales team is a two-way street. In order to get the most from team members, the sales organization needs to first provide them with the tools they need, and the training to use those tools.

Let me know how you plan to use this data to build or improve your sales team?