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Why Finding Team Players Matters When You Hire Salespeople

3 min readSeptember 17, 2019

When you hire salespeople, you should always look for team players. It takes more than consistent coaching and training to create a productive sales team. According to CEB, the most effective sales teams no longer focus on individuals, but on teamwork.

In order for sales teams to perform at their best, sales reps must do more than just execute their day-to-day tasks. Sellers must engage with their colleagues, collaborate, share information, provide help, and encourage involvement and teamwork. When this happens, a sales team becomes greater than the sum of its parts and the individual reps produce far more than they would on their own.

Naturally, highly collaborative teams are comprised of active participants who work together to reach their goals. Beyond getting better sales results, why does finding team players matter when hiring salespeople?

Team players reinforce a desirable sales culture

With the average sales rep tenure hovering at 14 months, a positive work environment goes a long way in retaining your best reps. When you hire team players, it helps create and reinforce a desireable culture while improving retention rates. These sales reps don’t prioritize themselves over the team or the company. Instead, they focus on doing what’s good for the organization and the sales team.

A true desire to help others succeed contributes to a great culture. Reps should want to help team members succeed, even if it won’t directly add to their paycheck or numbers. The best reps also celebrate the successes of others, not just their own.

Team players create strength in numbers

Team-oriented salespeople freely share their knowledge and experience, instead of undermining the success of their teammates by keeping it to themselves. They also encourage others to do the same. Since all reps have different backgrounds, this allows them to avoid learning from trial and error and rather benefit from the successes and failures of each other. Sharing effective strategies with their team members elevates the performance of all reps.

Team players also help when it comes time to scale your sales team, as Verne Harnish says, “You cross this kind of crazy point about 70 employees, where you don’t know everybody’s name anymore, and that’s where your culture can start to leak.” So you need a dependable group of reps to reinforce your sales culture.

Team players collaborate on selling

Team players work effectively across all departments in the organization to ensure the best possible customer experience and optimal solutions. They know how to leverage company resources to win a deal or ensure customer satisfaction.

These reps are a great addition to your team. They support and collaborate with others, are always happy to make an intro or referral to help a teammate, are open to talk strategy and offer encouragement to close that last deal at the end of the quarter, even when they’ve already met their quota for the period.

Team players help coach and train

Not only are collaborative reps supportive and encouraging to other team members, they make the time to coach rookies when they need help. It’s natural for them to share best practices and approaches such as call recordings or effective cold call scripts to increase their colleagues’ success.

Team players are also willing to join other’s calls if they can help close a deal or listen to a pitch and provide feedback. This peer-to-peer coaching accelerates learning and skill-building while reducing pressure on sales management to keep up with this critical activity. This is especially valuable since it has become common for companies to hire SDRs with limited experience.

As Aristotle once said, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and this is true of a sales team practicing teamwork. That’s where hiring team players for your sales team is so important since functional teams produce more than groups of sales reps operating separately. It’s time for you to start enjoying the benefits of hiring salespeople who are team players.