5 steps to building a sales team that drives success

ByHanover Team
Posting date: 06 February 2024

Your sales team is the productivity engine of your business, and its success hinges on its collective strength. Teamwork is crucial, and it’s important to create a collaborative environment where everyone shares the same overarching purpose. 


When building a sales team, look out for and nurture personality traits that allow both individuals and the team as a whole to thrive—traits like communication, adaptability and resilience. You should also create a blueprint for your ideal team, provide resources for success and establish clear incentives.


Whether you’re expanding your existing team or starting from scratch, building a sales team is challenging but achievable. 


The actionable steps outlined in this article will guide you through the intricacies of assembling a team that exceeds expectations and drives success for your organization. 

Step 1: Define your ideal salesperson

Before you begin to build your sales team, define your ideal candidate. The question isn’t who do you hire, but why do you hire them? The sales veteran with 20+ years of experience might not be the right choice if your team needs digital natives with fresh perspectives.


Look at your current team and determine what skills they might lack that a new hire could fill. This keeps your recruitment efforts laser-focused on candidates that maximize the agility and adaptability of your workforce, not just bodies that fill a seat.


You should also consider culture fit. Hiring someone whose values, behaviors and goals align with your company culture improves teamwork and productivity, laying the groundwork for a successful sales team.

Step 2: Build your sales team blueprint

Whether you’re building a sales team from the ground up or building out an existing team, start by drawing up your ideal sales team blueprint. Think about:

  • How you want the team to be structured
  • What roles will be defined
  • The different levels of management


A structured blueprint with clear communication channels and role delineation ensures that everyone knows their responsibilities. This strategic planning increases skill utilization, avoids unnecessary duplication of work and promotes a more streamlined and effective sales operation.


But your blueprint isn’t just about filling roles - it’s about establishing a talent pipeline that can be nurtured into higher levels of leadership. 


Clearly defining your sales team blueprint means your hiring practices will be proactive, allowing you to find the best talent who will drive your business forward. 

Step 3: Provide resources for success 

Sales training resources and skilled leadership are the dual pillars of building a sales team. While some businesses may be tempted to cut corners in these areas, they are strategic investments that contribute to a more capable and resilient workforce.


Providing comprehensive sales training upfront equips new hires with the same institutional knowledge so they can hit the ground running. Well-trained employees are better prepared to handle challenges, adapt to market shifts and deliver consistent results. 


Equally crucial is having sales leaders with a proven track record of managing teams. Experienced leaders bring valuable insights, mentorship opportunities and a strategic vision that positions the team for sustained growth in the competitive marketplace.

Step 4: Establish clear incentives

The most successful sales teams are backed by incentives. Research shows that incentive programs can increase individual performance by 27%. There are many ways you can motivate your sales team:

  • A commission structure
  • Bonuses for hitting quotas
  • Gamification, like contests or point systems
  • Celebrated success
  • Team experience days 
  • Development opportunities
  • Paid time off 


Whatever it may be, incentivizing your sales team is a priority. By aligning individual and organizational goals, you fuel motivation and make employees feel valued. You also cultivate a competitive and driven culture that’s the cornerstone of productivity.

Step 5: Reassess and re-evaluate over time

Even with all these steps, sales success is often a factor of trial and error. In many cases, it takes a lot of adjusting to find your perfect team structure and organizational flow.


Keeping your team motivated is essential for sustained success. Over time, motivations evolve, requiring diverse strategies. Financial incentives might dominate at first, but as teams mature, factors like career development, recognition and a positive work culture become increasingly vital.


Adapting motivational approaches means individuals will be continually engaged with their roles, heightening performance and reducing employee turnover. 


More crucially, you will cultivate a loyal and cherry-picked talent pipeline that will fortify your succession planning, sharpen your competitiveness and future-proof your entire sales organization.

How can Hanover support you in building a sales team that drives limitless success?

When you’re looking for your ideal hire for sales roles, speed and strategy are critical, especially in today’s talent wars. An executive search firm like Hanover specializes in connecting businesses with top-tier talent, offering unique advantages that keep you ahead. 


While there are many talent agencies to choose from, Hanover possesses the expertise and strategic partnerships you need to access high-performing talent. Not only do we assist in the scouting process, but we also consult your business needs to ensure you are hiring the right talent for the goals you’re trying to achieve. 

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