6 Essential Characteristics of a Successful Sales Team

GettyImages 528213939 6 Essential Characteristics of a Successful Sales Team

Successful sales teams don’t just happen by accident – they’re forged by a combination of valuable traits that are shared across the entire team. Below are 6 essential characteristics that make up a sales team that’s destined for success.

Enjoy Going Against the Status Quo

Being on the same page and working toward common goals are essential to a successful sales team; however, that doesn’t mean being able to challenge the status quo isn’t. If your team keeps doing the same thing, you’re not going to innovate or create real positive change. Change and innovation require thinking outside the box and going against the grain. In order to push the envelope and challenge the norm, find individuals on your team who are willing to challenge assumptions, question normalcy, and strive toward disrupting the status quo in your organization.


If there’s one characteristic that acts as the focal point of a successful team, it’s trust. Trust is one of the most influential traits – it’s also one of the hardest to develop and one of the easiest to break. Teams that are made up of individuals that trust each other are able to put aside differences, manage conflicts and disagreements in an appropriate manner, and hold each other truly accountable for their actions in constructive ways. Teams that haven’t properly nurtured trust, or who once had a level of trust that’s been lost, will find that they’re never going to find success unless the problem is addressed and changes are made. Conflicts will go unresolved, individuals won’t hold each other accountable, and the environment won’t be beneficial for anyone.

Led by a True Leader

There are many qualities that make up a successful leader, which we’ve written already written about in detail. Below are a few key takeaways:

  • Relationship-driven

Great leaders are a person first and a leader second. They believe in building relationships in order to sustain a team’s successes.

  • Delegation

Great leaders are able to delegate tasks effectively and involve everyone on the team. They know their team’s strengths and are able to manage projects efficiently.

  • Big-picture thinking

Great leaders know what they want to achieve down the road, and are able to communicate their vision with their team.

  • Decisiveness

Great leaders don’t overthink situations or take too much time trying to solve a problem. In some cases, they’re able to make decisions without knowing all of the information.

Great leaders love what they do, and are able to inspire their employees to find passion in their own work and goals.


Individuals in a sales team create success by being respectful, not only to management and the company that they’re working for, but also to each other’s efforts and selling skills. Each individual in a team brings something unique to the table, regardless of whether they hold the same title or have the same product knowledge, and it’s important that everyone sees this and respects it. Once respect is established, team members will be empowered knowing their progress and contributions don’t go unnoticed or unacknowledged.

Have Clearly-Defined Goals and Expectations

Nobody likes being left in the dark about their own expectations, or that of their team. Expectations should be clearly defined and communicated to the entire team before any work commences. In addition, goals should be properly defined. Utilize S.M.A.R.T. goals to ensure that the goals you’re setting out to achieve are actually feasible, yet challenging.

Believe in the Mission

A successful sales team is one that, across the board, believes in what they’re setting out to accomplish. When one person lacks the passion and gravitas needed, the entire team is affected. This passion and belief in the mission should be supported and encouraged by the team leader, and even by a team member’s own peers. If there seems to be a lack of interest in accomplishing overall goals, or if team members are only interested in getting compensated for their work, they’re bound to be unsuccessful in their endeavors.

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