How the Best Sales Managers Undertake Building a Cohesive Team

When it comes to completing projects, building a cohesive team matters. If you’re assembling a new team for your project, you need people who possess the right technical skills and who can collaborate well. But most managers don’t have complete freedom to select exactly who they want for their team. If you’re in that situation, you can use psychometric data to learn which soft skills to apply to help your team stay on track.

Building a Cohesive Team – Matching Technical Skills to the Project Scope

Understanding the elements needed to successfully complete a project on time and on budget is a crucial strength for managers. For example, a sales manager who hopes to close a deal with a huge customer may need to rely on a business development rep, a qualified sales engineer and a senior industry expert. And they may need these team members to come together intermittently over an extended period of time.

Optimizing team engagement and motivation (62%) is a key goal for sales managers we surveyed. One way to handle that challenge is to formulate the scope of work and develop goals for the team members to meet, individually and as a group. As managers put together the work plan, they’ll estimate length of time the project can last and the effort that might be needed from each team member. In addition, they should understand the technical skill required to complete the work.

Once they have established those parameters, managers can review the workforce analytics regarding technical and sales skills possessed by each individual who is available to join the team. A manager who expects the prospect to challenge the proposed price or value of the deliverable should add a good negotiator to the team. If the prospect operates in the telecommunications vertical, the in-​house expert on that industry should be part of the team.

Soft Skills and Team Design

At this point, the process of building a cohesive team is only partially complete. That’s because you should also consider the workplace behavior of each potential team member. Some employees are easygoing and will limit confrontation by modeling flexibility. Other employees naturally gravitate to a leadership role in every group they join. Psychometric assessments reveal these tendencies.

As you review interpersonal dynamics, remember that you won’t want more than one individual with leadership tendencies on a team. If you have a person with great technical skills but who also suffers from organizational challenges, you can round out the team by adding a person who excels in being organized. Similarly, if one of the team members struggles with emotional control when they are under stress or pressure, you’ll want to avoid adding another person who has similar challenges.

Active Team Management

Once you’ve selected the employees who will work together, the real process of building a cohesive team begins. You must engage everyone with a kickoff meeting. It may help to hold an offsite meeting where employees can participate in team building exercises designed to help them learn about each other. During regular meetings, as an engaged manager, you should regularly reinforce the goals and provide updates on progress. When the team encounters setbacks, it’s up to you to provide a safe environment for healthy and productive conversation.

In a dissertation on team cohesion in the automotive industry regarding quality assurance, Linda Marie White remarks, “Driving cohesion in teams means the manager knows how to bring together a group of team members to leverage the best qualities of their teams, including task commitment, team collaboration, strong interpersonal relationships, and open communication.”

Keeping that advice in mind, pay attention to detail as you select team members. But in building a cohesive team, you may also manage the members to a successful outcome.

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