Nine Strategies to Build Sales Team Trust

Written by Joe Arioto Posted on May 24, 2022 In
a sales team trusts each other.

A team that trusts each other works harder together and delivers better results for your organization.

Key takeaways:

To boost integrity and drive sales, you need tactics that develop sales-team trust:

  • Start from the top -- make sure leaders trust teammates
  • Avoid micromanagement and encourage autonomy
  • Earn your trust by committing to personal improvement
  • Have your sales team and leaders spend time together
  • Encourage mentorships and facilitate team-building relationships
  • Set team-wide goals to encourage collaboration 
  • Establish aggressive but attainable goals 
  • Incorporate storytelling into training and team building 
  • Insist on accountability 

If you want your team to work together, you need to develop trust. Sales team trust leads to better customer service and stronger overall performance. But how do you cultivate trust in an atmosphere that often hinges on competitiveness? Here's the good news: you can maintain competitiveness while also creating a sense of trust that fosters collaboration. You just need the right strategies. 

1. Start from the top

Regardless of the values you want to promote, they must start from the top. Your leadership team must trust your sales staff. Hire people with strong skills and innate talent. Show them what you want, and then, give them the autonomy to meet goals on their own. 

Autonomy shows your team members that you trust them to make the right decisions on time management and engaging sales prospects. 

2. Avoid micromanagement

When people feel trusted, they act more trustworthy. The psychology of trust is fascinating, and it's often counterintuitive. You may be surprised at how it plays out in your organization. 

Contrary to traditional belief, micromanagement doesn't necessarily keep people on task. Instead, it encourages them to look over their shoulder and misbehave when they're not being supervised. In contrast, employees in high-trust organizations tend to be more engaged and productive. 

3. Earn trust

You've shown your employees that you trust them, but how do you convince them to trust you? By being a capable leader. Stay up to date on the latest sales and management techniques. Show your employees that you're just as committed to your personal improvement as you are to theirs. 

If employees believe that you're steering the ship in the right direction, they become more likely to trust you. If they feel like you're a hindrance on their path to success, they won't believe or incorporate your advice or strategies. 

4. Have the team spend time together

Team-bonding events help your team to get to know each other, and they can also boost collaboration between leaders and salespeople. Choose your events carefully. You want your team to feel like they’re benefiting from the experience (rather than losing a day of sales). 

Team bonding can include training and development courses. Just eating lunch together or spending Friday afternoons at the bowling alley can help to foster a connection between your teammates. 

5. Encourage mentorships

Encourage your sales team to help each other. Look for salespeople with strengths and weaknesses that complement each other, and pair them together on projects. Actively talk with your team members about their strengths and help them find ways to build each other up. 

Keep in mind that strengths and weaknesses are often different sides of the same coin. For instance, making decisions quickly can be an asset when you need to think on your feet, but in other cases, careful deliberation can help you avoid errors. When people with opposing natural tendencies work together, they become stronger and more competent. 

By creating meaningful sales-team partnerships, you facilitate the growth of individual team members. Concurrently, your team learns the value of leaning on each other and building sales team trust.  

6. Set team-wide goals

A lot of sales-team incentives focus on identifying individuals. Leaderboards and contests can be very effective because they motivate individuals to rise to the top, and they leverage competitiveness by encouraging everyone to try harder. 

But if you want to encourage trust, incorporate team-wide goals. Get your team to work together. Offer incentives that are only achieved if the whole team meets its goals.

7. Establish aggressive (but not impossible) goals 

Working together and establishing a culture of trust doesn't require puppies, rainbows, and good vibes. Ultimately, you still want a killer team that can sell anything. 

Set sales goals that are aggressive but reachable. Goals that are too easy are infantilizing. Impossible goals are discouraging. But aggressive goals show your team that you trust them to do their best. 

8. Use storytelling

Diverse and unique tactics can help you build trust. In particular, you might want to try storytelling to build trust. The human brain is wired to respond to stories with trust. When salespeople hear your success stories, they will be encouraged to try harder, but storytelling can also bridge the gap between diverse viewpoints. 

When the people on your sales team understand each other, they become kinder and more trustworthy. Rather than trying to steal leads or working against each other, they create a culture of support. 

9. Insist on accountability

Trust your sales team. Encourage their autonomy, but don't let them do whatever they want. Your sales team needs to be accountable to each other, themselves, and the organization. If they aren't working hard and hitting goals, they should face consequences.

Going easy on people who aren't working hard doesn't cultivate a kinder, gentler workplace. Instead, it builds resentment among the hardest-working team members. Inconsistent or unreasonable discipline can lead to anxiety and mistrust, but if your sales team knows that you will hold them to high, professional standards, their trust will grow. 

Sales-team trust fosters collaboration and boosts success in your organization. When sales team members trust you, themselves, and the rest of their team, they don't want to let anyone down. They want to be a strong link in the chain, and they work harder. 

Want help getting started? Reach out to us today. At MetaGrowth, we leverage our extensive experience in the sales, marketing, and consulting space to help our clients build sales teams that deliver results. Let's have a conversation, and we’ll learn what we can do for you. 

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