If you’re a baseball fan, you must be loving the exciting games that the Major League playoffs have delivered so far. Building a baseball team for a long post-season run has some surprising similarities with assembling a sales team for long-term success. You need different pieces and personalities to account for both strengths and areas of improvement. Here’s my recommended lineup for a cohesive and supportive sales team.

 

The Seasoned Veteran

Every sales team needs a mentor who has seen sales techniques that have worked in the past along with methods that have become outdated. This role can be your team leader or at the very least the trusted teacher that you call on to get new or inexperienced salespeople up to speed on your business and customers’ needs.

 

The Scrappy Upstart

This “rookie” team member has a genuine drive for learning the sales business and will take on any task that is thrown their way, no matter how small or granular. Other team members can find motivation from their young colleague’s energy and enthusiasm.

 

The Glue Guy/Gal

Hispanic businesswoman drawing on paper in office

This is your sales team’s “grinder.” Typically respected across the board by the team and level headed both in good times and bad. Can be counted on to maintain an optimistic tone and also serve as an objective mediator in disagreements within the sales team. This role can also be a candidate for the team leader and has potential for upper management roles.

 

The Visionary

It is important for your team to have at least one member that is consistently delivering new ideas, methods and processes that benefits both colleagues and the company. This team member doesn’t get bogged down in the little details and is more focused on the big picture and long-term, sustained results.

 

The Lone Wolf

This role is not a must-have for a successful sales team, but the independent, self-motivated salesperson can provide a boost to the team when other members are slumping. This role is more of a “lead by example” type, but still offers lessons that other pieces of the team can put to use.

Take a look at your current sales staff and see how many of the winning team roles you can fill. Then look to plug whatever gaps you have when you’re recruiting to diversify and empower your sales team. The players should be there for you to complete your lineup and that will position you as a successful head coach.