Your No-Nonsense Guide to Cultivating Consistent Sales Excellence
Sales is as much an art form as it is a science, and it is a discipline which we find is heavily influenced by the cultural setting in which it is practised.

At Pipeline, we are a collective of sales professionals who offer outsourced sales personnel solutions to our clients. All of us actively engage in selling all day, every day, working on a wide range of clients, from various sectors. As such, we take great pride in the levels of sales performance that we deliver and our range of experience.

There’s a lot of information flying around about how to achieve sales success, and of course plenty of companies offering incredible sales results through the magic of AI. To cut through all of the noise, we wanted to provide our community with a comprehensive guide to consistently delivering sales excellence.

There are seven fundamental pillars that you need to have in place:

1. Culture

The environment in which your sales team operates is crucial in determining the quality of results. At Pipeline our company culture is one which unashamedly values high performance. Everybody in your sales team should be striving, at all times, to be delivering results, while continuously learning and improving. Try to create a culture that lauds success; team mates should be cheering one another on, while simultaneously endeavouring to do something special themselves. Praise is also an important aspect of this; as a leader you have a responsibility to recognise great work and make sure that the producer of that work is given praise for a job well done.

Sales is all about numbers, and as such if you can centre your sales team’s culture around metrics, so everyone knows how they are doing against predefined objectives, this will ensure the team is working hard to deliver. Clear, up-to-date metrics will fuel your team’s desire and ensure that everyone is relentless in achieving the goal.

Accountability is a word which gets thrown around a lot in the business world, but which rarely is properly applied. Everyone in sales should be accountable, from leadership all the way to the junior recruits. For accountability to become entrenched in company culture, it is essential that those in leadership are accountable for their work and actions. Junior team members are not going to adopt this ethos, if they don’t see it from senior colleagues.

At Pipeline, while we obsess about winning, we also make space for team members to be vulnerable. Vulnerability is the single biggest source of real bonding between team members. If someone feels safe enough to say “I’m really struggling with x or y, does anyone have any ideas?” then you have a great culture and therefore, a strong platform for success.

It’s also important to cultivate an environment in which people can have fun. Sales is a tough job with significant pressure, and if people are not able to enjoy themselves, have a bit of a laugh and unplug from the grind, results will eventually suffer.

2. Standards

At Pipeline, we live and die by high standards. Every person we meet, every phone call we make, every email we send and every proposal we write adhere to the highest possible standards in terms of professionalism, design and grammar / punctuation.

Pride in your work is critical to succeeding in sales. If a prospect receives any form of engagement that is not up to scratch, your chances of a closed deal diminish extremely quickly.

High standards also apply to efficiency. Team members need to be constantly looking for ways to do things better and quicker, maximising the time available to boost results. Make sure you apply rigorous standards to how efficiently people are working; there is no place for wasted time when looking to boost productivity.

When looking to improve your sales outcomes, set very standards, reiterate them and ensure that any work which is below par is identified and improved immediately.

3. Resilience

Everybody who works in the sales profession will tell you that it’s an unforgiving job; sales is not for the faint of heart. Therefore, you have to have a resilient team if you want to get the best results.

Whether you’re in a feast or famine state, you have to make sure your sales execs are mentally tough and can crack on through whatever is thrown at them. Some people are naturally tougher than others and in your recruitment process a key character trait you should be looking to identify is stoicism.

Furthermore, you can build your team’s resilience through correct training exercises. For all recruits, but especially juniors, from the word go you need to be putting them through their paces, taking them outside of their comfort zones and deep into their growth zones. Only by enduring tougher situations can an individual and a team learn what they are capable of, and how much they can withstand.

While management and the wider team should always be sympathetic and supportive, it is vital that a base level of resilience permeates the entire sales team to ensure that output is maximised, no matter the market conditions.

4. Work Ethic

Work ethic seems like an obvious area to touch upon, but nonetheless it is something that we find is a major differentiator for us at Pipeline. We thrive on hard graft. We are not bothered by long hours or demanding projects, indeed we relish a good battle.

If you are looking for consistent sales success, then you need team members who like to put in a shift. People who spend the final 30 minutes of the day shuffling papers and waiting to dash out of the door at the stroke of 5, or who look for any excuse to down tools, won’t realistically be an asset in a high-performance sales team.

Work ethic is tied to culture and as a leader you need to be vigorously emphasising the benefits of diligence and commitment. It is also important to help your sales team to think long term: yes the next month might be a slog, but think about how good it will feel at the end of it when the job is done.

5. Training & Development

As with work ethic, the importance of training and development seems fairly obvious, but we are shocked by how often this vital aspect is overlooked or sidelined by our clients.

Assuming you don’t have the Sales Messiah working in your team, everybody can learn something no matter how senior. Investing heavily in the development and training of your team will deliver exponential return by lifting results, boosting staff retention and acting as a strong talent attraction tool.

At Pipeline we focus relentlessly on talent development, everybody in the company is on a demanding career development plan, we have a carefully crafted training programme and we encourage all of our existing team to assist in training new team members.

The results are staggering in terms of team ethos, an ever-expanding skills portfolio within the team and most importantly, the quality of the sales results that we generate. You need to think long and hard about how you are coaching your sales team if you want them to perform at the highest level. It doesn’t need to cost the earth and you’d be amazed at the amount of resources you already have in-house once you start strategising.

6. Incentives

The very best sales people will tell you it’s not about the money, it’s all about winning and money is just a means for keeping score, but despite this, sales professionals are undeniably money motivated. It is, therefore, very important to have a great incentive scheme in place. Your scheme should push your sales team to perform and offer substantial benefit for smashing targets. It should also be simple; having to complete the equivalent of a Sudoku to figure out how much commission is due, is not going to motivate a sales team.

We have seen countless examples of sales teams with incentive schemes which are either not remotely motivating, don’t offer much earning potential or are so complicated that the sales execs just switch off.

Get your scheme right and watch your sales team go bananas to get paid the big bucks.

7. Communication

The final pillar that we want to talk about is communication. It is hard to emphasise the importance of clear, consistent communication if you want to maximise results. Obviously leaders can’t share every tiny detail with their sales teams, but team members do not like to be left in the dark or to feel like they are paddling around without any clue as to why.

Make sure that objectives, expectations and anything else important are defined and communicated with the sales team. If a target has to be larger than expected, explain why. If an item is of high strategic importance, let the team know about this and give them the context. Involve your team in what is going on, so they can help to drive the business in the right direction. You owe it to your team to be as transparent as you can be; your team will respect you more and you’ll be amazed how far people will go to get the job done if they are brought into the loop.


Consistently delivering sales success is not easy, it requires a lot of the right ingredients and is something that the whole team has to continuously work on. From our experience however, we would argue that the amount of effort is totally worth it. Not only will you improve your sales output, but you will create a fun and engaging environment, in which people form real bonds and great achievements are realised.

By focusing on these 7 core pillars, you can unlock results that previously seemed impossible. While some quick wins will deliver swift benefits, you should be aware that everything we recommend in this article takes time to implement successfully and requires commitment to get right. By being intentional and purposeful in your pursuit of sales excellence, you will improve chances of success.

As with everything, some trial and error will be needed; every business is different and there is no one-size fits all solution, but think about the seven areas we have discussed and how you can design each one to work for your company, and you’ll be well on your way to consistent sales excellence.

If you’d like to learn more about Pipeline Professional Services and how our outsourced sales solution could be hugely beneficial to your business, please contact Fadheela Samodien on or check out our website