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Team Building Ideas
Sales teams working well together is integral to the success of your business. A team that coordinates their actions and is driven to succeed will perform better than a disinterested, un-invested one. It is no secret that one of the best, non-financial, methods to improve sales staff motivation and coordination is to use team-building activities. For more on leading sales teams and keeping them motivated - see our content on managing sales teams.
There is no shortage of academic theory on team building and the types of people in a team, from the likes of Maslow, Belbin, Myer-Briggs and more. However, we'll simplify it all for you; there are different types of people who naturally want to perform different roles in a team – and each person has their own unique needs, which if met, motivate them, and inversely if ignored, demotivate them. If people try and carry out similar roles or have similar expectations of what they will do, they will compete, and little will be achieved.
To prevent this, and to let people figure out their roles – and to solidify communal understanding of who best fits which role – team building is the best solution. Team building exercises let your sales staff figure among themselves who is most suited for what, increasing their efficiency and coordination in working environments. From a social perspective, team building strengthens relationships, allowing people to work alongside one another confidently, and making them more invested in the team itself – driving them to strive for team success. More extroverted personalities may learn to tone their outgoing side down to suit the team's needs, and more introverted characters may involve themselves more with the team due to bonding experiences.
Here are some cool ideas for team building activities – focusing on social bonding, and also more purposed for defining roles and improving team coordination.
Team Building Ideas
Social team building is incredibly valuable for making team members feel like they belong within a distinct social group. Those who think they are on the fringe of the group or not a member at all may suffer poor communication or a lack of communication. Having your team spend social time together gives them a sense of belonging and improves interpersonal relations.
A day out to a theme park gets (almost) everyone excited - the collective sense of anticipation and fear and the shared experience of an adrenaline rush is something everyone can relate to. An exciting day at a theme park gets everyone on the same level, with a central focus that all can enjoy without belonging to any specific social group or personality type. Theme parks can be a great way to create fond and humorous memories for your sales team to share and fondly recall. Be careful; you need to make sure that rollercoasters are something your whole team will enjoy - if anyone has an aversion to them, it isolates them and can have a negative effect.
Adventure days out to high-rope obstacle courses, such as Go-Ape!, are brilliant for getting your team to learn to work and play together. High-ropes provide a chance for laughter and fun and offer some space for help and teamwork as your staff help each other tackle obstacles. It's a unique and memorable experience that will undoubtedly improve staff relations - but again, as with theme parks, make sure it is something your whole team will enjoy.
The traditional work social, getting everyone down to a pub, or two, or three, to spend some time chatting and having a few (too many) drinks. In today's modern environment, this may feel antiquated, with many preferring trendy bars or coffee shops - but sometimes a good old fashioned pub crawl can be a great way to get everyone to unwind and feel comfortable with one another. Risks include people getting too drunk and doing/saying something they may regret - and many people don't drink, so ensure you won't be excluding anyone. A work meal can be an excellent alternative, to get people out and socialising - as well as giving you all an excuse to eat some delicious grub.
Bowling can work wonders, letting people chat in between turns as well as sparking friendly competition - often bringing introverts out of their shells. However, bowling can backfire - if people get too competitive, it can sour the experience. Bowling can be a great alternative social team-building experience, but you should consider how your team members will interact with one another - to prevent it from ruining relationships.
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Team Building Exercises
Social team-building is beneficial when it comes to bolstering relationships, but to better equip your team to perform well and synchronise with one another, it is often more useful to use exercises that require teamwork. In a team, people need to perform their roles to complete tasks effectively and adequately - overlapping and competing team members create a mess and slow action. Team-building exercises help people fall into their natural roles, establishing hierarchy and how the team bests work together - it also means that any individuals who naturally try for specific team roles (such as team-leader) negotiate tasks in a way that works. The experience gained in team-building exercises becomes the foundation for future efforts, being called upon to illustrate who best performs where and how the team can improve their coordination in business-world efforts.
Fun runs, marathons, endurance challenges, and sponsored hikes/treks/events are superb ways to strengthen a team's sense of unity, as well as raising money for a good cause. Take advice from us here at Aaron Wallis - we annually go on charity adventures, and it's helped bring our team together through enduring the elements together, supporting each other physically and emotionally. We've cycled the Coast to Coast Challenge, climbed Snowdonia, completed the Great Glen Kayak challenge and more! We can't recommend this enough!
Team Building Excursions:
Some facilities offer external team-building days out, with specifically designed courses which encourage your sales staff to perform well in their best-suited roles. The tasks these trips contain will require your staff to work together to solve problems while having fun, of course. These are the most direct ways to improve your team's efficiency in working together.
Similar to the last two, camping takes your team out of the office, putting them into a situation where they can have a lot of fun while also being forced to work together. All three of these require that your team nurse their problem-solving skills in a group setting.
Office Competition/ Olympics:
A more jovial and fun set of tasks, organising an office Olympics and putting your sales staff into departmental teams means that they can all have a good laugh while working together to beat other departments. The competitive nature of an office Olympics means your staff will genuinely push themselves as a unit to come out on top - exactly how you would desire it in the real world. What's more is this can be done on any budget, at any scale - with the challenges being as creative as you would like, as you get to design them!
These are just a few team building ideas. The great thing about team building, and team bonding, exercises is that you can be creative with them - make them as fun or as regimented as you like - if you have any great ideas, do let us know on Twitter or Facebook! Team building is a great way to motivate your team, but if you're looking for more ways to inspire your team - without breaking the bank, check out our alternative ways to motivate sales staff.
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by Darren Dewrance
About the author
Darren spent six years in sales and field sales before joining the original sales recruitment specialist, Austin Benn, in 1998. After achieving the status of top consultant, out of about seventy at the time, Darren rose from Senior Consultant to Operations Manager of the commercial sector before leaving to join a London based Headhunter in 2003 before setting up Aaron Wallis with Rob in October 2007.
With a natural leadership style, Darren is an expert on putting his finger right on the heart of the problem. His natural commercial instincts have helped hundreds of employers make better recruitment decisions. Darren is married with two children, and when not at work or with his family, he likes nothing more than to be on the side of a river or a lake with a rod in his hand.
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Our employers say...
Understood the type of person we were looking for and good follow ups - not too frequent.
Managing Director, bigHead Bonding Fasteners Ltd
In an industry where people over promise and under deliver, Rob and his teams have consistently provided a high-quality service. It is great to deal with someone that has an excellent understanding of UK industry, and a passion for sales.
Sales Manager, TR Fasteners
I found Aaron Wallis to be very professional and efficient, taking time to understand the role and the type of candidate we were looking for. The candidates they put forward met our criteria and were of a high standard. The service they provided was exemplary and I would have no hesitation in recommending them, and will certainly consider using them again in the future.
HR Assistant, Fischer Connectors Ltd
Rob is a true recruitment professional that goes the extra mile that I have never experienced from any other recruitment agency before. If you need sales people call Rob or someone in his team, as they really are experts in sales recruitment.
Sales Director, Inside Business
I really liked the YouTube presentations which made the service seem both simple and accessible. The company came to see me, and my management team, at short notice to present their service and I liked the support and advice that I received about maximising the results from the applicant.
Managing Director, Leisuresec plc
I just wanted to thank you for your help with our recruitment process which went very smoothly and has – we hope – found us just the person for the job!
Managing Director, Citrefine International Ltd
Since joining DSGi, Rob has been a supplier of permanent staff and has performed to an extremely high standard, successfully filling 98% of roles he has worked on. If anyone is looking for a good sales and marketing based consultancy with an informal yet professional approach, I would recommend Rob.
Senior Recruitment Consultant, DSG International
Rob’s knowledge of the recruitment industry and his thoughts and how to make it better for his clients have always been eye opening. I would recommend Rob to anybody who is looking for a professional, knowledgeable and flexible recruitment specialist.
CEO, Friday Ad Online Services
Thanks for all your help during the recruitment process. I have been extremely impressed with Aaron Wallis especially when compared to other agencies we have dealt with. I really felt you grasped the type of person we required and found strong candidates.
UK Sales Manager, Nexcom
Giles is highly professional and was a pleasure to work with. He achieves excellent results through his personable skills and tenacity. I have no hesitation in recommending Giles to anyone who considers employing his services.
Commercial Director, G4S Government & Outsourcing Solutions
Giles Phillips is a rare find in the minefield of sales recruitment; an honest and thoughtful recruiter who considers the needs of both the client AND the candidate to create perfect role matches. I look forward to working with him again in the future.
Marketing Director, City of London Police
Aaron Wallis has continuously provided us with suitable candidates that have been proactively sourced. Having used countless recruitment companies, Aaron Wallis are the only company that I can count on to deliver.
Managing Director, JARK Healthcare Recruitment
We appointed Aaron Wallis in February and the successful candidate, out of the six which Aaron Wallis introduced, was able to join Alphametrics before the end of April. The whole process took less than three months. I would recommend Aaron Wallis' services to others without hesitation.
Chief Financial Officer, Alphametrics
We were impressed not only by the quality of candidates you found for us but also the level of information, preparation and qualification you put into the process. You continually kept us informed of each person’s feelings about the process, which is very important but often overlooked. I am looking forward to working with your company again in the future.
Commercial Director, Incentive Facilities Management
I have always found Rob to be very knowledgeable about our industry sector, and it is refreshing to see after all of these years that Rob continues to quickly and accurately understand my requirements.
HR and General Manager, THK
I have used Aaron Wallis to fill a number of our Sales Development Manager roles and I have found them to provide a very professional service. I will use their services again in future recruitment campaigns.
HR Business Partner, Greene King
Our candidates say...
Very good advice and support was given during the course of the interviewing process. Potential job seekers would be well advised to use this company whilst looking for their new career.
R. Speakman, Candidate
Fantastic service, helped me find my ideal job quickly and smoothly. Would highly recommend them.
C. Caine, Candidate
Aaron Wallis helped me secure a position I really wanted. Giles sought to keep me updated with all the details preceding interviews and after with feedback. I would highly recommend Giles and Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment.
L. Taylor, Candidate
Aaron Wallis (and in particular Rob Scott) have been fantastic throughout the recruitment process, and even a few months down the line, still continues to care. Rob clearly cares about each individual and has a wealth of knowledge and expertise, which shows in the work he does. Each candidate is not just a number, and the support received from Aaron Wallis has helped me get a career which I truly enjoy.
M. White, Candidate
Really excellent experience dealing with Aaron Wallis. Liam Oakes who helped me get a great job was brilliant. Kept me up to date during the process and offered great help and advice, and a thoroughly nice guy. Highly recommended!
J. Hathaway, Candidate
I can honestly say that the time and expertise you gave me was way beyond any other recruitment consultant I dealt with. You are a rarity in your industry.
S. Akers, Candidate
Fantastic customer service, communication was brilliant, happy polite people to talk to, made everything a lot easier and smoother. Thank you for all your help getting me back in the work force, Keep up the good work :-)
K. Everitt, Candidate
The Recruitment agent I used, Simon, was extremely helpful and really went the extra mile to ensure all of my questions were answered, and that I felt as comfortable and prepared as possible. Very professional company and would definitely recommend to others. Thank you Aaron Wallis!
A. Callaby, Candidate
Perfect from start to finish. Simon deserves a shout out. Best recruiter there is. If you need a job, this guy will get you one. He's like the super man of recruiters. Top man, can't recommend him enough.
M. Crisp, Candidate
Less than two weeks after joining Aaron Wallis I was offered my new job. I got a £10,000 rise in my basic salary, car allowance, a laptop and many other perks, which will help to further my career. I definitely would not have found my dream job without the help of Aaron Wallis.
C. Hoy, Candidate
Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment are a very friendly and professional recruitment organisation who listen to your needs, work with you and act on your behalf which sets them apart from many of their competitors who in my experience are willing to throw anything at you. We discussed my history, my preferences and my wishes - one opportunity was introduced. It was perfect. I start at the end of June.
R. Buckley, Candidate
I've had a really good experience working with Giles Phillips at Aaron Wallis. From initial contact to the finer details of securing the job, he has been very professional and a pleasure to work with.
M. Shutt, Candidate
Aaron Wallis is an outstanding recruitment agency specialising in high calibre sales positions. I was working directly with Darren Dewrance who went above and beyond my expectations in sourcing me my perfect role. I was kept in regular communication with Darren and he worked extremely hard to secure my dream job. Highly recommended and Thanks Darren for all your expertise and hard work.
R. Sealy, Candidate
Excellent experience from first contact to ultimately securing a suitable placement. Giles looked after me in a very professional and friendly manner. He used his expertise and experience to ensure I was put forward for the most suitable positions for my skill set and found me a new role very quickly. I can't recommend Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment highly enough.
M. Green, Candidate
The service provided by Aaron Wallis has been just great. I was constantly informed about what was going on with the process interview and the agent has always been supportive and kind to me.
L. Colagrossi, Candidate
Aaron Wallis have provided me with an excellent service, Giles went out of his way to help me preparing for my interview and supported me through all the processes. If you need an agency to give you a fully professional and consultative approach to finding you a new career move, the Aaron Wallis can certainly provide this for you.
D. Richards, Candidate
Good swift process with Aaron Wallis, informative regarding the role and the process was moved at a good pace with healthy interaction. Would recommend them to anyone pursuing a change.
S. Bartlett, Candidate
A great recruitment company to work with. Excellent experience with Aaron Wallis through the entire recruitment process. The team was really professional and extremely helpful. Darren was a pleasure to work with. He was friendly, supportive and gave me great advice. Thank you very much!
A. Bauchet, Candidate
I have to say coming across and having dealings with Aaron Wallis proved to be very successful. Being highly experienced did not seem to count for much during my job search bit a conversation with Robert Scott gave me a real confidence boost and enabled to get a position at the age of 63. Great service!!!
D. Burgess, Candidate
Excellent service, very professional and friendly, would and have, recommended Aaron Wallis.
E. Heley, Candidate