Team Members Every Business NeedsTeam building is both an art and a science. It takes great leadership to build a high-performing team. It requires leaders who aren’t afraid to make difficult decisions and establish standards of performance. And who hold their team accountable when those standards aren’t met.

To build an effective team, you need to understand people: Their strengths, weaknesses, and what gets them excited to work with others. Build your team by matching people’s strengths to their jobs and give them responsibilities based on their skill set, not who you like the most.

Alan Hall, contributor to Forbes, says he views a business leader as a coach. “The job of the coach is to recruit and hire the right people to accomplish given assignments."

He shares the most critical team members any organization must have to be successful.

Five Executives Every Team Needs

The Leader

The leader encourages, motivates, rewards, and provides feedback on job performance. They also aren’t afraid to correct mistakes and let their team learn and grow. “This leader knows if he takes care of his employees, they will provide superior service to customers, who will, in turn, continue to buy and tell their friends to do the same,” says Hall.

The Expert

“Great business leaders succeed because they hire people who know the industry: The trends, the competitors, the market place, the customers, the products they sell, the vendors, and investors,” says Hall.  Experts have experience and bring deep knowledge to projects, they guide the team on what works and what doesn’t, and they mentor others to learn the business.

The Financial Officer

Every successful business needs a talented and experienced financial officer.  “No company can survive or prosper without a person who understands accounting, finance, strategy, and cash flow management,” says Hall. He also suggests having regular meetings between the financial officer and the rest of the team so everyone is aware of where the company is financially and what must be done to be successful.

The Strategist

Business owners are busy taking care of the day-to-day, so they need a strategist to report on the industry trends, changes in customer behavior, and new competitors. Someone who can comprehend and report on opportunities and challenges they see in the present and down the road.

The Executer

This person is typically the chief operating officer. They own the responsibility to execute and implement company plans. They know what needs to be done, when, and how. They hire a staff of employees with specific duties to accomplish the company’s vision and goals. This staff is “the heart of the organization and deliver what customers want and buy,” says Hall.

Building and growing a company requires the know-how to build strong teams. If you want to be successful, you need to bring on others to help. You can’t do everything on your own.

Does your business have these five executives?

sales-tactics-201x300You offer a great product or service, but somehow your sales team cannot close the big deals when it should. The problem might be your salespeople are so focused on the sales pitch they are not explaining in a way that makes sense to customers.

One thing is for certain—customers won’t buy what they don’t understand.

So says Lee LeFever, founder of Common Craft, and a contributor to HBR Blog Network. He contends we have to “think differently about how we explain ideas” during the sales process.

He likens the sales process to the famous line from Glengary Glen Ross: Always be closing. But suggests we change it to "always be explaining." He says effective explanations must come if you want to make the sale.

Think about how often you go into a meeting, armed with your curse of knowledge and your company jargon. The prospect rarely wants to ask you what you mean when you say you want to "socialize an idea" because they do not want to look dumb, but they will remember how you made them feel after you leave.

Create the Close through Effective Explanations

LeFever goes on to say how important it is to make prospects feel like they are the smartest people in the room:

Understanding the basics of explanation can serve as a remedy for The Curse of Knowledge and help us think differently about how we explain ideas. This is especially true in the sales process. Whether it is on the convention floor, in the executive suite, or during a product presentation, honing your explanation skills convinces your audience that you understand their needs.

Following are six tips to create effective explanations. (more…)

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