Sales teams are often compared to well-oiled machines, with a mix of technology, talent and leadership driving them to continually meet loftier goals. However, there are a number of ways for wrenches to be thrown into the sales engine – revised product lines, reduced budgets, new company objectives, etc. How a sales team responds to these new challenges will truly separate the great departments from the good ones.

At the core of this is the quality of a business' sales staff. A content and knowledgeable staff will make it much easier for sales teams to overcome adversity and continue to hit targets and goals. Companies looking to improve the results of their sales teams should first start by looking critically at their agents and representatives.

For example, managers could look at the performance of individuals and determine whether sales coaching would help them better achieve their personal goals and established sales quotas. This is one of the more effective ways of elevating salespeople to the next level and ensuring they can always rise to the occasion, regardless of the challenges that stand in their way.

There are other, less drastic ways of oiling up the sales machine as well. Often, these are small changes to the work environment that stack up to create a more efficient work flow overall.

For instance, many sales departments spend a lot of man hours calculating commissions. Even salespeople may develop their own ways of recording transactions to track how they are doing and how close they are to their goals. Slow payments and obtuse commission systems can create a sense of dissatisfaction in the work environment, which should be avoided if possible.

One way businesses avoid troublesome payment systems is by upgrading to dedicated incentive compensation management (ICM) solutions. This ensures that companies aren't being hindered by archaic spreadsheet programs that were never designed for complex tasks such as commission calculation to begin with. The end result is a streamlined payment process and happier employees, which in turn enables them to be more productive.

Sales teams rely on their ability to operate efficiently and the right coaching and equipment could better facilitate that end goal.