Maintaining a sales team is no simple task, particularly if you respect the value of its position in your business progress. On top of meeting target metrics, you’re additionally in charge of taking the best people on the bus, teaching them and supporting team spirit. Then how to manage a sales team?
As the sales team manager, your primary objective is to create or develop your sales business. This role comes with a lot of stress, but by developing sales teams to control best practices, you can easily set yourself and your sales crew up for success. Running a sales team is a fairly difficult job, no matter if you are a newly-promoted or a veteran sales manager. While it may appear to need relatively small effort, in case, strong sales team management is a responsibility that can be managed only with perseverance and devotion. We’ve selected some tips for you on how to manage a sales team.
Why is your sales team not working at its top level?
According to a study given by Hubspot, 66% of sellers are not reaching their quotas.
There are plenty of causes why your sales team is not working at its top level. Here are a few of the highest ones:
- They have not been correctly prepared.
- They need prospecting skills.
- They do not seem like they have a teacher or mentor to lead them properly.
- They do not correctly understand your business service or product.
- They do not like their job and should not be in sales businesses.
- They are not happy about their senior or office workers.
- They are not serious about their work or task.
This list will go on and on.
Now we can easily understand that you are excited to learn how to manage a sales team. In this article, we have tried to provide you the perfect tips on how to manage a sales team properly.
Coaching for each and every one
Everyone knows that the sales managers are busy and it is very difficult to communicate one on one in detail.
This makes it difficult to stay on the head of everything on your to-do list, and most frequently, one-on-one coaching falls in the cracks. Nonetheless, in order to ensure your sales teams reach top performance, you must ensure it. Regular coaching/training is essential to your sales team to become more confident, productive, and skillful at sales.
In fact, businesses that give solid training to their sales team see a 16.7% increase in their annual income. When your sales team is well-coached in a kind of client interaction, they will be fully able to manage challenging situations; and this suggests they will be capable of achieving more and better deals.
Hire quality employees
As easy as it may sound, your sales team performance depends straight on the individual outcomes of each and every individual. For that cause, it is necessary to recruit the best fit sales reps who have the potential to meet the sales team’s objectives in an excellent fashion and provide a superior customer experience.
You have to make sure your hires are skilled at taking feedback. A good way to improve this skill is by doing regular role-play sessions in which they conduct real demos of your stock or product. Then ask them how they think they have performed, and give them feedback afterward. Rate them not only on how easily the demo went, but how good they were on self-assessment, getting feedback, and implementing it.
Set clear and achievable goals
All sales team management plans include one easy point: establish genuine/realistic goals that can be simply explained and achieved by your team members. We would advise you to use SMART goals, which suggests they have to be Simple, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound. This means you will be capable of improving your employees’ motivation and keeping track of their performance and achievements. Even though it is your responsibility to keep track of your sales team’s development, you need to set your own goals and track improvements as well.
When sales goals are big, there is no alternative to keep your team’s spirit pumped up. You need to create an atmosphere that will make them believe that anything’s possible. When you achieve simply 70% of a stretched goal, most probably you’re making better than achieving 100% of a standard goal.
Give positive feedback
It’s essential for a sales manager to provide feedback to his or her team members. However, too many supervisors or managers concentrate their feedback on bottlenecks and failures and forget to provide their team with some positive feedback. The idea is that positive feedback motivates workers extremely better than any judgment or frequent negative remarks. Thus, don’t forget to boost your teammates both with kind words and other benefits related to performance.
Talking of tools and technologies. Even if you recruit the best people, they will turn out to be much less effective without sufficient tools. It is almost impossible to be productive and fruitful when you do not use any software or even use outdated or incompatible software. Therefore, you should spend extra care on picking the right tools and software to manage a sales team.
When it comes to software, you should always use powerful and smart software tools that will help your teammates to stay on top of the sales game. A software like Sokrio will also at the same time assist you to manage a sales team keeping the objectivities in consideration.
Whether you are dealing with direct sales or distribution sales, this type of cloud-based DMS (Distribution Management System) and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platforms will fit your team and will allow you to effectively monitor and boost the sales operations activities and achieve targets more efficiently. The cloud-based SaaS (Software as a Service) platforms give great flexibility in automation opportunities while allowing you to get the best value through affordable pricing and great features.
Empower to create a winning Sales Team
As a Sales Manager, it’s difficult to assure sales by just traveling into the field yourself. Alternatively, you need to put your trust in your sales team to do the work. So, what sales management tactics do you use to approach that level of trust? Empower them with sufficient accountability. Accountability starts with equipping them with modern tools, assigning them with objective targets, and regularly monitoring their performance. Empowerment helps to create a strong and independent team. When you want to have a powerful team, you must empower them by providing the right training and tools.
No company wants to waste its money and time. You don’t either. So, work to create a great sales team from the start. The extra money you invest up-front on getting them ready will be well worth it in the long run.
Build a Good Company culture
Creating and maintaining a powerful company culture has always been necessary to become a successful and sustainable company.
Hence, it is in your best interest to discover ways to develop your company culture and give your employees some important things, like:
- Company reputation: Reputation is essential not only for your customers but also to keep your employees’ motivation high. Make sure your organization is sticking to ethical business practices, treating employees fairly, providing superior customer experience, and contributing to social causes.
- Flexibility: Offer flexibility to your team members on their work schedules as far as possible. Depending on the culture of your organization, you can offer flexible office timings and schedule their work as per their convenience. Your primary focus would be to keep a keen eye on the SMART objectives you have set.
- Professional improvement: Make sure that your sales team members are skilled enough to do their job. Motivate them by providing monthly performance recognition. Let them have a healthy competition with one another. Empower them to present in front of the clients and other officials as well. Set SMART KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for them and set an objective culture based on that, make sure that all the rewards (and punishments) are based on those KPIs.
Other important sales management approaches to develop a company culture:
- Honoring and Celebrating employee successes
- Displaying appreciation for sellers on a consistent basis
- Building a positive physical and cultural environment
- Organizing functions and competitions to have salespeople involved and excited about coming to the business.
Know Sales Team’s Barriers to Success
Your sales team may be struggling with some barriers that are stopping them from achieving their goals and targets. It is your responsibility to identify those barriers and help your team overcome them.
Did you know that above 90% of all client communication occurs over the phone? This statistic presents the value of communication in businesses. The key to your seller is pitching a strong sales call lies not doing all the talking, but preferably through a lot of listening. Listening connects salespeople with customers and makes the phone calls more of a discussion rather than a pitch, which supports creating a longer-lasting bond.
2. Fear of rejection
Work with your sales reps to improve their attitude on rejection. Do not let them feel that a cold call will result in a refusal. Rather, assure them that receiving NOs from cold calls will eventually land them on YESs. A different way to support salespeople defeat their fear of rejection is by training them sufficiently to answer common customer queries. Making them really understand your company’s goods or services will also help them to answer client queries and objections. Moreover, giving your salespeople scripts addressing current client concerns will assist them in better predicting objections and providing solid replies.
Lack of content and/or social media marketing
With 90% of marketers saying that social media has developed exposure for their company, there is no denying its value. First of all, it creates visibility. It is more comfortable for your salespeople to sell when the potential client has seen your goods or service posted on social media. It gives a level of information and support for the prospect. Social media marketing typically comes with at least a minimum acceptable level of feedback, and that feedback improves your team by letting them know their position in the market and also indicates what they can do to increase their sales strategy.
Wrapping up on how to manage a sales team
Though it may seem that managing your sales team to victory is difficult, as you can understand, it is not THAT DIFFICULT if you follow the right path. By easily taking the time to plan and execute the sales team improvement tips described above, you should begin to see remarkable development in your sales team within months. It is necessary to keep in mind that a strong sales team starts with hiring the best-suited people. If your sales team is composed of a number of weak salespeople who are misfits to their role, you will likely notice your team continue to struggle to find regular success over time.