Supervising and handling a sales team can seem like a daunting task. The power to make or break sales representatives’ careers lies in your hands. You’ve probably already ready the many articles telling you to hire the efficient salesperson, equip them with all the sales tools required and sit back for the fantastic results.
However, that does not always happen that way. A sales manager can choose to motivate their team members towards meeting sales goals or discourage them, which will negatively affect the business’s profitability.
It could be trying to figure out the missing link that will drive a team to achieve amazing results in term of sales and profits. This is why we have collated tactics used to practice good sales team management.
In some cases, it is hard to create a compromise between ensuring the best performance and setting sales rep with new targets. As the manager, the success of a team lies in their ability to fulfill performance targets. Yet, it is sometimes hard to control and inspire reps.
Fortunately, few strategies will help give the team the drive they need to achieve success. Ultimately, the sales team is crucial to the company’s success.
The Essence of Sales Team Management
Sales are as crucial to a business as oxygen is to humans. Lack of sales could spell disaster for a company. With internet sales growing rapidly, there is an increasing need for a sales team to get up and stay active.
Relationships are essential for sales, and the internet won’t always create those relationships. Only an efficient sales team can do that.
How to Manage a Sales Team Effectively
Building a strong team will not happen in a day. However, input is necessary to keep a team productive and organized.
Recruit the best people
If the people that are managed are insufficient, efforts will be futile. Think less about the company culture and worry about their background, references, assessment results, and the interview process.
Assess the sales applicant – check for five essential qualities:
Empathy is the person’s ability to relate with a customer, identify with their objections, and make them feel important and valued. An empathetic sales rep will have no problem gaining the trust of potential customers without seeming hypercritical. A sales rep must be able to study customers, show care and render solutions.
A rep needs focus to finish tasks and meet targets. They are self-starters, coordinated, and can work with minimal supervision. A responsible employee will not push blames on others in the face of complications. They readily accept errors, learn from their mistakes, and never allow obstacles to deter them.
A salesperson must stay optimistic, even in the face of potential defeat. Failure should not make them think less of themselves; instead, they are inclined to find alternatives to transform the situation. Ego drive is close to optimism, but it deals with competitiveness. It has to do with self-motivation and defined goals.
When finding a person that fits into this criteria, it makes sense to further train them on sales techniques.
Provide Sales Training
Studies show that up to 58 percent of employees who pass through organized on-boarding and sales training procedures usually remain in the company after three years.
A sales team needs to have complete and detailed information about the product, or they will flop at closing the deal. Ensure that a sales team are familiar with the details and features of the product so that they won’t have any issue answering customer’s question or solving their problem.
There are videos online from industry professionals that will reduce the stress of training. Also, use training materials from the internet such as videos for training purposes. It is possible to monitor their progress to verify all the reps have gone through the training sessions.
Include practical training and give them accurate feedback. Monitor their sales calls, check recordings and offer helpful feedback.
Set an Example to Motivate them
Having targets and giving rewards for accomplishments can inspire a sales team. Be clear about the training goals and inform them of the areas where they need to improve. If they meet their target, tell them.
Take note of their performance in a difficult situation and let them know what they did right or wrong. If they can improve, offer detailed tips highlighting where they need to improve and what to do.
Create Flexible Sales Procedures
Unrealistic sales procedures can be a great hindrance to the performance of a sales department. Studies have shown that creating proper sales processes is effective. This is the guideline they need to meet the sales target, create leads, and close deals.
Employees have to understand how to utilize emotions to win clients over. When emotion is no longer running, the deal is as good as dead.
Create a process for sales, while noting that each transaction is going to be different from the other.
Develop Powerful Strategies
Create powerful strategies to keep sales reps focused on goals and achieve results consistently. Let the team know the power of being strategic. They can hone their sales skills by relying on a process or guideline through various stages of the sale and land more deals.
If the sales strategy works with results, show the team the evidence and they will be more inclined to stick with the guide.
Set Defined Goals
Let the team know what goals to achieve. The guide for the sales department may entail finding flaws or problems, getting possible products that solve the problem and presenting them as the solution.
This guide and sales data functions as the direction for stick. Essential sales data and guide should be accessible to every member of a sales team. As much as possible, be transparent and open to give the team a chance to unlock the full capabilities of the sales data. Let them know what is expected of them to reach.
Respect Every Member of The Team
It would be impossible to gain respect respect isn’t given. Be ready to admit mistakes even if having a flawless track record of following strategies and making the right call during sales.
Remember that you are the leader and that does not exempt you from learning from your mistakes. Do not lose your temper or speak angrily when you miss a sales target or fail to close a deal. Evaluate the situation, learn from them, and share those lessons with the team.
Be open to learning and receiving suggestions from a team. Any member can have brilliant ideas that could improve sales. Therefore give them a chance to speak and don’t talk down on them when they do.
Communication is essential. Build a relationship based on respect and understanding– be receptive to the team members.
Simplicity is Key
Customers don’t want complicated solutions. This is where “KISS” rule comes in handy in the sales strategy. KISS is the acronym for “Keep It Simple, Stupid.”
All customers are interested in is if the product works or solves their problem, and what other buyers are saying about it. A story has to be clear and concise – inform the clients that the product is effective and that people love the solution.
Attempt to simplify value proposition to a primary, concise, and pleasant line.
Analyze Data and Results
Sales data and KPIs give the sales department valuable insights that explain the performance of your methods. Analyze the data and results to know what is working – which sales members are getting the best results, which strategies are working, which contact method is generating sales.
Periodic analysis of this data will display what to modify or leave intact.
Give Regular Feedback
Regular feedbacks lets team members know their position. When providing assessments, it is advisable to start with the good news. Let the person know where they are performing well and proceed to tell them areas that require improvements.
Utilize the SMART feedback model for this. Feedback must be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely.
Ensure consistency. Feedback must be regular to keep the team in the proper direction. If possible, arrange a weekly feedback meeting with each team member.
Create Effective Communication
Scheduling regular meetings are necessary to keep contacts with the team and receive updates. Use conference calls and emails. An effective medium is Slack. Slack places all a team’s communication in one system. Create multiple categories, share files and organize communication channels.
Motivate the Team with Rewards
Rewarding a team for meeting sales targets boosts their motivation. Rewards could be lunch or dinner, day offs, gifts, or performing a task for them. These would motivate the entire team to deliver. Reward team members by taking them to the movies, sports games or a bowling alley.
Invest in the team’s training and keep them up to date with industry trends and strategies to keep them on top of their game. It is easy (or sometimes free) to get books, podcasts, eBooks, or webinars.
If possible, sponsor team members to conferences and training programs.
Make Work Fun
Being on a sales team doesn’t have to be boring. Create fun moments with the team to improve the working relationship. Your efforts do not have to be extravagant. Have contests, a costume party, or even create allocated gaming times. Like the old saying goes: work hard, and play.
How to Manage a Sales Team Remotely
If the salespeople are not on site (virtual sales team) or have to travel, managing them can be more difficult. Fortunately, technology makes remote management easy. Also, working remotely does not mean that productivity is not possible.
Invest In The Right Technology
Ensure employees have the proper technology to work effectively. Do not leave employees to sort their hardware or software themselves. By providing the necessary equipment for work, all work files stay on the company’s system and preventing compromise of data security.
Also, keep the services and products updates and install good antivirus software.
Trust Your Employees
It is harder to supervise your employees if they are working remotely. However, this is not an excuse not to trust them. You need to trust them to get the job done.
Try to understand your employees without making any assumptions or judgments. If you have any questions, ask them.
Build Healthy Relationships
Discussions with employees do not always have to be professional. Talk about life, pets, and hobbies with the team. Let them know they can reach you if they have issues that can affect their productivity at work.
Connect with your team using Google Hangouts. Monitor and check in with them, and keep them updated about any changes in policy or operations.
A sales team will be as good as your managing capabilities. Do not stop trying to learn more about getting the job done. Sales Team Management entails being visionary, strategic and focused. Only then can you impact team members significantly.