Some sales teams are over-managed but under-led leaving them under performing and unmotivated to improve. Usually, this happens when you rely too heavily on metrics, rules, and hard deadlines for measuring success. This does nothing but leave your sales team feeling underappreciated. When this happens, you need to take it seriously because your sales results will suffer.
Good sales managers can avoid these problems, but this requires a lot of work. It requires more than just following your company’s policies and meeting quotas. You must also inspire, motivate, and lead your team to better sales performance. There are some ways of doing this.
Start by Hiring the Right People
Sales Drive says that your job as a sales manager is made much easier when you start by hiring the right people. The opposite is also true. If you hire the wrong salespeople, you won’t only cost your business money, but these salespeople will make you feel frustrated, which will have a negative impact on your entire sales team.
With the importance of this task at hand, you can see that you need to be on the lookout for the best possible talent. Since you need the best, you have to hire the best, so you don’t spend a lot of time and money training them. Here you must also factor in the cost of protecting your business from failing during the six months you’ll need to spend doing these things. Of course, you’re going to spend more money up front by hiring these salespeople, but this is something that will pay off over time. So, Sales Force highly recommends that you only hire those salespeople whose goals are aligned with your business’ goals.
Hiring the right salespeople starts with the way you conduct your hiring process. You need to conduct a structured sales interview that helps you find the combination of personality traits, behaviors, and experience you need. Experts suggest that the number one trait you look for here is drive because it indicates that you’ve found a high potential, “hunter” salesperson. This isn’t something that can be taught either.
Once you find and hire these salespeople, remember they do best when they’re allowed to be “results driven.” As such, you’ll need to create a very transparent environment for them that are based on key sales metrics. However, once you create this type of environment and place several of these types of salespeople in it, you’ll start seeing results because there’s no confusion about activity or production. In fact, David Baga, SVP of Revenue & Operations for Rocket Lawyer used this to grow his company’s revenue from $2 million to more than $40 million in four years.
Train Your Team Properly
Just because you hire the right team and use the right systems doesn’t mean you never have to offer your salespeople any training again. It does transform you from a manager into more of a coach though. Entrepreneur says that the main difference here is that you’re able to ask your high performers what they’re doing instead of telling them what to do. This permits them to discover possible solutions to your company’s obstacles.
You must understand that this doesn’t give anyone permission to forego training though. Instead, it turns continuous learning into part of your corporate culture. Your business does need to emphasize this by investing in training and professional development activities for your sales team. Sales Hacker says that you should focus these opportunities on things like product knowledge, competitive intelligence, prospecting, opportunity management, territory planning and professional communication.
The right training in these areas will also help your middle performers. Sometimes they just need a boost so they can also be a top performer. This is good news since it means more money for your company. Make sure this doesn’t simply turn you into a reactive planner here. Instead, you should be proactive by creating a training plan early in the year then make sure that you stick to it.
Throughout the year, when you see your sales team striving to do better, you can be reactive. Give them a pat on the back. Show them that you recognize how hard they’re trying or how well they’re doing. This is especially important when you’re dealing with top-performing salespeople because money isn’t usually their main motivating factor. Usually, these salespeople are after the respect that should come with getting and achieving the results they’re bringing in to your company.
Use Helpful Tools
Training isn’t the only thing your salespeople need though. They also need the right tools, especially ones that make their communication easier and smoother. Since we’re living in the 21st century, your sales team probably uses web conferencing a lot. You want them to come across looking polished and professional here. This is why you need to spend money investing in the right equipment. According to TD some of the other communication tools you’ll want to invest in include:
- CRM software is a great way of providing automatic reminders, prioritizing leads, and nurturing lead categories. This will help to improve your sales team’s efforts since everyone will have access to the same information at the same time.
- Text messaging is a popular form of communication today because it’s so convenient. Most people will read their text message within three minutes of receiving it. This is why your sales team should use it for urgent messages like changes in meeting times or dates or reminding the team of an important deadline especially.
- Collaboration platforms for editing, sharing, creating to-do lists and tasks, messaging, and giving feedback are also important. They allow your sales team to be more unified. This is also a great funnel through which you can easily track information.
Remember, your sales team relies on you for your guidance and support. Creating a company culture that offers this from the time an employee starts working for you is important. It requires a combination of training and the right tools. While this is an investment, it’s one worth making because most salespeople will stay with a company they feel is investing in and caring about them. This will consistently result in better sales and happier customers for you.