No matter what business you are in, if you are managing a sales team that isn’t producing, the pressure will be on you to make something work. Better sales are essential to everyone, and sometimes a few fundamental changes can make a big difference. It isn’t easy to build a dynamic sales team, but there are steps that you can follow to get things moving in the right direction. Here are a few areas that you should consider.
- What is Really Going on: As a sales manager, there may have been changes that you haven’t considered. The sales world is dynamic, and changes in the market and the competition’s tactics can upset the balance without being noticed. A refresher course on sales negotiation training might be just the thing to light some fires and reconstruct some outdated thinking. Accompanying sales staff through a sales procedure may enlighten you as to what the challenges have become. Perhaps your staff doesn’t have the right tools to get the job done. Is your IT and web department doing all they can to support your sales team?
- Make the Goals Clear: never underestimate how much miscommunication may exist. Even employees that have been around for years may have the wrong idea about what they should provide to clients and what results they should expect. Consider one on one meetings to reemphasize what the company expects and the tactics they should employ. You should provide a clear job description and even consider labels, like cold call specialist or customer support team.
- Track Progress: Most salespeople respond to statistics – the more numbers to track, the better. An aggressive atmosphere is just the thing to refine your rough talent into solid gold. Redefine ways that sales success is quantified, and create reachable goals that can be rewarded. It is also an excellent way to identify staff whose talents are better used in other ways than sales. The recent pandemic has changed many business dynamics, but crises can also provide opportunities.
- Hire Better People: One of the reasons that some sales teams are ineffective is because the hiring process provides the wrong people. Not everyone is cut out for sales. Perhaps it is time to review the hiring process and what metrics are used to select new hires. As a sales team leader, you should spend a lot of time looking for those people that can make a difference. Analyse your recruiting methods and find ways to farm referrals. Another tactic is to outsource your hiring. Professional recruiters and head-hunters that bring in star players are worth every dollar they are paid.
As a sales manager, the team’s performance is up to you, and you need to be concerned about how your staff defines their role and their tools to get the job done. Training is rarely wasted, and it is always good to redefine roles from time to time to make sure everyone is on the same page. But at the same time, continue to search for the players that will create the killer sales team that will make you and everyone else more successful.