7 months ago
February 21, 2017

3 Steps to Building A Strong Sales Team

The following are 3 steps one can take to build a strong sales team to compete in an ever growing competitive environment.

Claire McConnachie

The consensus is few sales people work as well as they could. A poorly functioning sales team can destroy an otherwise strong company. In the present economic climate most companies need to look at their sales team in a critical light and ask themselves what they can do to build a strong sales team. Below are 3 steps one can take to build a strong sales team to compete in an ever growing competitive environment.

1. Evaluating your Sales Team

Evaluation is an important step in the process of deciding how to grow your sales team. This might require additional training or a new compensation package. It could also mean changing the team and taking off members who are under performing.

A key feature of an evaluation is to decide it parameters and what you want the evaluation to achieve. You may decide to split your sales team and have the best suited sales staff for inside sales duties and others for field sales, according to their abilities. You may decide smaller accounts could be left to customer services leaving you top sales team to deal with bigger accounts.

An evaluation should be assessed entirely on your organization’s needs and not based on another company’s template. For example, if your sales team is geared to following up on leads generated by your advertising, it wouldn’t be right to penalize them if they aren’t making a lot of cold calls.

When you have finally decided on your sales team’s tasks, simply check their performance. The top measure for evaluating a sales force is sales productivity.

2. Measuring Sales Productivity

The best measure for sales productivity is the amount of sales per sales person. Divide the volume of sales by the number of sales staff. This will let you know the average sales figure and will inform you on how the sales person is performing.

What is more valuable, is to know how each sales rep is doing compared to the average. You might have some productive sales people who are carrying the load for some under performers. You will need to know this information, to know whether to make a change or not.

Sales performance isn’t everything as you’ll need to weigh this with customer satisfaction. Moving stock has a short term value, if in the process you’re alienating customers with sloppy service.

Some sales people may be making promises that cannot be delivered. They may be selling a low margin products or products with high support costs instead of your more profitable lines.

Check to see if some members of your sales team have large numbers of returns or sell to customers with no credit checks. These sales persons could be costing your company profits.

3. Hiring your Sales Team

The bigger the sales team the bigger the sales. However, hiring the wrong sales people can hurt profits and damage customer relations. One needs to understand there are few really bad sales people. There may just be good sales reps in the wrong positions. To hire the right person for the job, you need to be able to describe the job accurately. You also need the right compensation package, as often with sales, the exact nature of compensation can be a bit misty. This can cause dissatisfaction later which will result in under performance. It is important to provide candidates with a detailed description of the market and the competition. Then you will know that you’ve explained the opportunity accurately to anyone who’s interested.

It is hoped the above advice helps you build a strong team. A good sales team is built on good management communication and the right incentives to succeed.

Claire McConnachie

Claire is a Western University graduate with a background in recruiting, sales and customer service. As a Recruitment Consultant, her goals are to place the best people in the right roles resulting in satisfaction for both the candidate and client.