With some hard work and the application of correct strategy, you can build up your current sales team to new and greater levels of performance.
If money were no option, forming the perfect sales team would be easy – just go out and offer large incentives for the best sales people and you’ll be on your way to your perfect team. For most companies though going out and hiring a completely new sales team is neither desirable nor possible. Apart from the financial cost, there is the cost to your reputation and company morale involved in firing and replacing an entire team. However, you don’t need to hire a completely new set of people to get your perfect sales team, with some hard work and the application of correct strategy you can build up your current sales team to new and greater levels of performance.
People don’t leave poor organizations, they leave poor managers. Your management team are incredibly important to make sure you get the most out of your team: they need to engage with and work with your sales team to spot their weaknesses and to help them overcome them through motivation and training. It does not matter how much effort and training you put into your sales team if they are poorly led they will underperform and be tempted to leave for another job elsewhere. Invest in your managers if you want to keep and improve your team.
Goal setting is a powerful tool for increasing performance and should be encouraged across your team. A sales person should not just have monthly or quarterly targets – such as hitting certain sales goals – but should be setting weekly and even daily targets for the numbers of sales calls and conversations they are having. Sales people who set daily goals will work more effectively and feel more motivated.
No matter how good or bad your team currently is they can improve through effective training. Record sales calls and critique them as a team, spend time developing scripts and keep pushing people to get better. Placing a high priority on training and taking every opportunity to provide coaching will not only help your team improve fast it’ll also motivate them by showing that you value them and want to invest in their skills.
Most sales people have a strong ego and will love to compete. Encourage healthy competition among your staff to get your sales team motivated to try to sell more each week and to outperform each other. Offering prizes or simply recognizing individuals who have been doing a great job will provide an instant morale boost.
Celebrating success as often as possible will help relieve some of the pressure your sales team are under and will motivate your entire team to work harder. Even if the only wins you can currently find are small ones these are still worth celebrating.
As you do get room to expand or change, your team make sure you are hiring the best people possible. To do this you’ll want to advertise for highly skilled individuals and offer competitive salaries and commission. Use a rigorous selection process to ensure that those you do hire fit your team culture and have the skills necessary to thrive. While it may be cheaper and easier to hire average or mediocre sales people in the short run, the cost in the long run in terms of training and lost sales will make this a less effective option.
Your sales team may not be perfect now, but through smart hires, effective training and the creation of a great team culture you can tailor your sales team to perfection. Typically, this won’t happen overnight but will take time, dedication, and investment. The results though will be worth it as your sales team are the fuel that will keep your company growing.
Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 11+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and two daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day, tropical vacations and cottaging.