Think you have got the perfect sales team? No matter how successful your group, every team has room for improvement. Whether your team falls flat in a specific area or they lack motivation, putting the time into improving faults helps create a more cohesive, successful sales force. Work together and follow these 5 simple rules to build a strong, effective, and eventually more profitable sales team.
1. Diversify The Hiring Bag
When hiring new sales talent for your team, look for both online sales experts and salespeople who excel in face-to-face interactions. Having team members with an assortment of skills ensures all bases are covered in the sales process. A sales team member skilled in online sales may not be great at face-to-face interactions, but they can round out your sales team and share their expertise with the other team members. Assembling a hybrid group of sales team members gives you the best chance at closing every sale.
During interviews with potential sales team members, look for candidates who clearly outline their own selling system. Take notes and ask the rest of your sales team to point out aspects that would strengthen the team. Not only does this exercise allow you to diversify your team, it also lets your team reflect on their own individual strengths and weaknesses. This self-reflection creates more overall awareness and understanding, which helps the sales team lay out a road map for improvement.
2. Set Realistic Goals & Acknowledge Success
Salespeople thrive in competitive environments, making sales careers the perfect places for their ambitious personalities. These team members constantly strive to not only reach company and personal goals, but to surpass the goals substantially. They view the goals put in place by management as the baseline for the lowest performance level needed. Yet, when goals are set too high, these people quickly become discouraged and face frustration at not being able to deliver the results expected. Remember to set the bar at a realistic level that will drive your sales team members, but not so high as to become almost impossible to reach.
Recognize any and all successes of your sales team, no matter how big or small. Producing results should be celebrated, even if that is just a quick round of applause during a team meeting. Show your team that you recognize and appreciate their hard work. Noting individual efforts and contributions drive sales employees to deliver more “wins” for the team. A good way to keep your team motivated is to set up a physical “win” board that tracks each person’s sales. Put this on the wall in a space where everyone can see progress and who is delivering great results. This will motivate your sales team and give them the competitive drive to “up” their game.
3. Look For the Competitive Spirit
When hiring new sales team members, look for people with the competitive drive. How do you quickly judge if someone has a competitive nature? Find candidates that enjoy competition in their personal lives. People who golf, run marathons, or play other sports are driven to compete. Ask about a time when they experienced victory in everyday life and when that success occurred. A naturally competitive salesperson will respond quickly with a recent event that put them up against other people or simply challenged them to improve their own performance.
4. Don’t Cap Commissions
Capping commission is like capping a salesperson’s motivation. The action tells an employee, “We only reward so much work, but after a certain point, you get nothing for working harder.” Why would you ever tell your best salesperson to stop selling?
Instead, provide a modest base salary and tell the salesperson the sky is the limit in commission. If they are performing well, the company needs to encourage them to keep selling and bring in more new business, no matter the payout. Your company should be able to match the commission percentage at every level and keep employees motivated to continue selling.
5. Provide Consistent Training (And Constant Reinforcement)
Providing a suggestion for salespeople here and there does not count as consistent training. Your company needs to invest a lot of both time and money in training for it to be successful. Without reinforcement training, sales team members will fall back into bad habits that could end up losing sales and costing the company big. Conduct regular training sessions to reinforce the most critical selling concepts and ensure that every salesperson is on the same page concerning technique.
Track progress from the beginning of each member’s training. Knowing where employees typically struggle allows your team members to learn from these common mistakes and avoid them in the future. This practice lets the less experienced salespeople discover what steps in the company sales process make the difference between a win or a loss.
While every manager thinks they have a strong sales team, a great manager knows that creating a stronger and more profitable sales team is not a single action, but a continuous process. These managers offer an abundance of encouragement and guidance, and ultimately understand that reinforcement training keeps their sales team on top. Follow these simple rules to assemble a winning sales team in your industry.