Your revenue and the success of your product depends directly on the competence of your sales team. Thus, hiring the right people and building a correct workflow is an important step, which may elevate your product or service to the top of all charts. Let’s take a look at the stages any company should go through while developing a sales team.
Get a Dream Team
It is true that one of the most valuable resources when it comes to sales is people. That is why you have to pay more attention to hiring the right sales reps. You know, the ones who will not only sell stuff but also represent your brand.
Start with defining every aspect of the job. Make sure you can explain the primary responsibilities and requirements to the applicants. Besides, set up a sales process, specify your aims and expectations. If you understand who you’re looking for, you’ll find the right people and build a sales team with much less of a headache.
To understand what kind of people will fit into your team, define the core soft skills you’d like your new teammates to have. Consider prioritization and communication skills, passion for sales, and interest in the product.
It is highly important to collaborate with highly motivated specialists. The research held by Professor John Gattorna shows that 68% of customers are lost because of the “perceived indifference” and apathy of the sales reps. And vice versa, passionate sales managers usually get much more feedback and stay on a roll when closing deals.
You may want to consider the archetypes of salespeople, identified by Harvard Business Review. Their combination may also help you build a successful sales team.
There are eight types of salespeople. And only three are effective.
Posted by Harvard Business Review on Saturday, March 12, 2016
This classification doesn’t mean that you should only focus on the strengths or weaknesses of a particular archetype when building your sales team. Yet, you may achieve much better results by strategically placing different people at different sales stages, comparing to when one salesperson follows a client through the whole funnel.
Overall, why don’t you mix different archetypes, both enthusiasts and experts? This way you’ll get fresh eyes on the industry along with professional sales management strategies and the best sales tools.
Determine Your Sales Goals
Let’s face it: all we want from sales is the revenue increase and financial growth. Yet, it is important to set up specific financial goals and KPIs when managing a sales team. Depending on your goals, you may determine the number of sales people working in your team, their wages, commission, and bonus.
But first things first. As soon as you achieve one goal, you may evaluate the performance of your sales reps. Yet, since the sales management process is not easy, you should be ready to readjust the goal slightly to boost the morale of your employees.
Don’t forget to encourage your sales team with a consistent, yet flexible wage structure. Normally, sales reps receive a base rate, a commission, which is the percentage of the revenue they bring in, and a bonus for great results. Yep, you heard us right: a bonus. Quite a scary thing for a manager, yet very reassuring for employees.
Sales Management Process
Managing a sales team is hard, yet rewarding. You need to standardize and adapt processes, analyze the sales workflow and pipeline. And only after that, you may create a practical sales process taken up by the team.
To achieve the major sales manager goals, it is vital to incorporate the following aspects:
- Prioritize sales activities. After analyzing your sales results, a sales manager should take into account all sources of sales and define the most effective ones. This will help you adjust the sales strategy and focus on the most profitable sources and activities.
- Organize training and coaching. Regular training and coaching sessions raise the spirit of your team and develop their skills. Sales team building exercises and games may also help. And we all love playing games, right?
- Encourage collaboration, not competition. Your sales department is a team and not just a room full of individual sales reps. That is why, while managing a sales team, you should focus on their collaboration and encourage teamwork.
- Ensure consistency of the sales process. It is crucial to establish the best sales practices, which work for your team and product, and follow the leads down the funnel consistently.
- Make sure your CRM is scalable and fits your needs. You may want to expand your sales team, restructure it or reorganize the process, yet your CRM should allow you to be flexible and secure your data. A highly functional solution, in this case, is NetHunt CRM, which allows you to adjust the system to your needs and scale the team anytime required. You may sign up and start your free unlimited 14-day trial.
- Establish checkpoints and evaluate results. Set up and measure your team’s KPIs regularly to make sure you are moving towards the desired goal. Clearly-defined milestones and timely sales performance management will push your employees do their best. And additional KPI-based bonus will additionally encourage them to improve outcomes.
- Cooperate with a marketing team. Aligning sales and marketing departments is vital for building sales. Just think about it: while the first ones generate leads, the latter close them.
Sales Management Tools
The main challenge of using software throughout the sales process is not to get carried away by it. Remember: all sales management tools should serve you to boost productivity and improve the performance and not to distract you from the main goal. The following tools will help you focus on developing a sales team and building sales management strategies for the best result.
A whole set of tools to fit most organizational needs. From an email client and cloud storage to forms and spreadsheets, G Suite is an effective and affordable solution.
If you decide to go with G Suite or at least Gmail, consider implementing one of the essential tools for every salesperson – a CRM system. NetHunt fully integrates with Gmail so you don’t have to be constantly switching between two different apps. With NetHunt, you can organize your whole sales management process inside your inbox. Besides, you may add personalized mass mailing, email tracking, and follow-ups. The mobile version will help you stay up-to-date even on the go, and professional support will assist you throughout the journey.
Zapier comes to the rescue when you need to integrate different services or tools not using an API. It allows you to set simple triggers to make one app do something based on an input from another app. Automation may significantly save your sales reps time, and Zapier does this job perfectly well.
You may use different tools to maintain the communication among the teams in your company, yet Slack is one of the most powerful ones. Personal and group chats allow you to establish cooperation among departments, while cloud storage lets you have permanent access to essential files and links.
Scheduling meetings and appointments isn’t easy when you constantly need to switch among several tools and gadgets. Calendly facilitates this process. It allows you to share your calendar with friends, clients, and colleagues. They may schedule a meeting picking up any available time and the software will create an event automatically.
LinkedIn provides a totally new level of networking. As a social media, it allows users to create profiles, communicate, post and share information. Yet, it is also focused on the business community, so it gives a possibility to establish business relationships, look for new job opportunities or suitable candidates to the existing vacancies.
While emails are great for communicating with leads and clients, they aren’t as fast as video and audio calls. And Zoom is one of the most popular and efficient software tools for conferencing, one-to-one meetings and even webinars.
- Build a sales team combining different archetypes of salespeople, both enthusiasts and experts;
- Hire reps with a passion for the industry. Salary alone won’t keep them for long;
- Set realistic goals and KPIs and build your sales process accordingly;
- Sales performance management is one of the top priorities of the head of sales. Always keep analyzing the results of your work and make adjustments as and when needed;
- Use dedicated software tools to automate the process and boost your productivity.