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Some sales departments look like Darwin’s theory in action, where everyone is focused on a personal result instead of teamwork. Perhaps an individual employee’s quest for career development is playing into the hands of companies, but only to those that set short-term goals. Let’s find out how to create a successful sales team.
Reasons to Create a Sales Team
Building a strong sales team is a prerequisite for companies with longer sales cycles. After all, the company’s profit cannot depend on one person`s achievements, because only a team is able to deal with complex sales.
When to Start Building a Sales Team
When a decision has been made, you should plan your steps to building a sales team. It is important to plan business from the very beginning, including a long-term forecast for 5-10 years. Making a business plan, base it on your needs and desires, and not possibilities.
The minimum is what will suit you for the beginning. The maximum is what seems to be an almost unattainable dream in the near future. Usually, the norm is somewhere in the middle between the minimum and maximum. Estimate how many and what goods/services you need to sell per month. When you build a sales team from scratch, think about how many sales reps you need to fulfill these plans, and how much each sales manager can really sell.
Ways to Create Your Sales Team
For some reason, many people think that a high performing sales team is a creative team, so it needs the absolute opposite of structuring, and anarchy is the best environment for sales. Another extreme is when there is a super-seller whose task is to lead a sales team, and the whole structure ends there. Let’s find out about types of sales teams.
Determine the type of team you need
- The centralized sales team model. In this model, one person (or a small “root” team) is the head of most sales efforts and is not responsible for identifying target customers and leads.
- The decentralized model. Here, each sales rep is responsible for generating the entire cycle: from finding new leads to signing a contract. Thanks to CRMs, the sales reps’ task is greatly simplified.
Develop a repeatable hiring process
At first, it is especially important not to make errors in the hiring \process. Here you can rely on your intuition based on the results of questionnaires and numerous interviews. Or you can delegate creating a great sales team to a recruiting company, which has an extensive database of job seekers.
Hire the right kind of person
How to build a successful sales team? You can invite an employee of a competing company, a university graduate, or pay for training a candidate for a vacancy.
An interview with each candidate should be carried out in three stages. First, with a direct supervisor, and then with team members. The final decision is up to the business project manager.
Develop a compensation plan
It is necessary to find the optimal solution for the rewarding of employees. Ideally, this is a personalized system of bonuses and compensations to motivate each employee to maximize productivity. At first, when the business is still in the initial stage, staff expectations may lag behind real sales results.
Try to find the optimal solution that will not contradict the expected income and expenses for the maintenance of the team.
Plan to train and motivate the team
Any sales rep will have to learn new skills. Otherwise, the performance will be steadily falling, and you risk to remain without sales at all.
The training includes four stages:
- understanding of the product or service to be sold;
- understanding of the markets to work in;
- sales techniques and tools
Give your team the tools to succeed
Flipping through the Yellow Pages in search of potential customers is last century technology. Provide your employees with CRM sales automation tools. In this regard, Nimble CRM is one of the best sales team tools, providing maximum management and organization of sales.
Develop a hiring process
Let’s suppose you have two applying candidates. One of them has 20 years of sales experience, and the second has just graduated. Who would you hire?
Focus on the current questions:
- who is already working for you?
- how much is the “veteran” experience important for your business?
- will it be reasonable to hire a beginner?
Try to distinguish the unfilled niche on the team and fill it with the missing worker.
Communicate with your team members
To get an objective picture of how things are going, take the time to find out each team member`s opinion. This is the only way to get sufficient data and to help each other in the work process.
It is important to discuss the details of transactions, openly talk about losses and at the same time try to do without personal accusations. Encourage employees to share information with each other.
Measure progress & success
Track and analyze call performance. If you do not do this, then the number of calls will never affect the quality of sales and your profit.
Analyze the quality of your managers’ work, provide your team with a sales funnel including real potential buyers instead of a list of people who have nothing to do with your business. To do this, an effective sales team must have a quality customer base.
Establish a healthy company culture
How to organize a sales team? Create decent working conditions so that no one wants to leave for another company. All employees without exception highly value the prospect of an increase in wages, honoring their achievements.
Corporate events help team building, they allow to take a break from work processes and communicate freely, without subordination obligatory at the workplace.
Build a sales organization based on trust
A manager motivated by career growth will try to achieve their goals on their own. This does not mean that the leader should not control their work. But the best results come from the manager’s confidence in the employee.
Try to create a team environment where all employees work as a crew. This will give you free time to focus on solving other business problems, while the sales managers will be providing themselves and you with maximum profit.
Look out for developing trends
To develop a sales team, you will need situation reports to help you identify the strengths and weaknesses in your sales organization. It is useful to meet with the team weekly or monthly – the main thing is that as a result of such meetings, managers should receive information on the progress of current affairs and have the opportunity to make their constructive proposals.
Sales Hiring Pitfalls
The development of the sales system does not stop there. It is at this stage that the active development and improvement of sales standards and technologies go on and roles in the team are divided:
- the highest level – the team leader, who is able to independently close a deal for any possible sum of money;
- middle level – “veterans” who work on medium and large contracts;
- young employees.
It is necessary to build a working relationship between the departments of promotion and marketing. Combining them into one team is not always justified since the performance of these departments is different. We need to ensure that they regularly give each other information about effective types of promotion, as well as working tips on communicating with the clients.
If sales leave something to be desired, but there is a reserve of capacities, try to figure out: what is the main problem of your team?
Maybe you lack experienced sales reps? Then you need to update the team or carry out training. What if good salespersons come to you, but do not stay? Then reflect on the terms of remuneration and leadership style.
If the team is ready to support your efforts, it makes sense to replace an underperforming sales manager with a young ambitious one. It will become more difficult if the team resists change. If you fight it, your competitors will win, but not you. In this case, the best way out is not to do anything, let them work as they can, in the meantime you create a parallel sales department using new technology and when it begins to bring a huge profit, the “veterans” will accept it.
For creating a strategy, determine the business expenses. To do this, you need to take the sales rep’s salary, add sales commissions, additional bonuses, and split the result by this person’s profit. As a result, we get a percentage of expenses. Add operating and marketing expenses. Understanding the strategy allows the sales rep to see the goals, and you to work with discontent if it arises.
Nimble CRM is the best tool for IT optimization of your startup or existing business. Our experts will be happy to help you build the appropriate relationship with management, and your employees to effectively develop contacts with customers.