Your sales staff is integral to your company realizing its strategic objectives. With each sale they make, your business moves closer to being a driving force within your industry. In essence, your sales team members are the rowers of your ship. Each time one of your team members rows forward, your organization is closer to getting to your destination, but one member can’t do it alone. With a concerted effort from a capable team, however, your sales team will quickly achieve your company’s objectives.
Create a Customer-Centric Culture
If you are like most people, you don’t like being sold when you purchase a product. You like the idea of coming to your own conclusions about a product or service based on your wants and needs. In fact, not being duped or coerced into making a purchase gives you a sense of satisfaction. When customers are not in control over their buying decision, it could leave them with a bad impression of the company overall. American Express estimates that over half of consumers aborted a purchase or business transaction because they had a poor service experience.
Customer-centric company cultures place customers’ needs and interests at the heart of their business processes and strategies. Beyond being cordial and empathetic to customers, your business must create a sales atmosphere that caters to your customers’ needs. A customer-centric environment positions your sales team members to be consultants to your customers—allowing your team to become their advocate. Customers who see your sales team as their advocate will trust their recommendations and follow their guidance from uncovering their pain points at the beginning of the sale to closing the sale.
Hire the Right Person the First Time
Sales leaders must work closely with human resources (HR) to hire and recruit salespeople based on the company’s overall strategy. Since hiring mistakes are very expensive to the company, especially in sales, hiring accuracy is crucial. Studies show that if we only rely on interviews, we are, at best, 50% effective in picking the winners. We recommend using assessment tools, like the one from the Objective Management Group, and increasing that success rate to over 90%. Additionally, objective skills and attitude assessments ensure that we are open to all candidates and not biased in any way other than the ability to perform the job.
You also must ensure that your hiring process aligns with the company’s core values and objectives and the sales department’s needs. Many companies do not have formal processes and make them up as they go along. From the job description, the ad, posting the ad, testing, interviewing, hiring, onboarding, and training, the entire process needs to be carefully managed to ensure successful outcomes. We coach our clients on creating a comprehensive process that integrates testing and training that is tailored to the individual and the company, using the Client Builder Academy.
Set Measurable Monthly Objectives
In business, what gets measured is what gets done. If you don’t have measurable objectives for your sales team, your sales team won’t have the direction needed to achieve your goals. You can develop sales metrics by analyzing your competition and company objectives. With your goals in mind, you can easily ascertain quotas for each salesperson on your team. A common mistake is to reward sales volume instead of profits or to ignore activity metrics. It is hard to predict the outcome of sales activity, but activity can easily be tracked and coached.
Motivate Sales Staff with Recognition and Rewards
Your company likely already collects valuable information about your employees. Unfortunately, many companies ignore employee data when developing sales staff rewards. However, a recent study conducted by Stanford University and the University of California, Los Angeles, for a leading US contact lens company used data analytics to restructure sales commissions and base salaries for the company, and the company’s revenue increased by 9% in one year.
Each person on your sales staff has unique wants and needs, making their motivations unique. Although you can’t create an individual compensation plan for each team member, you can analyze company data and information and create a motivating compensation plan that incorporates rewards and recognition to improve your team’s sales and overall satisfaction.
Employ Team-Building Exercises
To create an excellent sales team, each member must understand that each member’s success benefits the entire organization. Team-building exercises help sales teams bond, creating synergies that help enhance each individual’s sales ability. Team members become more willing to help underperforming teammates while continuing to meet their monthly quotas. We often help our clients build stronger teams by debriefing valuable tools with them, like Everything DiSC Sales.
Building an amazing sales team takes some focused work and training, and those efforts pay a very high return. With the right environment and rewards, leaders can transform their existing sales team into an award-winning, best-in-class sales team.
Please get in touch with us if you are interested in creating a world-class sales team for your company.
– Written in partnership with Checkworks personal and business checks.
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