Without a skilled sales team, your business simply cannot thrive.
Unqualified salespeople may cause the team to repeatedly miss monthly revenue goals and unmotivated salespeople may bring down the morale of the team.
Because of this, it is important for you to hire the right people and handle your current salespeople effectively.
Errors are common among managers who have been tasked with building a sales team. Here are 7 of the most disastrous ones that you may be making:
Let’s start with the infographic…
And here is the text version…
Top Mistakes Sales Managers Make
1. Relying on Your Instincts Alone When Hiring
If you are looking to get top results out of your sales team, you need a reliable hiring process that can ensure consistent and objective results. Even if you are an experienced hiring manager, you cannot trust your instincts alone and hire the candidate who seems the most likeable, outgoing or experienced.
Instead, you should take a more strategic approach and base your decision on data whenever possible.
Carefully plan the right questions to ask your candidate and use a sales personality test to evaluate him/her further. You can then use her test results and the quality of her interview answers to determine whether or not she will be a good fit for your team.
Keep in mind that you should trust your instincts about certain things during the interview process. For example, certain red flags, like unpreparedness and poor listening skills, may warn you that a potential hire will not be a good fit.
2. Not Having a Structured Training Program
You will need to constantly develop the skills of your salespeople if you are looking for top results.
Not only should you offer training programs within your business – you should also encourage your team to pursue outside education.
If your salespeople are underperforming, consider an assessment test for tailored mentoring, coaching and training. By testing your sales team, you can help them develop their skills and start performing to their full potential.
3. Overlooking Anyone Who Is Not Extroverted
Too often, hiring decisions are made based solely on personality and performance during the interview.
When this happens, extroverts tend to gain a clear advantage over most introverts and ambiverts. Their natural charisma and social skills can make them seem like an ideal fit for a sales job.
However, personality can be deceiving. You might be surprised to learn that extroverts do not always produce the best sales results. In fact, recent research shows that some ambiverts outsell extroverts by 32 percent. Introverts have been known to outperform extroverts in some scenarios as well due to their ability to focus and their listening skills.
4. Not Leading and Managing Effectively
It can be difficult to admit, but sometimes we could be the very ones hindering our own success.
As a sales manager, you must recognize that self-reflection and a proactive approach are keys to building the success of your team.
Instead of just dealing with the team’s day-to-day needs, focus on the bigger picture and make positive changes that will help far into the future. Part of doing this involves making sure that your salespeople view you as an inspiring leader – not just a boss. Show support for your team and let them know that you believe in their ability to succeed.
Understand that even your best salesperson will make mistakes from time to time. When that happens, try to help her learn from the experience so she can avoid the same mistakes moving forward. You can even share your own past mistakes with your team to help them further.
You will also need to re-energize senior sales reps when they feel demotivated. Here are a few ways to do this:
- Recognize her achievements.
- Continuously challenge her to do better.
- Allow her to lead a few sales meetings.
- Tell her why she is important to the company and praise her for her contributions to the sales team.
When you mentor and coach your team, instead of just telling them what to do, you should build solid working relationships based on trust.
Remember, money is not all that matters to a salesperson. While an attractive compensation plan might draw her in to your business, a strong company culture and good leadership is likely what will make her want to stick around and consistently achieve top results.
5. Failing to Provide Your Salespeople with Useful Technology
Many organizations make the mistake of only providing upper management with the newest technology. What they fail to realize is that salespeople need useful, updated technology to succeed as well.
The right tools will help automate the sales process, saving time and allowing your sales team to work more productively as a whole. Increasing productivity means that your team can handle more customers, giving them more opportunities to make money for your business.
6. Failing to Hire Quickly Enough
Make no mistake – good salespeople are in high demand.
When you find a candidate who demonstrates the Drive needed to succeed in sales and seems to be a good fit with the company culture, do not waste any time – hire that person as soon as you can.
If you make the mistake of waiting too long, you may find out that your perfect candidate has already been hired by another company, forcing you to spend more time looking for another qualified salesperson.
However, this does not mean that you should rush the hiring process. Take your time interviewing and testing candidates so you can make an informed decision that will benefit your company. Just remember to act fast when you do find the right person.
7. Not Using a Sales Personality Test
It is a good idea to administer a sales personality test at the beginning of the hiring process. That way, you can save time by weeding out any candidates who do not possess the one key trait of a highly successful salesperson: Drive. You cannot determine who possesses Drive simply by talking to them and anyone without it will not be able to perform at a high level in sales.
Without a doubt, it is in the best interest of your company to test all candidates for Drive.
Determining Drive is a powerful step that will help you take the guesswork out of hiring salespeople. It will also allow you to avoid many of the mistakes mentioned above, and help you feel confident in your future as a manager, the future of your sales team and the future of your business.