July 28, 2015

sales team meeting to discuss improving sales

Are you failing to get the results you want from your sales team?

If so, it might be a good time to analyze your hiring and management process.

With a few simple changes, you can start hiring and leading sales superstars who are capable of consistently growing revenue.

That means no more wasted time or money, or frustration due to hiring and training the wrong people.

Consider the following helpful tips for building and managing a successful sales team so you can improve sales processes/performance and create more opportunities for your team to generate revenue.

 

Building Your Sales Team

Hiring correctly is not always an easy task, especially in sales. You have to take several different factors into consideration to choose the right salesperson for your team, and a candidate’s interview performance can sometimes be misleading.

build-dream-sales-team

Here are some tips to help you overcome these hurdles and build a strong team:

  1. Look at Hard Data

Consider a candidate’s past when hiring. Numbers do not lie, so check out his/her track record and see what kind of results she has produced while working for other employers. If your candidate has a proven record of strong performance over a long period of time, she will likely carry that skill over and produce results for you.

Hire Salespeople for Personality Traits

The one personality trait that is indicative of a top salesperson is Drive. If you can identify this trait in your candidates, you will greatly increase the odds of hiring a strong performer. Drive is made up of three personality traits:

  • Need for Achievement – A salesperson who possesses this trait has an insatiable desire for excellence and will therefore stop at nothing to reach success.
  • Competitiveness – To win a sale, a salesperson must be competitive. If the salesperson is not passionate about outperforming fellow salespeople and other competitors, then she likely does not care enough about selling to get results.
  • Optimism – Being optimistic means believing that things will work out for the best. Since salespeople deal with rejection so often, they must possess this trait to maintain that resiliency to win sales.

When these three traits are present, you have a Driven candidate who is likely to produce top sales results for your business.

  1. Use a Sales Personality Test

Many hiring managers wonder how to assess Drive in sales candidates. Online sales assessments, such as The DriveTest™ allow you to weed out any weak candidates early in the hiring process, saving you time and avoiding frustration and guesswork when hiring.

 

Managing Your Sales Team

Whether you are an introvert, an extrovert or an ambivert, you can be a great leader and create your own unique management style. Here are a few things you should remember when managing your sales team:

  1. Provide Extensive Sales Training

Once you have hired your team, you will need to provide ongoing training for your salespeople. They will need to gain a deep understanding of what they are selling as well as their target audience. Here are some ideas for training your team:

  • E-learning – This is a great way to help your team learn the basics about the product/service they are selling so they can feel more confident when they are speaking with customers.
  • One-on-one mentoring – It is a good idea to listen to your team’s sales calls from time to time, providing them with the feedback they need to improve their skills.
  • Create a buddy system – To save time during training, pair a new hire up with a more seasoned salesperson to help them learn the ropes.
  • The Production Builder© – This assessment test is an excellent tool for tailored mentoring, coaching and training when your sales team is not performing to your expectations.

Remember, your Driven salespeople want to constantly improve. You just need to give them the right tools and opportunities to grow their skills.

  1. Streamline and Improve Sales Processes

Be sure that your salespeople have everything they need to succeed. For example, it is a good idea to provide them with helpful marketing collateral, such as brochures, whitepapers, eBooks, etc..

You should also make sure that your technology supports your sales team. Find out what slows them down the most and take note. From there, you can make small improvements on the IT side that will have a big effect on productivity, freeing up more time to focus on selling.

  1. Be a Good Mentor

Employee morale has a direct effect on the bottom line, so it is crucial for you to provide a welcoming, encouraging environment and be the kind of leader with whom you would want to work.
sales-manager-mentoring-stuggling-sales-rep-to-increase-success

Here are some tips for mentoring your salespeople:

  • Offer constructive criticism – While criticism is usually necessary for improvement, be sure that your approach is not too harsh. Praise your team when applicable as well to let them know what they are doing right.
  • Avoid solving problems for them – Help your salespeople along the way, but allow them to solve their own problems so they can build their skills and boost their self-esteem.
  • Keep them up-to-date with their progress – Your sales team cannot improve if they do not know what they are doing wrong. Keep up with their metrics and try tailored coaching if they are underperforming.

Sharing success stories and mistakes is also a great way to inspire and motivate your team. It helps show them what does and does not work. Importantly, it also helps you become more relatable, which will likely make your team feel more understood and happier at work.

  1. Reward and Recognize Achievements

Recognition has to be more than just giving a salesperson a generic congratulatory card. Do something meaningful that genuinely shows how much you appreciate her hard work. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Allow top achievers to lead – When a salesperson is producing great results, recognize her by allowing her to lead a sales meeting and/or coach her peers.
  • Offer flexible scheduling – Just about everyone enjoys working from home or taking some time off. If you can, offer temporary telecommuting to top performers.
  • Give a gift card – A gift card is a great way to show appreciation for a hard-working salesperson. If possible, get a gift card specifically tailored to her hobbies or interests.

Remember, hiring the right team and managing them correctly is the key to success for your sales department.

Be sure you test your candidates for Drive prior to hiring and then use your leadership skills to keep them happy and motivated while they are working. Doing this will help ensure that you build a team of salespeople who will get results, improve sales processes and lead their peers to success.