Six Strategies to Increase Sales Team Performance
Many entrepreneurs start as their company’s salesperson. As their businesses gets going they often decide at some point to hire an additional salesperson or two or three. And Bingo – they graduate from sales pro to sales manager. Now they must learn to recruit, hire, train, determine compensation, manage and inspire their sales team.
Competing for sales talent during some of the lowest unemployment rates nationally means it needs to be a priority. It will be a challenging process and if not handled properly can lead to some bad hiring decisions. Often the urgency of trying to fill a sales position can cloud hiring judgment and veer some from their sales recruiting strategy.
Sales management experts agree that small businesses need to make good decisions allocating time and resources from the beginning of the recruiting process throughout employees’ careers. Guidance and inspiration is needed to help increase salespeople’s performance and increase company sales. Here are six strategies to take you through the process of achieving a high-performing sales team:
1) Search Out Good Recruits
Begin by developing interview questions that look into areas such as experience, skills, attitude, results, knowledge and habits. A good sales person should have a proven track record of selling. Ask about evidence of past success. Great salespeople are great communicators; their message needs to be clear and passionate during the interview.
2) Hire the Best
Ensure the person fits into you company’s culture. A recruit’s attitude should be positive and responsive. Don’t just follow your gut. Get them thinking on their feet, don’t be afraid to ask tough questions and put them on the spot to check out their cognitive abilities. From an error-free resume to habits like organization and punctuality make sure the candidate exhibits everything you’re looking for.
3) Train for Success
Start with the onboarding process by including the recruit’s ideas as to how to spend the first 90 days. Consider their computer literacy early on with everything from a desktop to a laptop to mobile technology. Then fill in any gaps with constant training. Great salespeople know there’s always more to learn. Provide new challenges to ensure motivation is achieved as well as new goals.
4) Create Career Compensation
The person who is just in a job wants a raise to his or her base salary. A committed salesperson wants a raise in his or her commission. Use commissions and bonuses to drive important attributes of success like profitability and year-end sales. Develop a plan that builds excitement and encourages multiple achievements. This will lead to success and self-confidence and that keeps the momentum going from sale to sale.
5) Manage Intentions and Expectations
Have weekly check-ins to review activities to identify and remove any obstacles. Make sure goals are clearly understood as well as the company’s overall strategy and intentions. Provide inclusion to larger team meetings and acknowledge participation to build positive reputation management skills.
6) Inspire From Within
Create belief in the company, belief in the product, belief in the service and belief in themselves. Real enthusiasm will help others find their passion and help them strive to do their best. Establishing a culture that encourages life-long learning will give goals intention and focus and continue to take salespeople to the next level of success.
Routinely review each step and reconfigure your approach to ensure salespeople continue hitting their stride and stay motivated.
Source: Grand Rapids Business Journal. Do you have the character and characteristics for sales success? June 2017. P13.