How To Build An Effective Sales Team From Scratch
The growth and survival of every business lies in it’s ability to acquire a sufficient customer base. Getting these customers depends largely on the quality of the sales team, and if the people on the sales team lack the required experience, skill, and persuasive impulse to drive more sales and growth for the business, then it’s short and long term growth targets are going to suffer.
Building a great sales team from scratch can get tricky. You’d have to pay attention to the tiniest details which would help you identify the most effective person for the role of the sales manager, the right people to make up the sales team, the team’s sales training, what tools they’d require for success, the sales strategy they’d implement, and many other factors.
Sales management is never an easy task, especially for a new sales team. But with an experienced and highly effective sales manager to address all the issues and challenges the team could have, the company’s goal to acquire many more customers could come to fruition.
See Also: How To Market A New Product In Nigeria
Here Are 7 Steps To Build An Effective Sales Team:
Step 1: Do Your Research
The first thing to do is evaluate the prowess of your sales team. If you have none, then you need to evaluate your potential customers, what they already use that’s an alternative to your product, where they usually hangout, how they react to trends, and more.
Categorize your customers, and identify the sector that a sales team can influence the most. Determine how much revenue each potential customer territory can generate, and what turns them off about sales men and women.
After a careful evaluation of your customers behaviours, you should then focus on building a team that can act in the right capacity to convert more customers.
Find out what qualities an effective sales person in that industry should have, and look out for that.
Step 2: Hire Right
To get a large list of candidates to apply for the job role fast, put up an ad on job sites like Jobberman, Career24, and the likes. The disadvantage of this approach is that you’ll spend a really long time skimming through resumes of a long list of applicants who aren’t qualified or who aren’t the perfect fit for your company.
Hiring sales people is a lot different from hiring just any staff. You need to make certain that some requirements are met. Some concerns you should have for any applicant seeking to be on your sales team are:
- Can the person listen to advice?
- Has the person ever achieved any laudable sales feat?
- Is the person temperamental?
- Does the person have any history of depression?
- Does the person have any idea of your products or services?
- Get the person to sell you an object on the table, there and then.
Hiring the right sales person goes beyond just reading an amazing resume. It goes further to check the person’s personality as a whole.
To get the best out of the interview, get each candidate to go through two different sets of dual managers. With four people to vet a person’s potential ability to deliver on the job, you’d maximize your chances of hiring the right people.
Step 3: Train Your Team
No matter how talented your sales team are, they need to still undergo further sales training. Better education always equals to better output on the long run, and updating their knowledge with current consumer behaviours and trends would give them an upper hand over other members of a rival company’s sales team.
Some resources you can use to get the best out of your sales team are:
- Weekly or monthly sales training
- Sales Books
- Active Roleplay
And a host of others.
By training your sales team right, you inherently prepare them for the task at hand in your organisation, and also directly make them better skilled to maximize their sales efforts. Those who still don’t deliver on your expectations after a comprehensive sales training should be replaced as soon as they’re spotted.
Step 4: Acquire The Right Sales Tools
Various tools are critical to the success of your sales team. Since the advent of the internet, the sales channels brands use to reach out to prospects and existing customers have only but increased. You should have a solid inbound sales strategy for combining your marketing and sales teams, and combining the two through a fluent and easy-to-use funnel. Invest in tools that make this process easier.
These sales tools are not just “must-haves”, but are going to help every member of your sales team get by each day easier and faster. An example of some are:
- LinkedIn Premium: This would give your team players more access to prospects via linkedIn.
- Dropbox: The premium version of dropbox is crucial for regular backups of your company files and data. It’s also highly beneficial for sending and receiving large files between members of your sales team.
- Hootsuite Premium: This will help your social media team schedule posts ahead of time, thereby giving them time to pursue other sales leads.
- Evernote: To securely take down notes at meetings and conferences.
- Uber: When there’s no car to take them to a meeting, a Uber can help.
And a host of other tools.
Step 5: Have Targets To Hold People Accountable For
When your sales team are officially on the ground, it’s essential that you have targets and goals for each individual. These targets should cover new acquisitions, number of appointments, number of customer call-backs, revenue numbers, and more.
The success of the sales team will determine how quickly or slowly the company’s customer base grows. As you study the progress rate of each member of the sales team, adjust your sales strategy to focus on each member’s strengths, and measure again.
By establishing solid KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) that your sales team follows, you can more efficiently hold them accountable for their efforts on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly basis.
Step 6: Offer Commissions For Successful Sales
Bonuses motivate people to strive harder. Since no employee would want to ever carry-over their organisation’s work to their homes, offering bonuses on successful sales or milestones achieved would motivate them to go weigh further than they would have.
By offering bonuses, you’re showing them that you appreciate and value their efforts, that you care about their sometimes life-threatening trips, and that you want them to have financial security working at your company, even if they’d have to earn it.
Step 7: Communicate Constantly With The Team
Communication is important to ensure there’s a synergy between your sales team members. It’s important you contact your team from time to time to know their challenges, how they’re approaching clients, and what feedbacks they’re getting.
Communication is not just important, it’s something your team must over-do. As the sales manager or a marketing executive, you could start out each day by sending an email to all members of your sales team, asking questions like:
- What opportunities are you working on today?
- What challenges did you face yesterday?
- How would you like the organisation to improve your sales performance?
By asking these types of questions, your team can always be in sync, and help each other. Since they know they’re all obliged to reply, their individual experiences would help each other perform better in their various sales regions.
What are your thoughts on these 7 steps to build a successful sales team? Let me know by leaving a comment below.
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