Your sales staff plays an integral part of 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, you sales team members are the rowers of your ship. Each time one of your team members row 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 achieve your company’s objectives quickly.
Create a Customer-Centric Culture
If you are like most people, you don’t like being sold to 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 your decision to buy, it could potentially 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 customer’s 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 customer’s needs. A customer-centric environment positions your sales team members to be consultants to your customers—allowing your team to become their advocate. As an advocate, customers grow to trust your sales team’s recommendations, allowing them to guide customers from the beginning of the sale to closing the sale.
Hire the Right Person the First Time
All too often, functional areas within businesses are disjointed. Even though every department is working to meet overall objectives, bureaucracy, and departmental boundaries can make it difficult for employees to align with other departments.
In particular, your department of human resources (HR) must hire and recruit salespeople based on the company’s overall strategy; they can’t afford to allow boundaries to inhibit their goals. When HR is out of alignment, they hire the wrong salespeople for the job. If you consider Pareto’s Principle, the 80/20 rule, then 20% of your sales team is responsible for 80% of the sales within your company. As a result, your HR department chose the wrong person for the job 80% of the time.
Instead of allowing your HR department to fill positions with warm bodies, you have to ensure that HR’s hiring process aligns with the company’s objectives and with the sales department’s needs. HR staff members must hire sales members based on a realistic job description, which should come directly from the sales department. They should look for the following characteristics that have proven to be successful traits in leading salespeople:
- They show initiative.
- They are confident.
- They are overachievers.
- They have passion.
Although your HR department can’t always determine these traits by looking at a resume, they can make better hiring decisions by researching and gathering information on potential candidates. To make an informed decision about who to hire for your sales team, HR must look at the whole picture, including analyzing potential candidate’s social media accounts to determine whether a person is a good fit for the job.
Set Measurable Monthly Objectives
In business, what gets measured is what gets done in your organization. If you don’t have measurable objectives for your sales team, then your sales team won’t have a driving force to push them to make sales. You can develop sales metrics by analyzing your competition and your company’s objectives. With your goals in mind, you can easily ascertain quotas for each sales person on your team. It’s important to keep in mind that your quotas aren’t set in stone once you set them. If you find the objectives are too easy for your staff, increase them so that your staff remains motivated to meet their sales goals.
Motivate Sales Staff with Recognition and Rewards
Your HR department is a data repository full of information about your employees. Unfortunately, many companies ignore employee data when they develop rewards for their sales staff. 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 contact-lens company, and the company’s revenue increased by 9% in one year.
Each person on your sales staff has unique needs and wants, making their motivations unique. Although you can’t create an individual compensation plan for each member of your team, you can analyze company data and information and create a motivating compensation plan that incorporates both rewards and recognition that will improve your team’s sales and overall satisfaction.
Employ Team-Building Exercises
Even though your sales team doesn’t work on projects, project-based organizations are extremely successful at working in teams. Each member of a project team understands that their contributions to the project and the organization are critical for achieving the organization’s goals. As a result, team members act in one accord to ensure projects are completed per requirements.
In order to create an amazing sales team, each member must understand that each member’s success benefits the entire organization. Team-building exercises help sales teams bond, creating synergy that helps enhance each individual’s sales ability. Team members become more willing to help underperforming teammates while continuing to meet their monthly quotas.
Building an amazing sales team doesn’t take a lot of work and hours of training. With the right environment and rewards, leaders can transform their existing sales team into an award-winning, best-in-class sales team.