by Richard McCandless, Regional Director – North East England & Scotland
Building and maintaining a high-performing and engaged sales team can be a challenge, but it is essential for achieving consistent business growth.
Here are five key considerations for creating your dream team and closing those sales!
TIP 1: Assign tasks based on key skills and traits
It’s important to profile your team members so you can use their core strengths and skills to optimize sales performance. You may have some who are better at warming up leads than closing or some who are far better at upselling than cold calling.
Just as you would segment your customer base, segment your team to get the best out of them.
There are many ways in which sales teams can be profiled; we have a great tool we use as part of the Kiss the Fish process, profiling and learning more about your staff so that you can utilize their strengths in a strategic way.
The authors of The Challenger Sale describe five types of sales rep profiles:
- Relationship Builders: Focused on building trust and solid relationships with clients and colleagues. Always willing to help, diffuse tension, and tend to be very generous with their time.
- Hard Workers: Very self-motivated and driven, they go above and beyond to close a sale, often working until late.
- Lone Wolves: The rule-breakers, they like to do things their own way and often don’t follow processes.
- Problem Solvers: Focused on solving clients’ problems and have a customer service approach to sales.
- Challengers: Have a detailed understanding of the sales process and the customer’s needs. Assertive and sometimes controversial, they are not afraid to challenge the customer’s views.
Their research found that Challengers and Lone Wolves are most likely to close a sale, at 54% and 25% respectively.
Top sales performers are empathetic, skilled listeners, passionate, target-driven, ambitious, resourceful, confident, and assertive.
Ensure that you have a good blend of personality types and that each team member suits the clients and tasks at hand. Being hard-nosed and money-driven doesn’t always lead to success!
TIP 2: Create an engaging, motivating culture
It’s important for your team to feel that they understand their purpose and are an essential cog in the business machine. Good company culture isn’t about Beer Fridays and ping pong tables, but whether your team feels listened to and supported.
TIP 3: Celebrate achievements
A key way to motivate your team is to celebrate their successes. Successes however big or small! Just a simple “thank you” or praise in an email (especially an email others see) can go a long way. You could even try a fun competitive challenge with prizes for incentives.
TIP 4: Provide continuous constructive feedback and set clear expectations
Reviewing the performance of your sales team regularly on a one-to-one basis will significantly help them to improve. They will also feel valued because you are very clearly making time to ensure their success.
By helping your team set their own personal development goals, they will have a greater understanding of their purpose and how it aligns with the overarching goals of the company. By allowing them to map out their growth, they will feel more motivated to push themselves at each step of the sales process.
Give them examples of successful sales outcomes so that they have a frame of reference to work towards. Sharing success stories with your team will help them feel encouraged to work through any challenges so that they can meet the needs of more customers.
TIP 5: Define and monitor specific sales metrics
To keep everyone accountable and on track, it’s important to define clear, specific, and measurable KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and review them regularly. For greater transparency, why not have them clearly visible in the office?
Remember, if you focus on supporting your team and fostering a positive and productive culture, they will provide the best support to your clients, leading to maximized sales opportunities.
If you have your team filling the ‘right seats on the bus’ and you use their strengths strategically, you’ll be winning! Your sales bus needs to be a well-oiled machine … if yours is sputtering stalling or standing still, do get in touch.