Sales are the lifeline of any business. Without revenue coming in, it’s only a matter of time before a company goes belly up. A strong sales team can help you avoid an early crash and burn.
Building a high-performing sales team can be a grating experience, though. It’s rarely as simple as sending a handful of recruits to take a top sales class. Fortunately, the following expert insights can give you a head start to assemble your dream sales team.
Analyze Your Current Sales Team
Before recruiting new sales reps, start closer to home. Take a look at your current team, particularly how they conduct their work. Which of the current reps displays a strong combination of effective skills for a sales rep? To answer this question, you’ll want to look at the reps who are consistently blowing their quotas out of the water.
What sets them apart from the other reps with hazy performances? Perhaps they’re more collaborative? Ferociously ambitious? A coachable attitude?
Different combinations of these skills and qualities can be used as touchstones for building the rest of your team.
Keeping up with your reps’ numbers can help you hold the reps accountable. Also, identifying areas of improvement is a much simpler process when you have data at your fingertips.
For instance, you might notice that a particular rep’s weekly sales numbers are poor despite their making the same number of phone calls as other reps. So, now you can evaluate that specific part of your sales process and see where the rep can benefit from a leg up.
Setting crystal-clear expectations from the get-go can also smoothen the tracking process. Once you and the reps have a full picture of what to work towards, finding areas to report on consistently is easy as pie.
Give Consistent Feedback
As with learning any new skill, getting consistent feedback on the progress of your sales rep can help motivate and encourage their progress. So, it’s important to review rep performance and offer your thoughts consistently.
Also, regular feedback helps encourage the correct sales practices while either improving or dropping the less-than-stellar parts.
For instance, if a rep is crushing their quotas, it’s very likely they’re doing something right. Find out what. Is it polished prospecting? A knack for asking the right questions? Well-thought-out pitches?
Whatever this something is, be sure to first complement the rep for it in person. Secondly, see how the rest of the team can learn from the success by encouraging the rep to share some tips.
On the other hand, if a rep is generating less-than-impressive results, offer to work together to find the weakness in their approach. You can use the lesson learned from this stumbling block as a learning point not just for that particular rep but perhaps for the whole salesforce too.
Cracking it in the world of sales is an uphill battle, especially for salespeople who are just starting. It’s not surprising then that the sales rep turnover rate in the US is 27%, twice the rate in other careers.
It makes sense considering that sales reps often need to jump over steaming piles of rejections before seeing a positive response. The average salesperson, for instance, generates roughly one appointment or referral for every 209 cold calls.
These figures can be daunting for recruits and discouraging for those a little more settled. One way of keeping the morale going is by providing additional incentives alongside the reps’ salaries to keep them striving to hit benchmarks. This could be a cash prize, a weekend getaway, or even a fully paid-for exotic vacation.
Space Out Sales Training
Some companies fall into the trap of only training their new reps during the onboarding process and then calling it a day.
Current research highlights the errors in this approach. Within the next 90 days, 84-90% of the learning will probably be forgotten, according to research by Richardson Sales Performance. The time and money spent on sending your reps would have been all to waste.
Instead of drowning new sales hires with mounds of information within a short period, consider spacing. This is where you break up the training material into small easily digestible morsels over a longer period. Reps can then go over the material at a more favorable pace that allows them to fully understand the concepts.
Your first sales team is unlikely to be perfect from day one. So, to avoid disappointment, expect to put in the work towards creating a super team for your company.
Assembling your team of sales avengers is going to take time. These five tips will see to it that you have a sense of direction throughout the process.