Your sales team is the heart of your business. A vibrant troop can march you to huge success. In contrast, poor performers can clip your company’s wings and ground you. The question now is, can you look at your sales team and beam with pride over their achievements? Do their ethics and professionalism represent your company well? If the answer is anything but a ringing yes, here are some crucial steps to building an unshakable team. 

Hire the right people

Candidates may look great on paper but fall flat when put to the test. As a result, it’s important to have a comprehensive hiring process to choose highfliers with the best potential for success.

Sales team training companies advise going through a rigorous interview process once you shortlist your candidates. Consider an in-person, face-to-face question-and-answer session. Carefully craft your questions to dig deeper and unearth more about the interviewee’s skills and personality traits. 

Once you take a peek into the candidate’s profile, you can give them the option to showcase their performance ability through roleplay situations. By assessing real-life situational cases you get a preview into how the candidate is likely to perform. You can also see which selling methods the candidate leans towards.

Set clear expectations

Your team needs to have a clear picture of what’s expected of them. Trying to achieve success when they’re not even sure how to define success will likely lead to confusion and frustration. 

So, right from the onboarding process, let everyone know what they are working towards. Leaving new members to grope in the dark with nothing but a company employee handbook can cause a mental block. When employees have no clear path, they can lose confidence in themselves, and so, ultimately, dampening performance. 

Research by Gallup reveals that engaged employees show 21% more profitability. Gallup also says that setting transparent expectations is a key driving force for employee engagement. So, help your reps understand what success and quality look like to keep them engaged and keen to achieve sales goals.

Remember the following tips when setting expectations:

  • Open two-way communication. Imposed targets are often met with resistance. So, sit down with your team and come up with targets that excite you. The more collaborative your goal-setting process is, the more likely you are to get buy-in. 
  • Focus on both results and activities. Stacking all your cards on results will likely skew your view of the underlying situation. Remember, once the results are in, there’s little room for change. So, include some action-oriented goals to give yourself the chance to assess and train your team to change for the better.

Empower your team with tools

Salespeople typically have a wide range of tasks on their plate. Ranging from prospecting, pitching, following up, guiding buyers, and record-keeping to negotiating the final deal. It’s plain to see how overwhelming it can be. So, train your team to use digital tools. Software tools that streamline processes can help keep your team focused on important tasks. 

One critical tool is a company customer relationship management (CRM) system to streamline the entire sales cycle. For example, you can store contact information for prospects and customers on a single platform. You can also manage your customer interactions, so you don’t lose track.  

By cutting down the time spent on manual and repetitive tasks, your team can zero in on their main tasks.  

Track progress

Monitoring progress helps to quickly identify challenges and prevent recurring issues. For example, some of the metrics your company can focus on include:

Sales cycle length

Measuring sales cycle length gives you insight into your team’s productivity. Once you get a preview of the average time it takes to move customers along the pipeline, you can shorten the cycle. For example, you can train your reps to ask for more referrals and cut down on prospecting time.

Win rate

Take stock of how many times you hit the bullseye for every shot you take. A higher win rate shows that you’re on the right path. When the win rate drops, you may need to change your training strategies. 

All in all, building a strong sales team for your company comes down to the quality of your hires. Also, have clear-cut expectations and monitor performance to keep your team on track. 

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