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Strong Sales Team: Rome was Not Built in a Day

Posted by Thanh Le on Aug 3, 2015 10:22:48 AM

Every businesses has its own requirements which can be affected by seasonal patterns, as well as the ups and downs of the economy or the features of the industry. However, all businesses have one thing in common: to maintain the business, you must have the ability to sell. It is said that the best salesperson is born, not made, so seeking them is a key issue for recruiters as you have to find the right one as you can’t necessarily build them. But if you already have a sales team, it's important to know how to motivate them and measure their performance. You can’t build a naturally talented sales but you can build a strong sales team that included these talents. If you want the ultimate sales team, you have to know how to build it, to make jewellery out of raw jade because as they said: Rome was not built in a day.

Suppose that you have multiple potential candidates whose behaviours and attitudes fit the sales traits, now what would you do to turn them into gold?

1. Sales Team Management

No matter how many members there are in your sales team, sales management should never be neglected. Furthermore, it needs to be done properly so each salesperson is given direction in order to fulfil their potential.

Develop a sales strategy from a basic level to a complex one so that everyone in the team is aware of it. It should make clear what your objectives are. For example, is the priority to target new or existing businesses? Which products or services are you most keen to promote?

Next, make clear one’s role within the sales team. Usually, the role depends on particular accounts, products or territory because this allows customers to build a relationship with a particular account manager.
Then data such as sales-activity reports are used to keep track of how well your sales staff are performing. You will need these reviews combined when you evaluate and discuss with them based on results.

Finally, collect feedback from your sales staff. Their opinions can be very valuable in shaping business direction because of the close contact they have with customers. They often have best response of what customer want.

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2. Setting sales targets

Speaking of strategy, many managers can narrow down this definition to ‘sale target’ as it is the most visible result. Clear targets linked to incentives such as commissions and bonuses will motivate members and provide a clear indication of the kind of performance expected of them.

Be specific when setting targets for sales staff - different areas with different requirements, for example: you can divide into 3 categories such as new sales, renewals and lapsed customers.

Different businesses may require very different targets. Also, make sure that the targets you set for your new sales staff are reasonable for the territory they've been allocated. Setting too easy targets causes complacency and lost sales; too difficult one demotivates and leads to despondency.

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3. Setting activity targets

Along with the sales target, you should set activity targets too. These are individual day-to-day duties as part of their job that should lead to sales. Activity targets might be:

Completed phone calls recorded.

Face-to-face meetings recorded.

Leads generated.

Leads followed up.

Qualified prospects.

This is an important area of the sales process, as continual efforts by your staff to generate new business leads and keeping sales figures steady or on the increase. This area is strategy translated into specific actions and should be monitored just as closely as the actual sales figures.

set-sales-activity

4. Measure performance

At the end of the day, who wouldn’t want to know how much they have done? Measuring performance motivates most salespeople and allows the leader to confirm whether they are going in the right direction.
One key method is to analyse a salesperson's conversion rates. This is the number of visits, contacts or phone calls it takes to arrive at one sale to a customer. Any successful salesperson should know their conversion rates and newbies need to work theirs out ASAP. It can be a bit of a catch-22 as if your activity level is too low you’ll not hit your sales targets, but if you do not know what your activity level should be you are at risk of going too low and not hitting your sales targets, and not hitting your sales targets may lead to a short sales career.

Another way to measure is finding out what impression your salespeople are making by conducting a survey of opinions across the customer base, or on a smaller scale by calling individual customers.

In conclusion, finding Sales talent is hard, but not as hard as making the best of them and having their loyalty to the sales team. Training and managing sales teams is truly a challenge to every leader and manager. Sometimes pay and bonuses are not enough, not even the effective solution. So you need to think about incentives in order to build your Rome, starting from now.

Does your current sales team performance bother you? Our Solution may help you. Download “Profiles Sales Assessment” here to learn more about the solution.

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    Rick Yvanovich
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    With the Profiles International South East Asia Blog, it is our mission to help organizational leaders and HR professionals improve their performance and workforce productivity. 

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