Whether you like it or not… Your sales team needs a leader.
And not just any leader, they probably need YOU.
They need someone to guide them throughout every stage of the job.
From¬†getting acquainted with the product on day one, to closing their 100th sale.¬†Effective management of a sales force is arguably the¬†most important element of running a business. Even if every person you hire is a “born winner,” ready to attack sales with every ounce of energy in their body, they still need supervision to operate at an optimal level.
Here are four key¬†aspects¬†of successful sales management:
1. More Leading, Less Managing
It’s easy to manage people… it’s harder to lead them. Not surprisingly, the latter achieves results much greater than the former. Even though it seems like a time sink, putting in the effort¬†to carefully lead your sales team is worth it. It’s your job to figure out exactly what your salespeople need, and to deliver that in an appropriate manner. That could be time management strategies, some one-on-one coaching, even¬†encouraging them after failures.
Think of your sales team as professional athletes… they still need a head coach (that’s you) to¬†maximize their success.
2. Know The Key Performance Indicators
Know the key performance indicators of your sales staff. You should have exact data that demonstrates what type of effort equals what type of result. And that’s where goal-setting comes into play. Since you know what amount of calls, meetings, or consultations typically converts into a sale… you can now break down your sales into a science. It’s a good idea to have weekly¬†meetings where you discuss goals, priorities, and desired outcomes with each individual salesperson.¬†
3. Set Your Team Up For Success (Not Failure!)
Your salespeople are hungry for success, you just need to feed them the right ingredients.¬†They need solid leads and¬†a proven sales system. On top of that, they need a corporate environment that is conducive to success. Allow reps to customize the sales script to their own personality and style. Let them test different variations and run with whichever¬†works best.
Similarly, be positive about sales, but be blunt about failures. This isn’t to say you should reprimand reps for a failed attempt, but rather: don’t ignore poor performance. If you notice a rep struggling, jump in and lead them (by the hand, if necessary) towards better performance.
4. Know How To Motivate The “Don Drapers”
Congrats — you know how to hire the right people for the job… and you caught yourself a regular “Don Draper.” Now you need to motivate these high-performing reps to pull in massive numbers. Here’s how you do that: Celebrate the wins. Congratulate your top performing salespeople, and make sure they understand how much they are appreciated. On top of that, a significant chunk of a top dog salesperson’s motivation is typically money… so offer encouraging sales incentives for different tiers of success. You can even run monthly competitions for added effect. Sales is a competitive sport at the most basic level.
Remember that your entire sales force needs a central leader: someone to guide the team towards success. Use these strategies to maximize your sales team’s performance and improve the¬†overall company culture, because they go hand in hand.