Sales team management

How to Manage a Sales Team Effectively

Record-breaking sales teams are not just the sum of every rep.

There is so much more involved in the process, including everything from your company philosophy to your commission structure. Today we’re going to explain how to manage a sales team effectively.

Hire Based On Potential For Success

You can provide sales training materials, highly-targeted leads, and every other valuable opportunity to your sales team… and yet, none of those matter if you don’t hire the right people. In fact, that’s why many high-growth Fortune 500 companies are hiring heavily based on the “intangible” side of the resume. If we accept the notion that sales is a skill — one that can be perfected by anyone given enough experience — then mindset and motivation are two of the most important values that a new candidate can bring to the table.

If they have the right “go-getter” drive to keep pounding the pavement relentlessly, until their goal is reached… then you know you’re talking to the real deal. Perseverance, self-driven motivation, and a desire to improve are three more qualities to notice. Remember, these reps have the ability to learn and grow their sales skills while on the job (through real-world experience). First and foremost, focus on hiring the right people.

A Confident (And Knowledgable) Leader

There are two different sides of sales team leadership: Accountability and support. The first side, accountability, is the more commonly-known part of managing a sales team.  This refers to helping your individual sales reps set goals (weekly, monthly, and quarterly are typical). It also includes holding the reps accountable to their expectations, and helping them figure out any problems if they are unable to meet goals.

There is also the support side of leadership, which relies on your ability to keep the sales team working at 100% efficiency. This doesn’t mean setting unrealistic expectations, or trying to overwork the team… it means being available to coach, to hand-hold, to motivate with both financial and non-financial incentives, to help guide reps throughout the workweek.

Even though sales skills are honed through real-world experience, they still rely heavily on the emotional state of each rep. It’s the leader’s job to coach each sales person towards the most effective, healthy, and driven mindset possible. Hint: If you’re managing a sales team effectively, you have a sales team that is consistently happy to come into work every day, while demonstrating increased sales numbers month after month.

The Right Philosophy

This is arguably the deciding factor in the success or failure of your sales team. It’s important to understand the desires of your sales team, and to make sure they align with the goals of the business. Top-performing sales teams are cultivated over time to have the most powerful mindset possible.

Here are a few examples:

  • They believe in the company, and truly want to help it grow.
  • They believe success will come in due time, given enough hard work.
  • They believe they are selling a winning product.
  • They believe they are helping the company strive for a market-leader position.

If your sales team is putting in 110% effort, because it’s their passion… you know you have created a successful and agreeable company philosophy. Try to think about the “intangible” side of sales management and leadership the next time you are focused on improving sales numbers. If you can capitalize on these crucial facets of managing a sales team, everything else becomes significantly easier.