An overwhelming proportion of modern sales strategies are based on numbers and data analysis. The art of the sale is now turning into a science. Despite this, we shouldn’t forget that human interaction is still at the core of every successful sale.

As a sales manager or business owner, you need to masterfully lead your sales teams to success. We’ll explore five powerful, actionable sales team management strategies you can use right now to take your sales reps to the next level.Man Writing - Sales Force Management

The sooner you can put these sales team management strategies in place, the sooner you’ll see results, both in terms of happier sales staff and increased profits.

Less Managing, More Coaching

The title “Sales Manager” can be misleading. The best sales managers don’t treat their job as an administrative position, but rather as a leadership role.

You are the guiding light for your team

You can step into a leadership role and help your people thrive.

  • Develop training programs to help new commission only sales reps get ready as quickly as possible.
  • Have a personal relationship with your salespeople to help them succeed.
  • Know the most effective way to push commission sales reps to meet and exceed expectations.

One of the best ways to build motivation and improve your sales team is to improve your relationship with them. It might sound counter-intuitive (or indirect) but this is one of the best ways to become a more effective manager. When you can understand “who” your sales staff really are and what drives them, you will have a much easier time motivating and managing your sales team.

Does Your Sales Team have the Right Training?

One of the main areas that holds back sales representatives and sales teams is problems with sales training materials and programs. All commission only (and other) sales reps will need help to work confidently with your products and services.

Every single salesperson you hire and oversee will need some additional training or guidance. This might be in perfecting their pitch, finding the right negotiation skills, managing clients, finding leads, or something else.

Your training will depend on the type of product you’re selling and your sales cycle, but here are a few common sales training areas to get you started.

Make sure your sales reps have guidance, support, and training for the following:

Although a good sales rep might know some or all of these techniques, they still need to know how the techniques specifically relate to your business and products.

Your sales reps will need to have powerful sales skills so they can sell your products. It’s not enough to know “objection handling.” They need to know exactly what objections will come up when they are pitching your products and the absolute best way to respond.

It’s a great idea to systemize your training – Setup a sales training schedule, create decent support materials, and ensure people can understand them. Another good idea is to have a sales rep you trust mentor your newly recruited salespeople.

Trust Your Sales Team and Your Sales System

Do you have complete faith in your sales teams and sales process? It’s extremely important the leadership of your sales business (whether sales managers or other high-level staff) show trust in your people and processes.

If your sales reps see doubt or uncertainty from leadership, they might take on the same viewpoint. Don’t forget that your sales staff feeds off of the energy you put out. Sometimes, putting out good energy is all you need to do to improve your sales team.

Here are some ways to demonstrate trust:

  • Openly Praise Accomplishments – Go above and beyond: Make an effort to give praise for all the significant accomplishments your sales staff achieve. Did someone have their best month? Congratulate them and let them know how much you appreciate their work. Even though you might think gratitude is implied, your sales reps will be more motivated if they know someone is rooting for them.
  • Be In Your Sales Team’s Corner – Ideally, you should share the same desires as your sales team. If there’s a problem, or your team asks for something, it’s your job to step in and speak on their behalf. Go to battle for your sales team, and they will notice and feel more motivated, reciprocating with hard work. Do everything you can to keep communication channels open, and make sure you are doing more listening than talking.

Demonstrate complete confidence in your sales team and do everything possible to make their sales jobs efficient and enjoyable. You’ll be surprised, this pays off big-time when it comes to “on paper” results.

Sometimes it can be difficult to know what’s working, and what isn’t. One of the easiest ways to find out is to ask the people impacted – your sales representatives and sales teams. What’s working well for them, and what isn’t?

Streamline Your Management

Nothing is more stressful and wasteful than “too much” sales team management. It’s very easy to over-manage and take up too much of your sales team’s time. If your team isn’t taking action they aren’t making sales. Cut down on unneeded meetings, reviews, and other bureaucratic clutter. Let your sales team and sales reps focus on what they do best – Making sales and generating profit.

Reflect on Your Successes and Failures

Another area that’s often neglected, but is actually incredibly beneficial, is to reflect on your business.  It’s probably one of the most valuable uses of your time as a sales manager. Once a month, once a quarter, or at the least once a year, take time to think about what’s been working, and what hasn’t.

There’s an “intangible” side to sales team management that is almost never covered by training programs, but it’s still vitally important. If you want to drive the highest sales results possible, it’s going to take serious self-reflection and awareness.

For your specific organization and team, think about the following:

  • What management actions led to the greatest results?
  • What seemed to motivate your team the most and the least?
  • What is the most common feedback you get from your commission only sales reps and sales teams?

Self-reflection is extremely important for sales managers and sales business owners. It’s one of the best ways to find the ideal ” sales strategy” to accompany your more structured management tactics. If you’re trying to increase numbers (sales, revenue per sale, sales closing rate, or something else), try something completely different to the norm.

If you usually offer higher incentives or some other type of monetary bonus, try talking to your reps and find out what motivates them. Remember that effective sales team management is heavily dependent on the relationships and human interaction that goes on “behind the scenes.”

It can be useful to have an “off-site” meeting of your senior staff, but also bring some sales reps along at all levels in your business. Their experience and insight will help to inform your decisions.

When you make your relationships as good as they can be, you’ll see improvement in your sales team.

Want us to find the best commission only sales reps on your behalf and reduce your time to hire?  Get in touch now.