As any business owner can share, developing and building a solid and successful sales team can be challenging. There’s no doubt that it takes time and effort. However, in the end, that team will positively impact all areas of your business, especially when they hit and exceed their sales goals. Your sales team is the heart of revenue which means you must motivate them and include professional development in your workplace. Continue reading to discover 15 tips and tricks to build a sales team through recruitment, engagement, training, ongoing development, and goal setting.
How to Build a Successful Sales Team
- Know Who You Need to Hire and Why
- Create Engagement With Your Team
- Set Clear Expectations
- Provide Tools For Success
- Record Sales Data
- Use Data to Identify Issues
- Give Feedback
- Share Success Stories
- Encourage Your Team to Set Personal Goals
- Create a Culture That’s About More Than Just Quota
- Don’t Be Afraid to Terminate Employees That Aren’t Working Out
- Avoid Micromanagement and Encourage Collaboration
- Implement a Seamless Onboarding Process
- Obsess Over the Basics
- Build a Team On a Foundation of Trust
1. Know Who You Need to Hire and Why
Make the hiring decision based on who you need, for what position, and what role they can play on your team. Evaluate your environment, find out what you have, and then, understand what you do not have. Even if you are working with existing employees, reevaluate each person’s role. They may perform better in a different sales position with different expectations. Do not be afraid to experiment until you find out what works. The goal is to build a successful team, not just fill seats with warm bodies.
When starting a sales team with a solid foundation, we focus on hiring dedicated individuals to help develop and grow. Though hiring team members with tons of experience is beneficial, it may not be the right decision for a specific business model. It’s always best to hire individuals who are excited to be a part of a team, always willing to learn, and eager to help a business reach its sales goals. Hiring someone who fits all of these elements and has experience is not always easy to find. Someone who is enthusiastic but has little experience could be a better fit. There is always room to train inexperienced sales representatives, as long as they are open and willing to learn.
Every company’s sales team differs, but the ultimate goals are the same: to reach sales expectations and grow revenue. Finding the best sales representatives for a business sets a solid foundation for all the other aspects needed to build a successful sales team that can be built upon.
2. Create Engagement With Your Team
More engaged sales and leadership teams help develop a culture of empathy, consistent growth, and curiosity to learn more. When a sales team is engaged with others in the company, there is a greater chance they will continue with that enthusiasm when working on sales and with clients. The motivation that comes with good team engagement helps increase sales, improve camaraderie, and present the company in a positive view within the community.
Sales can be a difficult job, and if you are a sales manager after being a salesperson, you can relate. Some days can be filled with rejection and hang-ups. To prevent no-shows at work, give your sales team motivation by offering incentives for meeting goals, going above the line, and expanding their pipelines. Some incentives include bonuses, extra days off, paid vacations, a plaque for the office, or any other award. Keeping your team motivated will pay off and help you meet your targets.
3. Set Clear Expectations
When your team knows precisely what is expected of them, they will feel more motivated to achieve everything required of them and more. Setting clear goals shows the team knows what success looks like and gives them a frame of reference. Ensure your sales team knows where to put their priorities. Take time to discuss expectations, the overall sales goal, and what they are working toward.
4. Provide Tools For Success
Ensure that all your sales representatives have the tools needed to succeed. For example, if their focus is outbound sales calls, ensure they have the necessary training to make these calls, provide scripts, and conduct role-playing experiences. Additionally, ensure they have a phone, a quiet workspace, headphones, and everything needed to help potential clients when on the phone.
If your sales force works on the road meeting clients, provide:
- A vehicle or car allowance
- Reimbursement for gas (or company gas card)
- A cell phone
- Anything they may need for their on-the-road office
5. Record Sales Data
Next, you’ll need a system in place to track vital metrics to help manage expectations, hold sales representatives accountable, and eventually, have a clear picture of what winning looks like. Keep metrics simple, measurable, and visible, so everyone in the sales department knows what is happening and what they need to do as a team to achieve their sales goals.
If goals are set annually, divide them into monthly or quarterly revenue goals to help break the numbers into smaller chunks. Setting goals with a monthly or quarterly plan helps the sales team achieve more realistic numbers and makes them seem more achievable. In addition, as the business grows, past sales stats can help you set goals based on the month and previous year’s metrics.
6. Use Data to Identify Issues
Simply recording metrics is just the first step. You’ll want to take that data and use it to identify and then, solve issues. However, you’ll want to track more than KPIs. Get engagement feedback from your team. Finding out what’s on their mind will help you make sense of low performance and give them the support they need to succeed.
7. Encourage Your Team to Set Personal Goals
Once the sales team knows the ultimate goals for the company, encourage and help them set their own goals. Motivate sales representatives to think about where they are in the company, where they want to be, and what they can do daily to achieve personal and company goals. Individual developmental goals are great incentives and help your team stay on task and set the right path forward.
8. Create a Culture That’s About More Than Just Quota
Don’t just focus on the numbers but also on what your employees are doing well and how they positively impact the team and business as a whole. Someone might not be the best seller, but they may be a great motivator that increases overall morale.
9. Give Feedback and Be Open to It
Good leaders offer their teams feedback, both praise and criticism. Providing sales representatives with feedback of any type can help them learn, move forward, and improve their performance. Feedback also helps let the team know what they are doing wrong and provides insight into how to turn that around and start doing things right.
On the other side of that, always be open to feedback from your employees. No one knows the ins and outs of your sales operations like your salespeople. They can point out problems you never knew existed and provide ideas for improvements.
Set a time to do reviews and provide feedback regularly, such as weekly, monthly, quarterly, and/or yearly meetings. Regular reviews can help push the sales force forward, keep them on track, and keep you updated on problems that may have come up.
10. Share Success Stories
Letting your sales team know that what they are doing positively impacts their customers and the company is a great motivator. Regularly share positive reviews, feedback, and success stories from your team and customers. Show the sales force how what they do matters.
11. Don’t Be Afraid to Terminate Employees That Aren’t Working Out
It’s important to give new hires time and space to grow in their sales position. However, after training and a few weeks out in the field learning the ropes, you know if that person is getting it or not. Just because someone may seem like a perfect fit during the interview process, that doesn’t guarantee they’ll actually succeed in the role. Don’t waste your time and money on someone who you know won’t work out. At the end of the day, it’s better for you and the employee to let them go sooner rather than later, so both of you reach the success that you’re each looking for.
12. Avoid Micromanagement and Encourage Collaboration
Although it’s important to keep track of KPIs and hold your salespeople accountable, you should also avoid micromanagement. Micromanagement creates fatigue in employees, and studies show it hurts productivity. If an employee needs it, they probably aren’t right for the job in the first place and likely need to be let go.
However, this implies you need independent employees. Providing your employees with the training, resources, and support they need to succeed creates a culture of collaboration. Encourage employees to ask questions and help each other. A group message for your team on WhatsApp or Slack can be a great place for people to ask questions, share problems or concerns, and celebrate achievements. You want your salespeople to care deeply about reaching and exceeding not just their own quotas but the entire team’s. A successful sales department doesn’t just hit numbers. True success happens when your team comes together to help where they can because they understand that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
13. Implement a Seamless Onboarding Process
Once you are ready to start hiring your sales team, you’ll need to have an onboarding process in place. This is more than just human resources. You’ll need to make sure that you get new employees into your system, get the information you need from them, get their equipment set, train them, and more. Remember, that this is the foundation you are setting for employees at your business. Be sure to provide them with everything they’ll need to succeed, always be open to all questions, and get feedback from them. Onboarding and training should consistently be a work in progress. There is always room for improvement so continue to get feedback from your team and find out what’s working and what isn’t.
We recommend getting feedback immediately after the process and then, again three months after they’ve been on the job. Employees don’t always know what was missing in their onboarding process until they fully understand the job. Getting that feedback months later could be the key to creating the ideal system.
14. Obsess Over the Basics
When you are just starting to build your sales team, sales fundamentals are key, especially during the training process. The number one thing all salespeople should do is keep the customer at the forefront. This means understanding their pain points and how your product or service is the solution. Networking is also crucial for any successful business and plays a huge role in sales. You want your team to build rapport with their contacts and make new connections. These are just a couple of basics that your sales team should be focusing on. Continued training is important for continued success so always be sure to incorporate basic sales reminders in your trainings.
15. Build a Team On a Foundation of Trust
If you do everything on this list, you will begin to build a foundation of trust within your organization. This is crucial if you are looking to create a strong team with happy, successful employees who plan on building long-term careers at your company. Providing your team with the support, knowledge, independence, and resources they need to do their jobs to the best of their abilities will allow them to have a sense of pride in their work. Happy employees work harder, and hard-working employees build successful businesses.
Let the Experts Help You Build a Sales Team
For new businesses or those that haven’t established a sales department, sales outsourcing may be a better strategy rather than ramping up a new team without the necessary expertise. Outsourcing your sales can result in savings while growing revenue and widening market coverage. Whether you’re bringing a new product to market, need help with lead generation, or want to start a sales force from scratch, the quickest response time will come from an outsourced team. The sooner sales begin, the faster the company generates cash flow and revenue. Here, at Sales Focus Inc., we guarantee to launch your new dedicated and well-trained sales team within 45 days or less, saving you a lot of money, time, and effort.
Find out how we can help you build your sales team or create a solution that helps you meet your sales goals. Or, use the tips above to get started on your own. Either way, we wish you continued sales success.
To find out how we can build a team of sales hunters for your business contact us or call us at (866) 840-8305.