5 Quick Tips for Growing Your Sales Team Faster
Your sales team is small, but cohesive. You operate on a lean budget, but you consistently beat revenue projections. The numbers are trending ever upward. You’re ready to scale, but wary of the potential pitfalls that come with growth. It’s a challenging, exciting position, and you know you’re the right person to navigate your team through the process.
You just don’t want to ruin a good thing. If you’re going to take on the growth curve and win, you’ll need a solid plan.
Here are five ways to prepare your inside sales team for scale, and keep your business healthy as it grows.
Need Help Hiring? Start In House
Hiring salespeople is always a challenge, especially when you consider the potential sunk cost of training. A strong interview and vetting process is a great start, but it doesn’t tell you how a person will perform in the heat of the moment. Consulting current team members is one of best ways to minimize the inherent risks of the hiring process.
Have your team scour their LinkedIn networks, and give them a prepared message to send to potential fits. Your team can provide you with insights on candidates that wouldn’t be uncovered during the normal interview process. Fit matters, and referrals are an excellent way to find candidates who fit your vision for the future.
Mark Roberge, Chief Revenue Officer of HubSpot, uses what he calls forced referrals. Within the first 90 days of onboarding a new sales hire, he schedules a meeting with the new hire to go over their LinkedIn connections and look for good fits.
Manual Breaks. Automated Doesn’t.
It’s easier to get away with manual processes when your team is small. As you scale, small problems can quickly become big ones. That’s especially true of data entry. Manual processes are time-consuming and error-prone, even with skilled employees.
The solution? Automate. There are a variety of tools that can help to capture touchpoint data (emails, phone calls, demos) right from the sales rep workflow. It’s not just about the tools, you also need to institute a bit of process. Remind your new reps that you can’t help them if they don’t capture key pipepline data. Michael Hanna offers a useful 6 step content/capture rhythm routine.
If your team still has to log calls manually, consider moving to a hosted PBX solution like Ringio. Automation simplifies the training and on-boarding process, frees up time for experienced team members, and ensures that your key processes work flawlessly when you need them the most.
Unlock Institutional Knowledge
You and your top performers understand the strategy and tactics that have made your inside sales team successful so far. Why let all of that knowledge go to waste? Turn institutional knowledge into a valuable resource by compiling a sales playbook for your organization.
Experienced top performers know how to handle difficult clients, answer objections, and work with the unique types of prospects that your company targets. How do you position your product effectively? What do you do when a prospect raises a specific point from a known competitor? Your top performers won’t always be available to answer these questions, so having a centralized playbook is extremely valuable.
Consider A Distributed Sales Team
Geography can be one of the largest obstacles in the hiring process. When you operate in a less populated area, your pool of potential employees is naturally smaller. If you truly want to attract and hire the best, you’ll need a way to reach beyond geographical limitations.
Hiring team members who work remotely is one option, if your business is ready to handle it. With a distributed sales team, you can hire the best employees quickly, regardless of location. The technological infrastructure necessary for managing a distributed sales team is proven and well-developed, so you simply need to pick the right tools for your needs.
To be objective, distributed sales teams are a tradeoff. You get potentially better talent, but it comes at a cost. The cost is a management one, because distribution makes all the other key sales management activities (coaching, motivating, building culture) that much harder.
Choose the Right Sales Technology
Sales technology is a common theme in this list, and that’s no accident. You can hire excellent employees, but they still need the right tools to reach their full potential. When you’re looking for potential sales technology fits, you want to find products that scale with you.
First and foremost, you need sales tech that integrates well with whatever tools you’re already using. Your CRM, for example, will deliver much more value if it pulls information from all of your automated data-entry software. Look for tech that makes it simple to add new employees to the system, and that’s easy for those new employees to learn. Your sales tech should simplify the training and on-boarding process. Finally, look for sales tech that’s collaborative. It is a sales team, after all.
Scaling effectively requires managing many moving parts, but you wouldn’t have gotten this far if you couldn’t handle the job. As you scale, look for technology that simplifies the sales process, and automate when possible. Draw on your the knowledge of your inside sales team to put together a sales playbook, and use their networks as a resource when looking to hire. With the right tools, team, and planning in place, you’ll be more than prepared to lead your business through its next phase of growth.