How To Give Your Sales Team Exactly What They Want
Put your sales team in position to succeed, give them the tools they need, and you’re going to see results. Part of that process is going right to the source and asking your team what they want.
The other part is giving them what they may not realize they want. That comes in the form of leadership, direction, and a willingness to make the tough decisions when the situation calls for it. Combine their input with your leadership, and you’ll be well on your way to giving your sales team exactly what they want. Ahead you’ll find five key elements that lead to successful sales teams.
Quality, Comprehensive Training
Sales teams want to be empowered, and that starts with great training. For new, inexperienced hires, that might mean teaching the basics of how to make a sale. Training shouldn’t stop there, though. It’s also about continually teaching all team members how to operate effectively in the unique, evolving framework you’ve created for your company
- What does your company value? What is its mission? What are your sales principles? Answer these question during training to help team members understand how they fit into the larger organization.
- Teach your team strong listening skills. A compelling pitch is important, but so is adaptability. An employee prepared to answer questions and engage outside of their scripted pitch is well-equipped to close deals.
Product and Service Knowledge
While some types of training may not apply to experienced team members, training based on your products or services should be an ongoing pursuit for everyone. Sales teams should evolve with the companies they represent.
- Confidence comes from a deep knowledge of the product or service you’re selling. Provide your team with the educational resources they need, and show them how the knowledge they acquire will help them professionally.
- Be available, and set a positive example. If a team member has a question, be prepared to answer it in a thorough manner. Show your team that you’ve put in the same legwork that you expect them to do.
Leads with Potential
Anyone who’s tried to sell a product or service in the internet age knows that not all leads are created equal. That’s always been true, but it’s magnified now that lead-factory websites are a dime a dozen. To avoid that frustration and waste of resources, your sales team needs qualified leads.
Sites that sell leads can be valuable, but you’ve got to find the right ones. Do some research, and consult with experienced team members to find out which sites they recommend. Put together a solid list, and add to it when new options become available.
The best leads are going to come from your web presence, so make it strong. Teach your team members to use social media and other digital tools to cultivate relationships with prospects. Let the sales pitch come later, when it’s clear that the prospect is in the right part of the sales cycle.
Finally, make sure your website is easy to use, informative, and actionable. Your sales team will thank you.
In sales, the most useful tools allow for organization and efficiency. Your sales team wants both. Customer relationship management systems allow team members to record, aggregate, and access important customer-related information in real time. Access to the right data at the right time often makes all the difference in closing a sale.
One of the key benefits to CRM is that it works across various platforms. You can take information you learned through a social media chat, and use it when it’s time to make a phone call or face-to-face appointment. CRM provides a centralized place for team members to record and consult information as they build relationships with prospects.
It’s often the little touches that make the biggest difference. Maybe it’s remembering a nickname, family member’s name, or even a shared interest that has little to do with the prospective sale. Prospects want to be treated like people, and CRM makes that possible.
Create a Positive Culture
There will always be a high level of competition in sales teams. Competition is great. It spurs results and pushes everyone involved to focus on continual improvement. Don’t let your team forget, though, that they are a team. Sharing information, skills, and even friendly banter leads to an environment that’s conducive to mutually beneficial success. You want team members to strive for personal excellence, but not at the expense of the team’s goals. Encourage team bonding, and provide a balanced, thoughtful perspective when disagreements arise.
In the end, building a strong sales team is about striking the right balance between guidance and autonomy. Give your team the skills, knowledge, incentives and tools that they want, and they’ll give you the results you need.