How To Manage Sales Teams - Without Stressing Them Unnecessarily (For More)
In our experience, we have observed that many sales managers are promoted based on their outstanding performances. Nevertheless, closing sales does not necessarily mean that you automatically know how to manage sales teams which can lead to business growth.
Therefore as one of the most popular vendors of sales CRM software, we insist you use these four tried tips ( and a bonus) to level up your sales team management skills, which can not only boost performance but even better drive results for quick growth.
1. Always Prioritize On Training
It must be remembered at the very onset that initial onboarding and continuing training and educational programs are most needed to build super sales reps and an up-and-coming sales team, irrespective of whether you are working with well-experienced and weather hardened sales reps or just building a team of new hires from the scratch.
In fact, according to a report published by SiriusDecisions, it has been noted that high-performing sales-based organizations are twice as likely to provide ongoing education and training in comparison to the low-performing ones in the business space.
Now, even though in most cases sales reps will come and join your organization with basic knowledge in sales, nevertheless as a successful manager you must develop a program on advanced business growth training that can help to continually build on that foundation.
This is because as sales techniques and strategies are always evolving, hence keeping your sales teams up to date on industry best practices can aid in keeping your sales reps sharp and understand how to manage sales from the best possible perspectives.
Your sales team should understand the company's products or services inside and out and adhere to clear and precise workflows for optimal results.
Moreover, in addition to administering best practices in sales, your programs should also incorporate a company and business-specific training that can include:
- Training on advanced product knowledge
- Training on sales processes
- Training on leads and prospect qualification programs
Now, this is easier said than done, as research shows that without ongoing enforcement and structured training programs most sales teams forget more than even 84 percent of their initial onboarding training content within just ninety days.
Therefore if as a sales manager you do not have a robust ongoing training program, it is most likely that your investments in training will get largely wasted over time.
Fortunate there are several right sales management tools available nowadays in the marketplace that can help bridge the gap between people and processes, like an easy to use CRM software solutions, which can support sales managers at every step which includes onboarding and further orientations needed by the reps to understand business process updates and account assignment handoffs for reps who are leaving elsewhere for better opportunities.
Additionally, using a business growth technology solution like CRM you can not only map each step of the sales process and share it across the organization keeping everyone on the same page and in the loop, but you can also visualize deal flows and conversation trees by quickly turning them into diagrams and professional presentations that can make it easy for the new hires to understand your sales team’s best practices and unique processes.
2. Segment Your Team
With the interest of seeming equitable and fair, many managers fall into the trap of treating all their sales reps (along with their assignments) the same.
However, in reality for managers, those who know how to manage sales, for best results, should get to know and understand the strength, weaknesses, and preferences of each team member- and thereafter assign their roles and accounts accordingly.
For example, managers must find out which among their sales reps do like to build relationships with SMB prospects and who are those that prefer larger customers in their team.
Sales managers must also know who the seasoned professionals are, or people who are they still trying the ropes?
It can also be that some reps have an in-depth and exhaustive knowledge of a certain market or they are extremely strong sales-closers but in general average prospectors.
Now while the specific functions and roles your sales team needs may differ, but in general a typically segmented sales team will have the following specialty that includes:
- Reps for qualifying inbound leads
- Reps for outbound prospecting
- Reps specialized in the new business closing
- Reps responsible for continued customer care management
Assign your sales representatives based specifically on their specialty (by segmenting prospects and leads accordingly) can boost sales growth and foster enhanced happiness for motivating sales teams for two key reasons:
- Sales reps find more success when they concentrate on what they excel at
- Specializing in more than one role diminishes productivity due to multitasking
Of course, specializing in an as-of-date “generalist” sales team can be an uphill task, which even implies disturbing the status quo, rearranging sales roles and accounts, and adjusting to other expectations.
But, it is even true that - humans do not like changes.
However the benefits of allocating the right role for a sales rep referring to their specialization far outreach the initial teething pains, since doing this not only makes each team members in the team more successful, but it also helps them to quickly become experts in their specific niche and even it:
- Creates a clear carrier path for the reps to grow within the team
- Isolated roles and functions help in highlighting process breakdowns, weaknesses, and bottlenecks within the team
- Make hiring, and growth more scalable across the board
In other words, specialization is one of the most successful ways to create scalable, predictable sales revenue.
3. Set A Strategy And Align Processes
Now while it is true that training and specialization are both important factors in knowing how to manage sales, but without a strategy, you can never get far.
Hence while you have an overall strategy for your sales department in your organization, also consider working one-on-one with your sales reps individually for their personal development based on each person’s role or accounts, since this dual approach of making sales strategy will make it easier to meet your managerial goals and fine-tune your sales process.
Therefore, meet all your sales reps regularly and assess their performance and understand the bottlenecks they are facing in meeting their sales quotas or their deliverable on a specific KPI as presented by the business CRM tool.
Advice your sales reps to create account maps outlining blockers, influencers, and buyers, which you as a manager can use to quickly review deals and provide reps with customized coaching thereafter.
4. Promote Creative Incentives
Like most people sales reps are also motivated by two things: recognition and money.
Now as sales are such a tricky job that it can burn out even the most tenacious sales reps. Hence to keep your team motivated and fresh, you must incentivize them frequently.
Of course, you should provide your reps with a clear job compensation package, but you will also likely need additional rewards and benefits to maintain an uber-productive team.
Here are some reward ideas that do not directly offer cash:
- Give the highest-performing sales rep an extra day off every month.
- Buy lunch for the best performing team every week
- Share their success stories with the whole organization
- Reward individuals or teams with a “late-start” day - when they reach a predetermined goal before time
Finally- Choose The Right Business Growth Platform For Your Sales Teams
To conclude, no matter how successful is your team, never forget to use the right sales management tool like a sales CRM software that can help to level up and multiply your team’s success consistently.
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