Do you want to build a successful business sales team that break barriers? If YES, here are 6 best result oriented ways to manage your sales team effectively.
The success of a business—especially in a competitive market—depends largely on how much sales it generates. And since the task of generating sales for a business is handled by its sales team, it’s not out of place to say that the success of a business hinges largely on the effectiveness of its sales team.
Your sales force is what brings profit into the company, so it’s important that you keep an eye on it even if you hire sales managers to call the shots. If you are a sales manager, you need to understand how to get the most out of your sales team.
This is essential if you really want to achieve your company’s full potential. But this is not always easy because the management of a sales team requires a slightly different approach from management in other departments and comes with too many challenges.
Sales management is what makes or breaks your business. Your sales staff depends on management support so they can be productive. This calls for an organized, creative and attentive management team to define the proper direction of the sales team. They both work as one, and there is no other way around it.
There are several effective techniques in managing a highly successful sales team; but it would be best to get a good hold of the basics first, then things will then flow smoothly from there. Managing a sales team effectively, though difficult, is not impossible. Here are six tips for effectively managing your sales team.
6 Result-Oriented Ways to Manage a Sales Team Effectively
Getting Started-: Set your objectives and be clear about it
Everything starts with the sales objectives, which includes what you want to accomplish with your sales projections. Your business sales projections and objectives allow the sales team to measure up their performance with the given resources.
You must be crystal clear with your sales objectives, including the parameters and time frame. This will provide the foundation of a good sales plan. Any problem that might present itself along the way must be dealt with efficiently. I am referring to problems such as concerns regarding the product or services about to be rolled out from production; and administrative issues that affects the sales plan. These problems must be handled accordingly before launching full sales campaigns. Remember that the way you handle such concerns will certainly impact the productivity and efficiency of your sales team.
1. Earn the trust of your sales team-: Trust is the foundation of sales, and so should it be the foundation of managing a sales team. If you make trust your slogan for managing a sales team, you will have greater leadership success because a sales team is always willing to follow a leader they can trust or respect. So, being trustworthy as a sales manager makes your work much easier. In order to build trust both at the team level and with individuals in your team, you must stick with the following tips:
- Be transparent in everything you do, so that members of your sales team will understand that you are acting in their own interest and in the interest of the overall business.
- Keep your commitments. Each time you can’t, explain what circumstances intervened and come up with a solution.
- Be considerate with the sales people you manage. Be accommodating and constructively supportive at all times, and your sales team will trust you as a result.
2. Ask for input-: Being in charge of managing a sales team is no proof that you are more intelligent than every member of the team. So, you should always ask for their input each time you are contemplating a policy change or new campaign. Also, make it clear to them always that you take their input seriously. The best way to do this is to implement their suggestions. But whenever you can’t use their suggestions for any reason, explain exactly why you can’t use their ideas.
Asking your sales team for ideas and suggestions is the best way to make them feel respected and valued. And it’s the best way to make them love and value you in return. No one likes a bossy sales manager who feels his own ideas are always the best.
3. Explain always-: Each time you want to introduce a new policy or procedure, don’t just tell your team about the new development and leave it at that, especially if the change will affect the sales team.
Whether it’s a new compensation structure, a new order form, or a new sales methodology, explain why you are making the change and why it’s necessary you make it at the time you are doing so. More importantly, show or tell the sales team what they stand to gain from the new development. This will defuse a lot of hard feelings.
4. Treat everyone equally-: One of the commonest mistakes sales managers make is to focus their coaching efforts and supervision on the best and worst members of their team, leaving the ones in the middle to do their own thing. While this approach might seem like a gift of freewill to the ones in the middle, in reality, it makes them feel neglected.
So, as a sales manager, you should always focus on every member of your team. Set aside to meet with and monitor every member—regardless of his or her performance.
5. Be a team player-: As a sales manager, you are in the middle management position, with your sales team reporting to you and other executives above them in the executive structure. In this situation, higher levels of management often communicate new policies to you, expecting you to report the performance of the sales team to them. So, your role is to act as an interpreter for both sides.
Each time the CEO or General Manager sets a new policy, find out why the new approach was chosen and communicate that to the sales team. And whenever your sales team is struggling for results, don’t just give instructions on how to improve the situation, work with them to find the cause and to implement new strategies. Being a team player will help you report things fairly to the executive side.
6. Give positive feedback-: While there may be a limit to how much you can pay your sales personnel, there’s no limit to the recognition you can provide, which is even more motivating to most salespeople.
So, if a member of your sales team is doing well, praise him or her both publicly and privately. And each time a poor performer improves markedly in performance, show him or her that you noticed the improvement. Giving positive feedback can boost your team’s morale and get them to perform at a higher level.
In conclusion, I want you to know that professionalism is key. Your top management must know how to handle itself well. Your front liners must be given due respect; otherwise, this will surely affect their sales performances. Remember that your sales team brings the sales in so that your company can generate profit.
Sales managers these days still have a lot to learn; despite the fact that they have mastered the art of closing sales and effective organization of workloads to separate sales units, they still have a lot to learn about managing people.
It would be safe to say that being overbearing on absolutely anything is the best idea they can come up with to improve overall productivity. This may not be healthy for your business at all. What really works in this case is to give your front liners a chance to contribute their inputs during the sales planning since they are the ones that do the actual selling. This means they also have a good idea on how the selling is done, and that is reflective on every effective sales plan.
Sales Accountability must also be a part of your sales management and planning. This will keep the balance considering the fact that the sales performance of your sales action team helps to counter the opportunity you gave them in influencing the company’s sales plan.