Many business owners and sales managers find themselves concerned with their sales teams’ performance these days. Older techniques are no longer effective. Some of them, like cold calling, are dead in the water. Sales team members are using more and more sophisticated tools, but they may not be leveraging them properly. Worse, your team members may even report they’re finding it harder and harder to reach customers. Your sales numbers tell a similar story.
What can you do in this situation? You know you need to build a high-performance sales team, but that’s easier said than done. How do you take this from a great idea to an even better reality? You use these tips, of course!
Hire the Right People
Step One in building a high-performance sales team has to be making sure you’ve got the right people on board. If you’ve been careful about selecting and hiring the best candidates for positions on your sales team, you’re already one step ahead of the game.
Hiring the right people can be tricky. Sales is a demanding role in any business. Be sure to look for a proven track record, experience, and cultural fit with your organization. Someone who prefers old-school techniques isn’t going to thrive in an inbound sales environment.
Also look to see if their training is up to date. When was the last time they learned a new sales technique?
Invest in Training and Learning
Your new hires might be equipped with the latest sales techniques, but older members of your team may not have had the same opportunities for training. They may be using older and outdated techniques, such as cold calling. They might be keenly aware of just how ineffective this technique is, but they don’t know what else to do.
Give your sales people a hand by investing in training and learning for them. Plan workshops about the latest selling techniques. Let them take courses to update their skills or even watch online training videos. Even your new hires can benefit from additional training!
What’s the payoff? Your sales people will learn relevant new techniques and how to use them effectively. In turn, your sales performance will grow.
Provide the Right Tools
If you’re going to go fishing, you need to make sure you have the right equipment. Teaching someone how to fish with a rod and tackle is a good thing, but it’s not very helpful if they don’t have access to the equipment after your class ends.
The same is true of your sales team. You can invest in all the training seminars you’d like, but it won’t be very helpful unless you provide your sales people with the tools they need to execute those techniques. Think about CRMs, email and browser extensions, social media accounts, and apps. These are the tools that will power your team’s success.
Give Them Content
Products and services don’t “sell themselves.” Even the most talented sales person still needs information about the product or service to craft a great pitch. Use great content to give your sales people a hook. They can discuss this content with leads or share it on social media to get people talking.
Great content is an important part of your marketing strategy, but it’s also important for your sales team.
Give Them Information
Your sales team doesn’t just need content. They also need information, in the form of data and statistics. Who are your customers? What are their pain points? How should a sales person approach a lead at a particular point in the buying cycle?
Share your metrics and the insight you gather from them with your team. Tidbits like the most productive day of the week being Monday, emails being opened most often on Tuesdays, and most people being more productive before 11 am can help them know when to reach out to get the best reactions and the most success.
Embrace Social Selling
If you haven’t already incorporated social media and social selling techniques into your selling strategy, you need to do so now. It could be one way to improve your sales team’s performance!
Social selling capitalizes on people’s tendencies to listen to people they trust. It also leverages the interconnectedness of social media and makes selling seem more human. The less your sales people focus on a hard pitch and the more they truly connect with customers, the better their chances of making a deal.
Encourage a Better Working Environment
If you’re still struggling to get the performance you need and want from your sales team, take a look around you at the culture of the sales department. Are your team members under a lot of pressure to make the sale or hit a quota, you may have found one of the problems.
While sales departments do need quotas and incentives, too much pressure can sometimes make sales a discouraging place to be. Your sales team members are more likely to disengage and become discouraged if they feel they’re under too much pressure.
Instead, incentivize your team with rewards and adopt a more human approach to sales. Reconsider how you measure success. Yes, you need your team to close deals, but what other measures of success are there? Maybe you should be looking at email open rates or even conversations your team members are having with customers. Take a look at social media performance too.
Align with Marketing
Also encourage your sales team to work more closely with your marketing team. Your marketers are doing a lot of good work. Better coordination between them and the sales team could boost the performance of both teams.
If you’ve adopted an inbound marketing strategy, your marketing team is now hard at work crafting excellent content and generating warm leads. If your sales team isn’t coordinating well with the marketing team, you could be losing those leads. The sales team’s performance could take a tumble as a result.
Encourage better working relations between those in sales and those in marketing, and watch performance turn around in both departments.
Get Some Sales Enablement Help
If you’re still feeling a little lost about where to begin building your high-performance sales team, why not get a helping hand? Sales enablement experts can help your reps get up to date on their selling techniques. They can also help you design a sales strategy for your business. They might even recommend some tools for you to adopt.
When you’re feeling unsure, you can lean on the expertise and skill of sales enablement professionals. It’s their job to help you determine the best way forward when it comes to building the high-performance sales team you need for your business.
You don’t need to completely overhaul your sales team or turn it around in a day. Start small by investing in some training or a new tool. Revisit policies and meet with the marketing team to see how you can work together to increase performance.
A high-performance sales team is the dream of almost any business owner or sales manager in today’s competitive market. It doesn’t need to be a dream. With these steps, you can turn it into a reality for your business.
Posted By Author Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist
Mike is the CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist at Square 2. He is passionate about helping people turn their ordinary businesses into businesses people talk about. For more than 25 years, Mike has been working hand-in-hand with CEOs and marketing and sales executives to help them create strategic revenue growth plans, compelling marketing strategies and remarkable sales processes that shorten the sales cycle and increase close rates.