How to recruit and manage your sales teams…
Experience or Enthusiasm?
The sales department play a vital role in the success or failure of a company. Sales recruitment can be a daunting task and is often time-consuming, risky and expensive. Getting the balance between experience and enthusiasm is absolutely crucial.
Of course you could save some money by recruiting an inexperienced sales person and look to train them in-house, however this is a lengthy process and you run the risk of missing those important sales targets. The more preferred option by many businesses is to recruit someone with greater experience, good contacts and a record of successful selling. There is no doubt you’ll pay more for this kind of candidate – but at least you will have a greater chance of hitting those sales figures.
Recruitment is key…
During the recruitment stage, it is vitally important to evaluate each and every candidate to gain an understanding of their potential and what value they can bring to your company. You don’t want to spend time and resources deploying the wrong individual and training them up only to find that they have no real passion, drive or longevity for the job.
After the sales recruitment has taken place and you have selected suitable candidates for your team, you’ll need to come up with a comprehensive training plan. Many organisations fail to train staff before they are deployed leaving new employees with a lack of confidence before they even begin. Remember that these new employees may have previous sales experience, but they are starting in a new company, with new people, a new culture and a new product or service to try and sell.
The training programme should be engaging and practical, it is not just about being descriptive, presenting some slides and checking boxes. As well as advanced training on the product or service which you are trying to sell, make sure you show new employees how you’d like them to approach new or existing customers. Teach them how to present the product or service – their style, tone and professionalism is of huge importance. Make use of training workshops, seminars and online training to help develop their pitch.
In addition, it is important that each individual understands the company profile, history and culture – all of these things help to build a picture for the customer and instill confidence and credibility. Finally, make sure each sales person is equipped with an array of sales tools such as, special promotions, literature and merchandising which they can present when engaging with customers.
As with any new employee, it will undoubtedly take some time for the team to blend and build experience but the most important thing is to remain focused and keep them motivated.
The power of motivation…
Motivation is the fuel that keeps your team’s spirit going and drives individuals to achieve and exceed their targets. If you can motivate your sales teams on a regular basis, not only will it improve culture but the positive morale will ensure your teams remain united and help one another to achieve success. Incentive schemes such as monthly competitions (which are managed properly) are a great way of improving individual and team motivation.
To read tips on how to ‘bridge the gap’ between your sales and marketing teams: Click Here
Investment in training and resources!
As a company grows, not every single person that has been recruited in the past will be successful. Sometimes this is down to culture or perhaps there are issues with certain skill sets but more often than not individuals will decide to change career path or look to develop themselves in another area. For your business to continue growing and hitting those important sales targets, continual investment in training and resources is crucial. This in turn will improve the overall stability and confidence of your team.
Maintain your initial sales team or replace with an experienced team?
If sales performance is stagnating within an organisation then action must be taken. Rather than making a rash decision and replacing your whole team (which will prove expensive and have an impact on stability) maintaining your current team is a far more cost effective and sensible option. One tactic would be to recruit one or two new sales professionals, split your sales teams into sub-teams and let each new professional head up these teams. The introduction of a new leader to each team will change the team dynamics and ensure additional focus and management is given to the team members who may be falling behind and not hitting their targets.