How to Manage a Sales Team ?
Managing your sales team can be challenging if you don’t have management or HR experience. In most cases, your sales reps will not reach your company’s goals if they are not properly managed.
Keeping this in mind, we’ll provide you with tips on motivating and managing your sales team in this article.
What Is A Sales Team?
A sales team is a sales or production company department specializing in selling and distributing the company’s products or services to customers. A sales team serves as the link between the company and the customers, and as such, their attitudes and level of professionalism contribute to the success of an organization.
Depending on your company’s size and financial strength, there is no limit to the number of staff you can have in your sales team. It is a very important team in your organization that needs to be properly incentivized to achieve a high level of sales for the organization.
The sales team’s responsibility in your organization is to focus aggressively on building relationships with the customers, offering the company’s products to the customers, and, most importantly, retaining the customers for continued sales.
What Are The Roles And Responsibilities Of A Sales Team?
Here are the key members of the sales organization’s team and their roles and responsibilities.
The Sales Manager (The Sales Leader)
Like all other departments in an organization, your sales team must have a manager who continues to coordinate the activities of the sales team. Without a manager in your sales team, your team may collapse because there may be a communication gap and misunderstanding among the team members.
A sales leader manages, coordinates, motivates, compensates, and coaches the sales team to meet the sales target of a sales organization. Most importantly, they must be a diligent person who builds a relationship with all the team members to record success for the team and the organization.
Sales team management strategies must be one of the underlying responsibilities of your sales manager. Sales leaders help develop plans and strategies for the sales team to achieve success. The sales manager’s responsibility is also to hold sales training for the sales team and communicate the sales target to every team member, tell them the importance of communication and unity among the sales team and with customers, and how the sales process works in achieving success.
As a sales leader, you’re also expected to hold sales calls with your sales team to track their daily, weekly, and monthly sales progress and keep team members committed to the sales process. A sales manager should manage the team’s daily sales, appraise and motivate team members with good sales, and provide guidance to members with poor performance.
The sales reps are primarily concerned with drawing out plans and presentations on how they can convert leads or prospects into customers. They close the final deal and seal the sales agreements with the leads and the prospects.
They write clear proposals and agreements based on the sales contract to the prospects, negotiate the terms with them, and close the sales deal. They are also adeptly familiar with the pipeline. It is important, however, for sales reps to report to an account executive after a sale is completed.
To generate quality leads, your account executives need to work closely with your sales representatives.
A sales representative’s role is to promote the company’s products and services to customers. Customers see them as the face of your business.
Sales representatives must be good salespersons with strong communication skills and solid negotiation power to meet the company’s sales target. They help to identify prospects and generate leads for the account executive. They are important members of the sales team who must have a good understanding of the funnel of the sales process. They follow the organizational sales cycle to achieve the sales of the company’s products and services.
Sales Specialist/Sales Consultant
The sales specialist handles the sales process’s complex and technical aspects. They work with the sales representatives and account executives to draw out plans for executing a sales project.
They write demos, create presentations on how to meet the sales target, and ensure the sales representatives follow the sales processes of converting prospects into buyers. They are a team of experts who give credible information and offer advice on how to develop your sales activities.
They draw out an effective sales process and work towards training the sales representatives to become valuable assets to the company. They also meet with prospects and work on making them customers.
Ways Of Managing A Sales Team
Managing a sales team properly will allow for efficiency and a proven track record of success. You can manage your sales team in the following ways:
Performance expectations in a sales organization are determined by the sales goals that the sales managers assume. In business, communication is essential, and sales managers are expected to communicate their expectations and desires.
It is possible for your employees to underperform or even perform at a very high rate when it comes to your company’s operations. However, when the team is not meeting the sales goal or not performing up to expectation, the sales manager can step in to provide guidance and advice to the sales team on how to scale up the sales process and improve sales team performance collectively.
It would help if you never assumed your sales team’s performance, as a team’s effort can be sabotaged by making assumptions. According to Simplicabe, inaccurate stakeholder assumptions can result in failure and perceptions of failure. Instead, establish good communication with your staff to determine how they handle your sales process. With this, you’ll find out who is performing well and underperforming and how you can improve the overall team’s efficiency.
Hire Coachable reps
Coaching is very important to achieving an organization’s goals and objectives. Therefore, you must take it very seriously to improve the effectiveness of your staff, team, and organization. It will help if you hold occasional training for the sales reps so they can master the art of selling.
It will be best if you give attention to the sales representatives and all sales persons that could realistically practice all they were trained on because it is a means of achieving the sales goal. You change the roles of a sales rep that is not coachable or unyielding to training to where they’re likely to perform better.
The following are the traits of a coachable sales rep:
Open to feedback: Coachable sales reps would not react negatively to the sales manager’s feedback, even if the feedback were not good enough. Instead, they’re ready to embrace any feedback (either positive or negative) and use them to improve their sales performance. Therefore, your role as a sales manager is to give timely, constructive feedback to your team on their sales performance.
Attentive listeners: You should give attention to this subtle skill that is missing in many sales persons today. A good listener is a wise man. A salesperson that does not listen to instructions can never improve nor get better.
Commitment to personal improvement: Personal improvement is not easy because it involves behavioral changes. Nonetheless, a salesperson needs this to achieve the best for the team. It’ll help if you focus on the salesperson that is intentional about their growth.
Willingness to learn: A good salesperson is always inquisitive to know about their performance, the new trend, and what they are doing wrong so they can correct their flaws.
Set high but realistic goals
The term “goal” refers to long-term ambitions, aims, or desired results. Make your goals realistic and easy to achieve by dividing them into short-term practical goals.
Sales managers should hold regular meetings with their sales team as this is the only chance they have to communicate the team and organization’s goals effectively to all team members. Setting the bar high will make more sense by giving a seemingly impossible (but realistic) goal. This would make the team members be on top of their heels to do everything within their reach and ability to meet the sales goals.
To make it easier for your sales reps to achieve the goals, it would be helpful if you discussed the goals in terms of objectives. This way, they can achieve about 70% of the sales goal rather than just setting a seemingly attainable goal.
Incentivize your team
You should prioritize the sales incentives and payment schedules of your sales team. Effective sales managers know how important incentive is to the team’s performance. You should be able to identify the top-performing team members and set an incentive plan to motivate them, encouraging them to do better. Other team members would also see this as a challenge to compete with them, giving room to a healthy competition that brings about improved sales performance, allowing your sales organization to reach its sales goals quickly.
A tiered commission structure is also a good idea. It is a pay structure that rewards employees based on their sales performance. This creates healthy competition among the sales team members. Therefore, sales representatives who perform well will be paid more than those who perform poorly.
Recognition for an outstanding performance is also a great way to motivate your sales reps to perform better. You would motivate sales reps to do better in the future when you praise them for a fine milestone in sales before the team.
Make learning a priority
Every sales organization has a regular training schedule for its sales team. Without on-the-job training for your sales team needed to manage your sales process effectively, their performance would continue to diminish. This is because the sales environment is rapidly changing.
Thus, to meet the changes, you should hold regular training for your sales staff on the new trends and developments in sales. Sales experts can step in to teach them customer acquisition skills, customer retention skills, attitudinal growth, product development, sales pipeline process, sales cycle, lead generation, and prospecting, among other things a sales rep should be aware of.
A person’s growth depends on their ability to learn. A team needs a high level of intense training to achieve growth in sales performance.
Use the volume versus value ratio
This is a way of achieving a great result for your sales team. To do this, entrust the most important sales task to your top-performing sales reps but the lowest volume of work. This would make them concentrate on doing them flawlessly. These activities could be building relationships, securing referrals, and follow-up.
On the other hand, the low-performing sales rep could be tasked with the least important tasks that are voluminous and time-consuming. Such activities include lead generation and prospecting. This may not require a high level of expertise but would get them engaged too.
Be a transparent organization.
Transparency in the organization could mean sharing operational information with staff to ensure everyone understands the company’s policies, procedures, and sales process. Transparency should become integral to the company’s culture to ensure success.
Effective sales managers should know what transparency entails, and for an improved sales performance, there must be clarity in the operational expectations for all the sales representatives. This would make the sales reps trust the sales managers, and the sales managers trust the account executives across the board.
It would be best if you informed your sales team members about the who, when, where, and how of information. Doing this will increase your company’s transparency and provide a safer place for your sales reps to discharge their marketing efforts.
The article contains many insightful points about the sales team and the roles and responsibilities of sales reps. It also discusses how to manage a sales team effectively. You can improve your salespersons’ performance by taking inspiration from this post on how to run a successful sales team.
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