It can be argued that a great sales team is one of the most crucial aspects of running a business, and with having a hard-working sales team comes the big job of sales team management.
The members that are chosen when building a sales team are imperative as a business can only be as great as its sales team works for them to be.
By choosing to invest the time and money up front to acquire the best candidates for your new team and then continuing to give them all of the necessary tools they need to be successful, the payoff will be worthwhile in the end.
Seems simple, right? All that you need to do is recruit the top sales candidates, provide them with the necessary tools, have a successful business. Is that it on how to build a sales team?
Unfortunately, those three “simple” steps take a lot of hard work and dedication from everyone involved, but luckily, they’re not impossible to achieve.
Thus, at first, we’ll go through the basics of building a sales team.
Before we dive straight into the meaty part of the article, here, you’ll find each of the sections that we’ll go through. If any of the below topics catch your attention, you can jump straight to it.
Table of content:
- When do you need a sales team?
- Why build a sales team?
- Principles of building a sales team
- How to hire a sales team
- How to manage a sales team
- Motivate your sales team
- Tools for better sales team management
- Implement training for a better sales team management
- Keep your sales team accountable
- Communication is key in sales team management
When do you need a sales team?
Before you head out to begin building a sales team worthy of pushing your company’s products, you must first test your product on the market on your own. This will ensure your investment in building a brand new sales team from the ground up will pay off in the end.
You can’t afford a sales team if your product is going to fail when it hits the market, so before you set out to gather new hires, be confident that your company can sustain a brand new team.
Learn how to manage a sales team, and be sure you can bring in the money to compensate the team members.
Businesses need sales in order to stay alive, and one person can’t make all of the necessary sales alone. Because of this, most businesses have a great need for a sales team that will be motivated to work hard and sell.
But, success won’t come from motivation alone.
In addition to having the motivation to push product, the members that are chosen when building a sales team should embody the characteristics of the company. This team will quickly become the backbone of your business, and they should well represent all that it stands for.
With a product that is sure to sell and a sales team that strives hard to succeed in making those sales, your business will flourish.
Why build a sales team?
If you know that your product has its place on the market it is definitely a good time to think about building a sales team.
Sales are the basis of every business and every successful product. Of course, there are examples of product which literally “sell on their own” but if that is the strategy you choose, you might as well go look for a needle in a haystack.
First of all, your sales team and salespeople, in general, are great in finding your target audience.
Oftentimes, you know who your customer is or should be but it is hard to create his persona, whilst this step is crucial to effective selling. Your sales team will help you determine who actually is your target audience and your perfect customer which, later on, will help you better improve all of your efforts across the company.
When you know who needs your product you can make changes that resonate with that particular recipient. Thus, your marketing team will know who to target with their campaigns, developers will know which features to include, and your business team will know how to better structure the budget.
What’s more, your sales team will not only generate those leads but will also guide them through the whole sales pipeline.
Nowadays, with emerging inside sales teams, salespeople are much more than I-just-close-deals kind of people. They assist consumers from the first point of contact until the day they churn or even later.
It’s also important to have a sales team who is there for each of your customers as customer satisfaction is more important than ever. People are much more likely to provide negative feedback than a positive one. Think about it while building your own sales team.
Principles of building a sales team
Take the time to think about the kind of people you want to make up your team.
Spending time thinking about the characteristics that seem important in building your sales team will make the hiring process easier in the long run.
If you’ve taken the time to consider what character traits are ideal in the individuals who will represent your business, when it comes time to sort through resumes, it will become clear who is worth bringing in to interview.
Consider the culture you are trying to build within your company, as well as your company’s values. You want to try your best to minimize the “bad hires” when building your sales team because they will only cost your company money in the long run as you have now caused a turnover that your business has already invested in.
It is estimated that having to lose an employee and take on a new hire can take as long as six months and can cost a company 200% of the employee’s annual pay.
But, bad hires happen, and if you find you have mistakenly taken one on, get rid of them, lightning fast. The longer they hang around your company, the more damage they will continue to cause.
On the contrary, a good hire can easily be determined if they are using their best qualities to help with meeting specific requirements or goals within the business.
Are they performing to the standards you have laid out in their job description and set for your company? Do they bring anything more to the table?
If you’re answering “yes” to these questions, then the more in-depth hiring process is surely paying off.
How to hire a sales team
Think about the characteristics that the best salespeople you know might embody. Your personal sales team should be a great mix of these qualities.
Great salespeople tend to embody a handful of the same qualities – that is what makes them so successful.
They are great listeners because they need to hear out their client’s needs in order to fulfill them.
They are empathetic because they need to understand how their customers may be feeling to help better anticipate the client’s needs or wants.
Great salespeople have great networking abilities. They’re involved in happenings, are not afraid to speak to others, and don’t hesitate to build business relationships.
They tend to be competitive in every nature. They want to make the most sales from the team each week or do better than they personally did the day before. Because of this, they continue to put their best foot forward day after day.
A great salesperson is tenacious, thorough, passionate, committed, and persistent. They work hard and do all that they can to get the job done correctly. They truly love what they do, and that shows in their work every day.
They understand that they are one piece in the bigger puzzle and that without the other departments in a business, they alone cannot be successful.
By gathering individuals who embody these various characteristics, you can guarantee that how you build a sales team is a proper way. Their win-win attitudes help to keep them focused on achieving an end result that is beneficial to the entire business.
Sales Expert’s Tip
Make your workplace somewhere your employees want to be.
There is a saying that goes something along the lines of “if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.”, and this can be true for your sales team if you’ve hired effectively and have created a work environment that your employees look forward to showing up for every day.
How to manage a sales team
First, take into consideration what motivates people to show up and work hard on a daily basis.
Oddly enough, you’ll discover that oftentimes it is not money that keeps employees performing well. More often than not, employees who are passionate about the product they are representing are fueled by their confidence in their business. They find joy in knowing that their work helps to support the company’s overall mission and that they’ve impacted the lives of their customers.
Second, employees want the work that challenges them. When work becomes too easy, employers start to become bored and may begin to slack off with their efforts.
Employees crave mutual work relationships. Their quality of work decreases when they are micro-managed throughout their workday, so if employees are respected by their superiors and co-workers, they’ll continue to produce great work.
Lastly, employees want to be rewarded for their hard work with acknowledgment, breaks in their workday, and adequate time off.
By implementing these key motivators into your work environment, your sales team is more likely to be strong and successful in meeting company goals – a win-win for everyone involved.
Motivate your sales team
We often hear about the motivation which should be a motor of every ours activity that we decide to put some effort to. There is no difference when it comes to salespeople and sales teams motivation.
The best sales team management solution is motivation and you as a leader and builder of such a team should be responsible for motivating your sales team.
To help you with those tasks we’ve listed a few tips that will come in handy while building a strategy on how to motivate your sales team.
Set goals for your sales teams
Some people see goals as something that limits them and they would rather pursue the unknown. Yet, such an approach is hardly ever effective.
What you should do is set goals. Daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly goals.
Goals are helpful when you don’t know which path to choose. When you know what is your goal you just have to choose the one that will take you to the goal and ditch the others. Whereas when you don’t have a straightforward direction you might want to apply a trial-and-error approach to choose the right way. Sadly or not, such an approach is not what you want to execute within the company. The only results that come with it are a waste of time and resources which you want to – both – omit.
Setting goals will help your salespeople stay on the right track without even having to recall what they have to do or what should they do.
Lastly, remember that these goals have to be realistic.
Don’t expect that when you set a weekly goal of 1,5 customer-base growth it will actually happen in a week. Be realistic about your expectations, as well as, about what your sales team can achieve.
Build trust within your sales team
Trust is the foundation of motivation.
There is no way you’ll come out of your comfort zone for someone who you do not trust and that is what sometimes employees have to do in a special situation.
Trust is what you should be trying to implement in your leader-sales team relationship from the sole beginning. Then it is just a matter of nurturing it.
You can build trust by engaging in what your sales team is doing. Show them that you genuinely care about their job and that how well your company is doing is bound to their efforts.
Use your salespeople’s feedback
Your sales team is part of your company, thus they should take part in the process of building it. At least in regards to their part.
It happens that leaders or business owners collect feedback from their employees just for the sake of doing it. Don’t be that guy. Be a true leader. Collect feedback from your salespeople and use it to improve their job. After all, who knows better what they’re doing than themselves?
Also – looking back at the previous tip – collecting feedback shows that you trust your employees because you care about what they have to say.
Tools for better sales team management
Besides the previously mentioned techniques, the use of proper tools will greatly help you manage all of your sales team efforts and will vastly improve your sales team management.
Here are a few sales tools that not only will help your salespeople do their job but will also help manage them more efficiently.
Oftentimes, we find ourselves buried in a ton of tasks and to-do lists that were due to be done a week ago. Not to run into the same situation you can make use out of productivity platforms such a Clickup.
Clickup helps you and your sales team keep all of the ongoing tasks in one place. Thus, salespeople know what to do and you know what they’re up to at the moment.
Not only that as Clickup allows you to structure the tasks into different categories and to assign them due dates, as well as, priority statuses. This way, you can have separate lists of tasks containing currently on-going tasks, already finished tasks, and tasks that are waiting in the queue.
Also, making use of priority statuses and due dates you’ll be able to properly monitor your sales team efforts and efficiently manage it.
Contacting customers, sales prospecting, and phone conferences – it is all part of the businesses. If your sales team is in need of a proper calling software, CrazyCall should be your go-to solution.
CrazyCall allows your sales team to contact leads, prospects, and customers the exact way they want. It provides features that make it easy to make single calls, as well as, to make hundreds of calls one after another.
Also, if your sales team needs to be “always there” for your customer CrazyCall has got you covered with Inbound Calling. This way, your business will be reachable at all times, thus you’ll keep customer satisfaction on a proper level.
In addition to the above, CrazyCall comes packed with useful features such as call recording, call scripts, live-listening, reports, live dashboards, and call monitoring which all should help you better manage your sales team.
Nowadays the sales pipeline doesn’t contain two steps, but rather is build of several complex parts which every prospect has to go through in order to become a paying customer. Taking care of such a pipeline is not an easy job but luckily there are tools which make it easy.
Pipedrive is an ultimate sales CRM which allows your salespeople, as well as, you yourself see the whole sales pipeline from the bird’s-eye view. This makes it much easier to monitor your sales teams’ efforts and to get a hint of how effective the whole process is.
Thanks to various integrations and automation Pipedrive helps salespeople work in a much more efficient manner as it is taking care of futile tasks letting salespeople focus on what’s actually generating the profit.
Implement training for a better sales team management
“Repeat anything often enough and it will start to become you.” – Tom Hopkins
Train, train, train.
With the ever-changing world that we live in, training is important in sales team management.
There is always something new to learn that can be beneficial to the growth and development of an individual’s role in business, or to the company as a whole.
If you had success in building your sales team, it should be made up of coachable people. Continue to train your sales team, and even when you think you have things down to a science, train some more.
Growth comes from never-ending learning, so make use of classes, seminars, books, and whatever else you can get your hands on to continue to educate your employees.
There is no doubt that a staff who is better educated in their work will generate greater success for the company. Never stop training.
Keep your sales team accountable
A lack of accountability is damaging to a sales team. Without it, one small problem has the potential to snowball into bigger issues, eventually resulting in sub-par work.
For starters, be sure that the standards and goals that your entire team is required to understand and follow are made clear, and then implement a way to keep your employees accountable to those standards.
You might consider holding a regularly scheduled meetings to go over goals and accomplishments and make it a habit to give feedback (both negative and positive).
Not to run into a trap of the same boring and corp-like meetings you can use one of the quick-start meeting templates created by Coda Team. They’ll help you have less boring and more effective meetings while getting all things done.
Hold each team member accountable to a regular check-in of weekly sales reports, and use this information to make the necessary changes to your staff.
Once employees can see business is serious about their expectations, it will become clear who is willing to work hard for the company.
Sales Expert’s Tip
Lead your team by example.
As the (wo)man in charge, your sales team will continuously look to you for motivation, inspiration, and drive. You will quickly find that your commitment to lead your team with openness to communicate will have a big payoff, as success typically comes from communication, collaboration, and dependability throughout a business.
If you embody the qualities you want for your company, show them on a daily basis, and possess the skills necessary to achieve your company’s set goals, your sales team will likely follow suit.
Communication is key in sales team management
Stress to your sales team how important it is to keep in constant communication about all things good, bad, and everything in between.
If a member of the team is in need of help, they should feel comfortable enough to ask for it. If you notice that a team member is falling behind, talk things through with them.
Send newsletters, e-mails, and status reports, and reward your team for their hard work with positive words of appreciation.
Remember that the longer a problem sits, the harder it will likely become to tackle, so give consistent feedback when necessary. With frequent successful communication strategies, these hurdles will be easier to avoid.
Invest & take its toll
Building and managing a successful sales team for your business is no easy feat. But, the right sales team made up of dedicated and hard-working members will have positive effects on your company.
Once given all of the necessary tools to succeed, your team’s knowledge of the product and consumer know-how will not only make the client’s experience easy and enjoyable but will have positive results for your business, too.
So, invest in taking the time in building a sales team that will be beneficial to your company, and work hard to continue to grow every single day.
Don’t give up on learning how to manage your sales team, and it will be worthwhile for your business in the end.