When it comes to managing a sales team, a little bit of finesse is necessary. Ideally, salespersons need to feel a little of love around them. That way, they are more likely to work exceptionally well. While our analysis today will be focusing on the essential rules of play, none of them are cast in stone.
As a manager, you need to embrace an open-minded approach. With such a mentality, you can continuously motivate your sales team to reach for the stars. Motivation is at the very heart of managing sales teams. Since the trade is flimsy in nature, there are always going to be ups and downs. Having a positive attitude through it all will rub off on your sales team. Interesting right? Definitely. We’re certain you’ll enjoy our pointers on how to manage a sales team.
Managing a Sales Team – 9 Key Tips
1. Limit the Deadlines
Sure, having a deadline can have its perks. However, having too many of them in place can act as a deterrent to getting the very best out of your sales team. Managing sales requires you to have your head fully in the game. A comprehension of how murky sales is important because it will enable you to ease the pressure you apply to your sales reps. Instead of implementing make-or-break deadlines, you should try rewarding them for accolades they achieve while at work. A reward system can inspire any sales team to pull up their socks and work towards the attainment of common objectives.
2. Foster Originality
As a manager, it’s never a bad idea to step away from the decision-making table every once in a while. The best salespersons are able to think on their feet and come up with innovative solutions. Allowing your own staff to make their own decisions can lead to amazingly productive results. This stems from the fact that freedom acts as an impetus for salespersons to prove their worth whilst doing it all their way. Losing the leash also helps add to the fun and brings a sense of liveliness to the team.
3. Top of the Cream
When managing sales, it’s important to take caution on who joins your sales team. Before jumping to any decisions, you should first test the waters with a number of rookies in order to see who really stands out. Some traits like proactiveness and productivity rates should be the chief areas you focus on. Once you have an idea of everyone’s strengths, you can proceed to slot in a couple of names to the sales team.
Having the most competent people for the job means that you will probably have to worry less about managing them to do their duties. In dire situations – when things are running amok- you can always count on members of your sales team to come to the rescue. Managing sales doesn’t necessarily have to be an arduous task. As Steve Jobs famously opined, “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”
4. Manage Sales by Equipping the Team
Giving your sales team the right tools to carry out their tasks can make all the difference. With the right tools provided, salespersons simply need to apply themselves to their craft in order to register impressive sales quarters. You can always go the extra mile by having a solutions center at the ready for repairs and backup to handle failures that may occur.
That way, the sales team will never get stalled in case of unexpected happenings. This school of thought is echoed by Frank Miller, a sales manager at Acme Corporation. Miller believes that equipping his team with the right tools and real-time tracking of progress has been instrumental to their success.
Managing sales teams can be as easy as keeping the communication lines open. The conversations need not be strictly formal, you should try to encourage the topics to be interesting and straight to the point. It is through these communication channels that you’ll be able to let members of your sales team know what you expect of them. In doing so, you can avert so many conflict situations without much strain.
Daily meetings with members of staff during morning hours can foster the environment for a closely-knit family. During such meetings, you can lay strategy, make ambitions known, tackle inventory issues and any other matter. Having a close relationship helps you gain a comprehension of their commitment. In the same breath, they’ll be willing to bounce ideas off you on some suitable approaches to take.
6. No Universal Laws Apply
To effectively manage sales, you should always remember the golden rule, no universal law applies. While some of the shots you call may be generic due to their frequency, every situation needs to be handled with a new approach. Imposing set rules to apply in all situations can be detrimental to the cause.
Instead, you should try to liaise with your staff and let them forge their paths forward. Doing so allows you to see their prowess. All you need to be is offer leadership in moments where there’s no clarity.
7. Shoot for the Moon
Managing sales teams is not always a straightforward undertaking. To ensure that the motivation is always there, you need to draft up ambitious goals with a reward system at the ready. Having nigh impossible but realistic targets allows your sales team to commit themselves to their jobs and work with extra zeal.
Importantly, you should strive to reward members of your team who manage to come close to the set objectives, not just those who do. That will motivate them to work towards the attainment of the set goals in the future.
8. Manage Sales with Technology
The improvements in technology have made managing sales a piece of cake. You can leverage the power of technology by using tools like the cloud-based CRM software. CRM allows you to enhance collaboration efforts and keep an inventory of calls made and your clients. All in a single clean swoop.
Tablets and headsets also allow members of your sales team to multi-task and set up well-documented calls without necessarily drawing their attention away from clients. Technological add-ons need to complement your efforts to manage sales without disrupting the natural order of things. You should keep your ear to the ground and learn about all the latest developments in the tech scene in order to ensure that your team is always a step ahead.
9. Base Salary
Managing sales teams always has the allure of taking on a pure commission-based approach. While that may have its pros, it could lead to a lack of stability in your organization. You need to have all salespersons committed to their jobs without having to worry what their paycheck is going to look like every month.
Having a base salary system in place helps eliminate such fears. Of course, you can always add the incentive of commission in order to ensure that everyone works their socks off.