Essential Tips for Effectively Managing a Sales Team

Nikunj Dudhat

Nikunj Dudhat

Senior editor

Parul Saxena

Chief editor

Last updated: September 1, 2020

Working in sales is a roller coaster ride, and so is managing a sales team. But considering the pivotal role of sales in a company’s success, it’s essential to contrive measures to enhance the efficacy and performance of your sales department.

Looking for Sales Management Software? Check out SoftwareSuggest’s list of Best Sales  Software solutions.

Around 50% of sales representatives miss their targets every year. So, what can you do to make sure your sales team delivers consistent results?

Read along as we’re discussing some of the best sales team management tips for business owners and managers.

The Importance of a Sales Team

Sales is to businesses what water is to humans. Without sales, your business won’t survive. Though we’re living in a digital world where online sales are replacing person-to-person selling, the need for sales reps to get on the phone is as crucial as it has ever been.

Your online campaigns can generate leads. But it’s the sales team that nurtures those leads and converts them in to recurring customers.

Let’s take a look at the direct business benefits of having a skilled sales team.

1. Higher conversion rate

Your sales reps are in continual contact with prospects in the hope of building a positive rapport and converting them into customers. 

An average customer comes across numerous ads and product suggestions every day. But your sales team is responsible for guiding them, making them aware, and convincing them to make a buying decision. 

2. Business growth

When your sales reps perform well, your organization does well. Other support staff, including customer service, IT, legal, and other teams wouldn’t have a leg to stand on if the sales team doesn’t bring in customers. Therefore, the sales team adds directly to the growth of your business.

3. Customer retention

If you don’t already know, 80% of your profits will come from 20% of your existing customers. Besides, the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%, as compared with 5-20% in the case of a new customer.

Retaining your customers should be one of your primary business agendas. Sales reps can make positive relationships with your customers and encourage them to shop from you again and again.

Tips for effectively managing a sales team

Having an effective sales team can skyrocket your revenue and take your business to the next level. But, creating and managing a team of superstar salespeople is never easy. Sales coaching, time management, maintenance, and motivation are some of the issues most business owners face.

Follow these sales team management tips to manage your sales team effectively.

1. Hire the best team

You can’t go to war without an army. Similarly, if you don’t find good sales reps, you won’t see success. When conducting the recruitment, don’t focus too much on how the candidate fits into your company culture. Instead, concentrate on background checks, references, and interview results.

Look for these qualities in a sales rep:

  • Empathy: The ability to put oneself in the customer’s shoes, resonate with their needs, and make them feel respected
  • Focus: The drive to stay on task, be self-motivated, and accomplish goals
  • Responsibility: The ability to accept errors, fix mistakes, solve problems, and move past obstacles
  • Optimism: The mindset that failure isn’t the end, and turning situations around is possible
  • Ego-drive: The sense of competitiveness and to be able to win at all costs

2. Give sales training

Every business is different. You may hire an expert sales executive with two years of telemarketing experience. But their new role will have new tasks and challenges. Hence, no matter how skilled or experienced your new hires are, make sure they go through a structured onboarding program.

There’s no right or wrong way to train your reps. Some organizations prefer e-learning, some classroom training, and some on-floor experience from the first day. It’s entirely up to you how you design a training program for your new hires.

3. Choosing the best platform for sales management

One of the tips for managing a sales team is to invest in a robust sales management system. A sales platform lets you organize information, reduce repetitive tasks, simplify communication, automate workflow, and enhance teamwork. All in all, it makes your sales team more efficient and productive.

Pipeliner CRM is an excellent sales platform that helps you manage your sales reps, customers, communication, and revenue from a consolidated dashboard. Despite superior functionality, This CRM system is an easy-to-use, non-tech solution ideal for startups, small businesses, and medium-sized enterprises.

You can choose any sales platform that fits your strategy. However, here are a few must-have features to look out for when selecting a sales tool.

4. Build strong team relationships

Forget about sales; no team can thrive if it’s not stable on the inside. All the members of your sales team should have a strong bonding, along with mutual respect. They should be able to trust each other, recognize others’ ideas, and accept & offer constructive criticism.

When a team communicates clearly and understands the strengths and weaknesses of team members, it comes self-functional. And as a dynamic business owner, you should always focus on developing self-functional teams that require minimal input from the outside.

5. Create sales processes

Sales are personal and subjective. Every sales rep has his own style, tone, and way to persuade the prospects. But, not having a sales process could result in your sales reps ending up in a wild goose chase. It’s crucial to have a blueprint that each one of your sales representatives must follow.

The three main elements of the sales process are:

  • Qualifying criteria
  • Sales script
  • Conversion funnel

Of course, a lot of pre-sales tasks, like lead generation, also come into play. But they don’t involve your sales reps. Once your reps have the leads, they can begin with the process.

The first step should always be to check if the lead is qualified and makes a good fit. Establish qualifying criteria that your reps can use to determine the eligibility of a prospect.

Next, prepare a sales script. Though good salesmanship is one that comes naturally and not from the script, you need to make sure your reps are speaking what they exactly should.

Last, create a conversion funnel. What happens when sales reps successfully persuade a customer? Does he send an email? And how does the customer make the purchase? Is the process too complex? Be sure to consider these things when establishing your conversion funnel.

6. Inspire your team

A sales job is not easy. A myriad of factors can affect their motivation. They might be listening to a “no” since morning. Or, it may not be the right time to sell in the market. But to sell successfully, your salespeople should be motivated and ready to go at any time of the day. Keeping your sales reps inspired round the clock is essential to managing a sales team.

Here’s how you can keep your sales representatives inspired:

  • Set goals
  • Increase engagement
  • Make them love the organization
  • Create a culture of recognition and appreciation
  • Reward exceptional performances

7. Set SMART goals

Don’t let your reps settle for less. Set the goals high, but at the same time, make sure they’re achievable. The concept of SMART goals is gaining popularity nowadays.

SMART denotes:

S – Specific

M – Measurable

A – Achievable

R – Realistic

T – Timely

On the whole, your sales team should know what to do, how, and by when.

8. Identify the sales team’s barriers to success

As discussed, selling is not easy. Your sales team is likely to come across barriers that could impede their success. As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to identify these barriers and eliminate them promptly.

  • Some common sales barriers to watch out for are:
  • Not establishing urgency
  • Higher product price
  • Long sales cycle
  • Low prospect connect rate
  • Lost deals due to competition
  • Inefficient sales tools

9. Analyze metrics and results

To manage a sales team, you need to define clear metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) for success. The top sales metrics to track are:

  • Monthly sales booking and growth
  • Sales target
  • Quote-to-close ratio
  • Average purchase value
  • Lead-to-sale ratio
  • Customer lifetime value
  • Retention rates
  • The average time and cost per lead

One of the essential sales team management tips is to determine the right metrics that define your sales team’s success.

10. Create a transparent feedback model

Every member of your sales team should be aware of how he or she is performing, what they are doing right, and where the scope for improvement is. Set up a clear feedback model where a sales rep can get reviews from multiple channels – team members, managers, business owners, etc.

11. Streamline communication

Sales teams should have regular meetings. Once-daily after the day ends is ideal. In a pandemic situation like the one right now, deploy the right tools and technologies to streamline communication between the sales team and the rest of the organization.

12. Encourage new ideas and strategies

In the end, selling is all about adapting to changing customer requirements. Don’t make your sales team follow a rigid process or framework. Give them room to breathe and allow scope for innovation and new ideas.

Wrapping up

It can be challenging to managing a sales team, and it requires a special person to understand the team’s hurdles and guide them through success.

As a business leader, you should focus on hiring the right people, choosing the right sales platform, tracking the right metrics, and developing the right culture.

Nikunj Dudhat
A digital marketing and content curator at SoftwareSuggest, a software recommendation platform. I am passionate about Digital Marketing, and all things digital. Also interested in technology and innovation. In my spare time, enjoy playing cricket, and Badminton.

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