5 Best Tips for Managing Your Sales Team
Whether you’re a veteran manager with a sales team in a slump, or you’re new to the field, it’s useful to take a look at what’s working for others. Great sales team management requires that the person in charge understands what it’s like to be on both ends of the cold call. That’s beside all the usual business administration tasks, too.
Here we present the five most valuable tips we can offer for any sales manager who needs some fresh air.
5: 1-on-1 training is indispensable.
Sales training is what makes everything else possible. It doesn’t matter whether one of your team members is a rookie or a 30-year sales veteran. Technology has made many old tactics obsolete, but many core principles remain constant. Everyone on your team needs knowledge of both.
What’s more, they need to know that you care about the efforts of each one of them. Not the aggregate, but the individual’s performance. No matter how well the team is doing, each salesperson wants to know, “are my efforts appreciated and effective?” You need to give them that feedback personally. You also need to be humble enough to learn from them. Listen to their experiences, and factor them into the training.
4: Quality beats quantity, but you need high volume to find enough good clients.
Aim high, but do it with a laser, not a shotgun. Train your reps to focus on qualifying questions to gauge genuine interest, rather than pitching everything that moves. If a lead is really not interested, move on to the next one. Help them make as many calls and send as many emails as they possibly can each day to reach that point.
The reason for this is that a few high-interest prospects will end up doing far more for your organization than the dozens of mildly intrigued ones ever will. At the end of the day, the purpose of sales is revenue, not just brand recognition.
3: Boost motivation by rewarding both effort and results
A lot of sales team management advice focuses heavily on results, and with good reason. As we just noted, revenue matters. But how do you get revenue? Through work.
What is work? It’s an important question. In sales, work is not just pitching and closing. It’s also the hundreds of hangups, voicemails, and “no’s” you have to slog through to get to a yes. And as every successful salesperson can attest, the best closed deals always follow the worst rejections.
So, consider rewarding the objections!
“What?” you ask.
No, really. Give your sales team an incentive to get rejected as much as possible, so they can find the “yesses” faster:
“Every time someone got a no, we tracked it in our system, and the person with the most no’s received a $100 gift card every week… The more no’s you get, the closer you are to getting a yes. The prize of getting a yes is way larger than $100, so you still wanted to get there. This nearly doubled our outbound calls and motivated the whole team.” — Dan McGraw, CEO of Fuelzee
Have a look at the other suggestions in that link from Dan Sincavage’s SalesHacker article. Decide what strategy will work best for your organization, but one way or another, make it easier for your team to work harder.
2: Transparency x Competition = Progress
Your team will want to work harder when they can see who’s doing the best at any given moment. Humans naturally love to compete with each other, and we love to win. Making sure that the metrics, goals, and results are visible to everyone encourages it, and actually helps everybody do better.
Don’t keep secrets when it comes to reaching company goals. Let the team know how things are really going. Evaluate progress together and 1-on-1. Make sure that top performers share with others the tactics that make them successful. Give and receive feedback. Iterate and innovate!
1: Remember that every member of your team is unique
Possibly the biggest key to excellent sales team management is this. Get to know the individual combinations of strengths ans weaknesses of every member of your team.
There’s no such thing as a perfect salesperson, certainly not for every possible situation. You must recognize that some salespeople are better at building from the ground up, whereas others will be awesome only if they are joining an established campaign. Some will be better suited to high-value activities like closing deals; make these your account executives. Some will be rockstars at high-volume activities, like cold calls and sending warmed-up prospects along the funnel. Let them specialize as SDRs, and make it worth their while!
There are many other ways someone can specialize in a sales role. Get familiar with them, and put them in the right place to make your whole operation as successful as possible.
Bonus Sales Team Management Tip:
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