Organisations and sales managers often face challenges when trying to develop their sales force.
Sales representatives are the people who represent a company and sell the products or services that the organisation offers. The job of a sales rep can vary greatly depending on the organisation and types of products and services they sell; however, sales reps are often considered some of the most important employees within an organisation. Sales equals money, so without sales, an organisation would cease to exist. The importance of a company’s sales force cannot be understated in a competitive marketplace.
Finding good salespeople can be difficult and time consuming. Many organisations struggle to create, develop, and maintain a successful sales force. There are several actions organisations and sales managers can take to transform their sales team into lean, mean, selling machines, and this article will focus on what companies can do to maximise the productivity of the entire sales team once they have hired sales employees.
1. Address negative or disengaged attitudes immediately
The nature of sales provides plenty of opportunity for negative emotions to surface: loss of a sale, loss of a client, rejection, and market conditions. In many different contexts, negative attitudes can lead to decreased levels of employee engagement, productivity, and morale. Managers need to address these negative attitudes before they have the ability to impact productivity. A positive atmosphere in a sales department is important to motivate employees to press through the challenges that accompany a sales job.
2. Set valid time and activity goals for tracking progress of sales employees
Tracking performance of an employee is a no-brainer, and for sales employees it is crucial. Sales managers need to set clear goals and measure the progress of each sales rep. Performance-tracking tools help managers organise and follow sales, revenue, and client goals for each sales employee. The pressure to meet a goal can provide additional motivation for less-productive employees.
3. Share knowledge and information concerning the sales process
Knowledge sharing is an effective way to increase the productivity of sales employees without removing them from their job. Technology provides many tools that allow knowledge to be shared easily within a department: online chat forums, online training videos, webinars, or emails that publicly recognise success of sales reps and share the specific techniques used to achieve success.
4. Implement a systematic process to attain new clients and win new business
Organisations have a variety of goals and objectives when it comes to sales. These goals not only depend on the product or service, but industry size as well. Upselling existing clients is always one goal, but sales reps should also strive to win new clients and sales. Planning and establishing strategies for obtaining new business will ensure long-term growth for your sales force and the entire organisation.
5. Establish a strategic process to grow and increase key accounts
It definitely costs more money and takes more effort to gain a new client than it does to maintain an existing client. Organisations need to create strategies and processes that increase sales in key accounts. Growing key accounts and maintaining clients over a long period of time is significantly more valuable than one-time buyers or short-term clients. Sales managers and reps need to understand the importance of maintaining and growing existing clients, and the financial implications that accompany that process.
6. Provide targeted training for sales employees
Sales training is imperative. Organisations must select training programs that fit the strengths of the sales department, and provide specific tools that will help the sales team meet organisational goals. Training should balance focus between interpersonal interactions, persuasive communication, and utilising new technology to learn more about prospects and clients. Sales managers and organisations must be aware of the needs of their sales force in order to select the best training programs.
7. Equip sales force with the tools needed to be successful
Sales managers are not responsible for forcing sales reps to do their job, but they are responsible for providing sales reps the opportunity for success. One way managers can do this is by providing efficient technology, access to market and client information, and additional sales training. Providing these tools can not only increase productivity, it can also help build trust, commitment, and loyalty between the sales manager and the sales team.
Organisations and sales managers often face challenges when trying to develop their sales force and increase productivity. By taking the steps listed above, companies can rise to the challenge of maximising the productivity of their sales force and ensure future success.
As a partner of Summit Assessment Solutions, we can provide the Profile XT assessment tool; which can be used to measure how well an individual fits a specific job within your organisation. The “job matching” feature of the PXT is unique, enabling you to evaluate an individual relative to the qualities required to successfully perform in a specific job. It’s used throughout the employee life cycle; for selection, on-boarding, managing, and strategic workforce planning.
About the author
I am a Certified Value Builder, C- IQ Coach, Author, and approved Business Growth specialist, providing expert, tailored business and executive coaching in London and the UK.
I am passionate about business and service excellence, and I want to connect with the owners of SMEs, managers and corporate executives in the private, public and third sectors; individuals who are looking to achieve superior performance, and obtain guaranteed service improvements results, and increases in turnover and profitability.
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