Sales management deals with more than simply meeting baselines. If you focus entirely on meeting the minimum standard, it’s easy to miss opportunities for even greater success, and your sales teams will turn their own focus on making the best of an inefficient situation. Here, we present some strategies to help get the most out of your team.
Set other standards beyond minimum targets.
Sales departments can easily quantify their results. You’ve made a sale or you haven’t. Instead, sales departments need to determine how many sales they need to make. Sibson Consulting examines the question of whether quotas or commission systems motivate your sales team better; the answer can vary depending on your industry. Consider what drives your sales team in setting their own internal goals when designing support structures for your sales team. One key finding from this research: In order to improve performance, goals must be specific, challenging, and concrete.
How can you thread this needle? Kevin Davis has suggestions. Don’t act in haste; consider what you’re doing; work with your team. They sound simple, but remembering to implement them reliably can be a challenge. Setting standards other than the bare-bones minimum necessary for them to keep their job will help you know who’s underachieving, as will CRM software solutions to help boost your sales targets. From there, you can focus your training and sales resources on building excellence.
Ask better questions.
Warren Berger postulates that we all have a killer app we let go unused: our ability to ask questions and inquire. The best sales software in the world can only do so much if your sales teams aren’t asking the right questions. How will they know to ask the right questions unless you set an example? Lifehacker lays out how to structure your questions to get the best results. Its suggestions: Don’t ask yes or no questions. Do ask follow-up questions. Dig deeper… and when you get an answer, listen.
This can be a challenge. As Berger points out, we’re used to getting and giving answers, not questions. Building a relationship with your customers builds long term sales, and asking questions brings you the information you need to meet the other person’s needs.
Coach someone, every day, before noon.
This may seem unusually concrete for a general strategy. Remember the first point above, however; be specific, challenging, and concrete. Your sales team needs your assistance and guidance, even if they are able to operate on their own nearly all the time. Even experts sometimes need advice and support; we at Avidian have collected some top-tier resources on sales, which you may use with our compliments, if you need somewhere to start.
By coaching every day, you will make it part of your routine. Not only will this make it harder to put off coaching your team, it will mean your team will come to expect your input. The effects also build over time. Half an hour every working day adds up to over a hundred and twenty hours of one-on-one training in the course of a year; that’s three entire work-weeks of professional development for you as well as your staff. Doing it before noon means you’ll be coming to it fresh, as well.