I’m taking a short break from my super popular As the Search Engine Turns story to bring you a piece on sales. Don’t worry, ATSET will be back soon. Whether you’ve got a mediocre or sub-par sales team on your hands or are in charge of building a brand new one from scratch, you’re going to need some help and some patience. According to SalesForce, 79% of marketing leads never convert into a sale. This is a problem. Why are these conversions not happening? There could be miscommunication between the marketing and the sales departments or one of those departments could just be dropping the ball.
To make sure it isn’t your sales team that’s responsible, check out our checklist.
1. Watch Out For Toxicity
Negativity breeds negativity. You need to either fix it or remove it completely.
Toxic employees, if allowed to fester, will poison the minds of other team members as well as turn off your prospect, potentially chasing them away to a competitor. Build a team that’s positive and reading to make things happen for the company.
2. It’s About Results
You want your team to be driven. They should want to make the sale. Your team should be about results. This is right out of the sales 101 playbook.
On top of that, they should also be competitive. They should want to do better than they did last month and better than the other teams every month. Make it a friendly competition. Winners get bragging rights for the month and have to buy the first round at the local watering hole. Something like that.
A lot of hot shot sales guys aren’t great at receiving feedback.
When you build out your team, make sure to hire the people who can take constructive criticism well. Explain that it’s for the good of the company and them as individuals and then prove it to them.
As a sales manager or lead, you’re going to be required to put your money where your mouth is quite often.
4. Training and Learning
Sales professionals are sharks. But a shark doesn’t stop swimming just because there isn’t any blood in the water.
When things are slow or when new programs or courses come out, get your team on them quickly. Make sure they’re trained well from the jump but do not let them get lazy. Keep them learning new things all the time.
5. Communication is Key
Talk to your sales team. Every team has meetings, sure, but how many sales managers are truly effective communicators?
Don’t be afraid to have one on one meetings with your team members, especially if they need help. Offer to do whatever it takes to get their performance level to where it needs to be.
While every business is different, the root of the sales team stays the same.
It’s easy for people to pick up bad habits in previous positions. Make sure you’re ready to retrain if necessary and communicate clearly as to what you expect and when you expect them.
Don’t be a pushover. Assertive is the way to go as a manager. You’re a leader and your team is going to be looking to you for support and help when they need it. At the end of the day, your team meeting their goals and quotas is your responsibility.