Building a Skilled Sales Team
How do you develop an effective sales team?
A lucrative sales team is the lifeblood of a company. The financial, production, and human resources departments contribute to the overall long-term success of the company, but they cannot function without the sales team continuously wrangling in new orders. To that end, the sales team must be on their ‘A’ game at all times. Here are three tactics to help your sales team perform at the level that the company requires.
Sales Team Top Tip #1 Hire Talent
Don’t short change yourself by advertising and hiring entry level sales people. Try to craft your job postings for applicants that have slightly more educational or work experience. This will net you applicants who have a higher base skill and knowledge, as well as a few more entry level people who are confident they have the drive and intelligence to succeed. Managers should ensure that they are focusing on hiring talented individuals. Here are three aspects to look for in applicants:
Natural Intelligence. In Ohio University’s infographic Why Focus on Hiring Talent, Joe Santana, the co-author of Manage I.T., defines talent as a “a natural predisposition to be highly effective in certain areas.” Book smarts will allow the individuals to learn fast.
Emotional Intelligence. Sales people must be able to utilize emotional appeals and analyze based on vocal tones and body language how those appeals are being received. High emotional intelligence will also give sales people the ability to deal with failure to close the deal with grace.
Formal Education. According to Chris Moberg, a professor at Ohio University, individuals who have graduated from a formal sales education program will perform better and learn quicker than individuals without one. You won’t always be able to locate someone with that level of training, but you should always be on the lookout.
Sales Team Top Tip #2 The Right Leader
The sales manager is a crucial position. That individual is charged with hiring the sales team, ensuring the team has the skills to succeed, offering guidance to steer the team in the right direction, and giving feedback when team members falter.
Sales managers should have a strong work ethic, natural or honed leadership skills, and a genuine interest in helping others. New managers will no doubt make a number of mistakes, but with proper training, an open line of communication with their employees, and diligent attention to detail, they can become skilled leaders.
Sales Team Top Tip #3: Know the Product
Part of sales training is an in-depth understanding of the product or service they are selling. Sales members should know what products are offered, who the target demographic is, and what the customer or client may need to know about the delivery of the product.
Now this is imperative, the sales team must not only understand the product from the sales side, but also the production side. At my current work, I can’t tell you how many problems we had because the sales team didn’t set realistic expectations when explaining the service. A less than ideal sell, can be just as bad, if not worse, than not making a sell. Unrealistic expectations can lead to dissatisfaction with the service, a demand for a refund of services rendered and negative company reviews. This can leave the company on worse standing than where it started.
Sales is a vital aspect of most companies. The sales team tirelessly hunts down new leads, they use every skill in their possession to sell their product or service, and on a daily basis they experiences rejections ranging from polite to downright nasty. With the proper employees, management team, and understanding of the product, the sales department can lead the company to success.