Good sales leaders are those who can successfully manage a sales team and escalate them to great heights. Here are some sales team management tips to set your team up for success.
In this article:
- Build a Sales Team Based on Your Needs
- Manage Your Expectations
- Invest in Training
- Specialize Early
- Hire Coachable People
- Volume vs. Value
- Distribute Accounts Fairly and Equitably
- Promote Transparency
- Set High Goals, but Make Them Realistic
- Sales Metrics Matter
- One Size Doesn’t Fit All
Sales Team Management Tips: The Strategy to a Successful Sales Team
1. Build a Sales Team Based on Your Needs
Sales managers can’t manage a sales team without building one first. To start building a sales team, know first what kind of hires you get.
- Builders: They’re the type of people who have an entrepreneurial spirit. They especially do well in field sales.
- Growers: Growers, on the other hand, do well in companies with a more established process in place.
Most sales reps are good at one or the other, but rarely both. How do you determine which reps will work best for your company?
- If you’re a startup or any kind of SME, hire builders who enjoy the challenge of building processes and pipeline from the ground up.
- If you’re a larger company with a well-oiled machine in your hands, hire growers to be your account executives.
2. Manage Your Expectations
As the manager, you’d want to do what you can to support your team. One way to do this is to clearly define what you mean when you think someone is over or underperforming.
Ask yourself if you prefer a sales person who consistently performs a little under the quota, or one who exceeds quota one month, and falls very short the next.
3. Invest in Training
To build an excellent sales team, you need to integrate learning into your culture. Investing in professional development helps your team grow and keeps their skills fresh.
Have regular trainings that develop their product knowledge, prospecting, professional communication, and decision-making skills.
4. Specialize Early
Not all sales professionals are cut from the same cloth. To figure out what your sales team structure would look like, assess what their strengths and specialties are:
- Do they prefer doing business with large companies or SMEs?
- What specific industry or customer type do they have the most understanding on?
Once you do this, group your sales team based on their capabilities and have them handle the prospects you know they would do well with.
5. Hire Coachable People
Make sure you have team members who can take feedback well. Here are the steps to measuring this:
- Do a role play where they demo your product.
- After the demo, ask them to do a self-evaluation.
- Next, give them your thoughts.
- Evaluate them on how they conducted the demo and how open they were to receive and apply feedback. This allows you to know how coaching them would look like.
6. Volume vs. Value
Have your high-valued sales reps focus on low-volume but high-importance activities like securing partnerships and building relationships. Have your lower-valued reps go for the high-volume activities like securing leads.
7. Distribute Accounts Fairly and Equitably
It’s easy to give the plum opportunities to your top-performing sales people, but strike a balance at the same time. Invest in your up and coming sales talent and give them the tasks and opportunities that would help them succeed.
8. Promote Transparency
Successful sales organizations promote and practice a culture of transparency.
What is Transparency? In business, transparency means everyone knows how well you’re doing and what issues need to be addressed. The best companies know what each team member’s goals are and how they’re stacking up.
Here are some ways to measure a salesperson’s progress:
- Length to time spent cold calling
- Number of calls made
- Shape of every person’s sales pipeline
Have dashboards that display all the deals you’ve closed and the current dollar value. Seeing everyone’s sales performance allows you to promote transparency and motivates your team to perform better.
9. Set High Goals, but Make Them Realistic
Set your sales goals high to make it a challenge, but at the same time don’t set it too high that nobody performs at their best capacity. To put things to perspective, achieving 60% of your stretch sales targets is still better than 100% of middling goals.
More importantly, make your sales team feel that there’s a goal worth pursuing and everyone’s hands are on deck to make that happen.
10. Sales Metrics Matter
When you set an environment where everyone’s determined to hit goals, where transparency is paramount, and have a clear direction, you set them up for success.
One way to give your team is to orient them on the key sales metrics:
- Revenue = Opportunities * Average Sale Price (ASP) * Win Rate
- Sales Velocity = Revenue / Sales Cycle Length
Each sales rep is stronger at one part of the equation, and weaker than others. Here’s what it means when reps are crushing certain sales metrics:
- Win Rate – This sales rep can easily turn a lead from a casual interest to a sure buyer
- ASP – This sales professional is able to target organizations with a lot of budget, and is able to pinpoint to a key decision maker right away.
- Opportunity Generation – Sales representatives who excel in finding opportunities are especially good at prospecting leads.
11. One Size Doesn’t Fit All
A sales team composes of a lot of different personalities and temperaments. It’s your job as the sales manager is make sure they have what they need to achieve success.
You’d have to help them navigate internal politics and make sure they unlearn any bad sales habits. Find out what motivates them and leverage those to develop their sales skills.
Managing a sales team isn’t easy, but with these effective sales team management tips, you can get your team to go to heights they’ve never been to before.
What are some sales team management tips that worked for you? Share your tips in the comments section below.