To succeed in business, your company needs a quality sales team. But great sales teams don't grow on trees.
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In fact, developing a capable and effective sales force might be one of your most difficult jobs as a small business owner - unless you have the information you need to do it right.
Here are five tips to help you get started:
Hire Quality, Not Quantity
The number of salespeople on your staff isn't nearly as important as their ability to set up and close a sale. A few skilled and proven sales reps will not only outsell a fleet of novices, but also form a solid core for future staff expansion. If geographic coverage is a concern, consider leveraging technology to help a smaller, more competent sales team cover a wider area.
Many sales teams fail to meet their leader's expectations simply because they never knew what was expected of them in the first place. Don't make the same mistake! Your sales team should have a clear understanding about what you expect from them. They should also feel free to voice their concerns and seek assistance should problems or unexpected setbacks arise. Team meetings, group e-mails, and status reports are essential, but it never hurts to meet with team members individually, too, particularly if a team member is falling short of the goals you have established.
Offer Sales Incentives
It is common for sales reps to be compensated on commission. But commissions can't be the only incentives you offer your sales team. There are lots of other ways to motivate your sales team that are just as important. Remember: Your goal is to build a first-rate sales team. In addition to individual incentives like commissions, consider offering team-based motivators like group bonuses, event tickets, or special merchandise when the team reaches its goals.
It's easy to overlook training as a resource for building and motivating a sales team. However, training provides your sales team with the tools they need to reach their goals as well as much-needed confidence for the sales process. Consider scheduling regular training sessions with your entire staff, covering not only sales technique, but also team-building strategies and exercises.
Motivate by Example
One of the best ways to motivate your team is to lead by example. A positive, can-do attitude is contagious, but so is a negative one. Since your team will follow your lead, it's important to maintain an upbeat presence with your staff. If sales is your forte, you might even want to lead the charge by assigning yourself sales calls and mentoring new sales staff.