The success of any business depends on the volume of sales generated. Although there are various marketing tools to increase sales, the importance of a sales team cannot be neglected. A small business does not have sufficient funds to carry out huge marketing campaigns. Also, providing sales promotion offers may not be feasible for startups. So how do you then increase your sales? This is when the importance of sales team comes into the picture. Every business organization, whether big or small, should have an effective and an efficient sales team. Here are some steps to create your own sales team.
1. Hire the Right People
Hiring is the first step to build a sales team from scratch. It is difficult to judge the person based on one interview alone. You do not get a fair idea if the person is right for the job. The salesperson has to deal with customers and he must have the necessary skills to deal with different kinds of customers. So you need to see if the candidate:
is a good listener
is willing to get that extra effort
is a team player
is willing to learn more
has good communication skills and other attributes.
Ask the candidate about his career objective and check whether he is going to be with your company for a considerable amount of time. You may ask the candidate to sell a particular item during the interview process. Furthermore, look for candidate’s previous work experience. These points will help in choosing the right candidate for your sales team.
2. Train Them
Once the hiring process is done, the next step is to train them. Training forms a critical step to create your own sales team. Start by making the new employees familiar with the company policies and processes. Introduce them to the sales team that they will be working with. You may decide to make them work under you or any of your senior employees in the sales team. Do not be in a hurry to rush them for field work. Give them adequate training about the work that they need to carry out. It should also be noted that training is a continuous process and not a one-time process. Therefore, training should be provided once or twice to the existing employees depending on the dynamic nature of the market that your business is operating in.
3. Provide the Required Tools
Make sure that you provide with the necessary systems and tools to your sales team. This will include providing them with PCs or laptops, brochures, customer details, software packages for sales and other tools. Furthermore, Toutapp, Highrise CRM, LinkedIn Sales Navigator are some of the useful tools that are available for the sales team. It becomes difficult for the sales team to keep a track of all their customer requirements and as the number of customers increases the sales team needs some assistance. Thus, make sure you add these tools to your systems in order to improve the productivity of your sales team.
4. Provide Incentives
Apart from providing basic salary, offer your sales team incentives. Performance based incentives act as a positive motivation to perform better. At the same time, provide perquisites such as:
telephone expensive reimbursement
extended lunch passes
remote office privileges
expenses for outings and others
Make sure that these incentives are paid on time as well. If you have multiple teams, then you can have group incentives. This also helps building team spirit and thus improves the entire sales team productivity.
5. Assign Targets
Give a clear time bound target to your sales team. Determine your goals first and accordingly set targets for your sales team. The targets must be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time Bound). Consider the business situation and the economic environment before you assign the targets. Sometimes, the target may need to be modified in the middle period. Like for instance, if the target is set for a period of six months and suppose, within three months, the market turns unfavorable. In such a case, the target should be revised and brought down. With the help of past data and seasonal trends, you can come up with a sales forecast that will help you to set correct targets.
6. Motivate Them
The life of a salesperson is not easy. They may go to ten different places and finally succeed with one sale. Moreover, sometimes they may not be allowed to pitch to their customers and asked to sleave. A nagging boss is the last thing they would require in such a situation. All these factors demotivate salesperson and they may not feel like working anymore. This is when your leadership skills come into play. You should be able to motivate and inspire your sales team to not give up. If possible you may accompany them as they go to visit their client and help them too. Apart from monetary benefits, non-monetary benefits such as recognition, promotions, and awards work equally well in motivating the sales team.
7. Nurture Your Sales Team
One of the important steps to create your own sales team is to nurture them over a period of time. Make sure you give enough time and opportunity to learn. If they have made some mistakes, then give another chance to correct those mistakes. Firing them is not the best solution. Moreover, avoid criticizing your sales team. As Dale Carnegie says, “Criticism is dangerous, because it wounds a person’s precious pride, hurt his sense of importance and arouses resentment.” In fact, ask your employees to evaluate themselves. This will give them an indication where they are going wrong, instead of you pointing out the mistake to them. Thus, they will ensure that they avoid such mistakes. Simultaneously, it is important that your sales team develop new skills. For this purpose, send your sales team to sales exhibitions and seminars organized for salespersons. Your ultimate aim is to increase sales and for that you need to have a dedicated bunch of people to do that for you. Hence, it is important to nurture your sales team as time progresses.
Following these steps to create your own sales team will help you build a sales team from scratch. As a business owner, it is your responsibility to grow and develop your sales team. A good sales team is willing to go beyond what is expected of them. The character of the salesperson reflects the company image. Being honest, helpful, professional, and reliable are some of the traits that are expected of every salesman. If your sales team has all these qualities and attributes, then it enhances the reputation of your business.