A lack of structure and process going into your sales force means a lack of results coming out of it. To run an effective, sales-driven organization, you must set team members up for success and hold them accountable.
Set the sales team up for success in two key ways: assets and trainings.
Assets build credibility for your company and will serve as tools that the sales team can leverage leading up to, during, and following meetings. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and ask, “What would I need to know or want to see before purchasing?” The answer can vary depending on your business. To name a few:
- Case studies and client testimonial videos to prove the company’s past successes
- White papers to establish the company as a trusted expert and key opinion leader (KOL) in the industry
- Infographics to clearly communicate complex offerings and results
- iPad-compatible pitch deck to guide the conversation during a sales meeting
Outside of industry-mandated certifications and classes, trainings for your sales force should be recurring (ideally once per month) and cover a multitude of topics, including:
- Messaging, specifically how the team should be speaking about the company and its products
- How team members should be spending their days (e.g. 15% of time researching new leads, 30% contacting new leads, 30% nurturing existing leads, and 25% at in-person sales meetings)
- The multiple points of contact that each team member should be making with a lead (e.g. calls, emails, direct mailers, in-person meetings) and the timing of those touchpoints
- Effective upselling and/or cross-selling techniques
- Accurate tracking of all leads and customers, especially if there’s an opportunity for repeat business
Set clear performance metrics and hold the team accountable.
With the proper tools and trainings in place, set key performance indicators and communicate them to the team. A customer relationship management (CRM) system is the best medium for tracking these metrics. If a CRM isn’t in place, a collaborative Google spreadsheet can suffice. At minimum, the information to track for each lead should include:
- Contact information (first and last name, address, telephone number, and email address)
- Referral source
- Number of contact attempts made
- Next contact attempt date
- Date of each contact attempt and received response
- Meeting date
- Status in the sales pipeline
- Sale amount
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly: hold the team accountable. If there’s no one responsible for running the team as a unified sales force, then performance metrics won’t be reached. Appoint someone with a sales-oriented mindset as the sales manager or team lead. In addition to holding the abovementioned trainings and ensuring that metrics tracking is taking place, the team lead should hold weekly meetings for team members to report on individual metrics and hot leads from the previous week, as well as share key wins and learning points.