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vrijdag 5 januari 2018

5 Tips for Building the Best Sales Team

5 Tips for Building the Best Sales Team

The sales team is at the front line of any business – approaching prospective customers, managing the accounts of existing customers and trying to resign customers who have left. For this reason they’re not only integral to developing new business but also to refining the product you deliver and the way in which you deliver it. Your sales team then is highly important to the future of your company and needs to be assembled with care.

Whether you’re assembling a new sales team for the first time or adding members to a new team, the sales recruitment process has several vital ingredients to ensure that the resulting team is motivated, efficient and effective.

1.    Advertise intelligently

You want to recruit salespeople who are suited to your particular industry and who, ideally, will have experience of dealing with the kind of customers who make up your target audience. It therefore makes sense to advertise your positions with websites, publications and agencies which specialise in your sector (as well as on your own website). This will help cut down the number of irrelevant applications you. Another tip is to incentivise referrals from your staff – by offering a cash bonus to anyone who introduces a salesperson who ends up in your employment you maximise the chances of finding someone who’s appropriate for the role and who’ll fit in (but this method probably won’t get you a deluge of applicants so should be used in addition to other advertising methods.

2.    Be ruthless with applicants

A salesperson has to be proficient at selling your product or service – and what better way to demonstrate this aptitude than by selling themselves on paper or in an interview situation?

An applicant for a sales position should demonstrate:

Knowledge – they should have undertaken thorough research of your organisation before turning up to interview and demonstrate an understanding of who they’re trying to sell (themselves) to;
A competitive nature – they should demonstrate the desire to excel at what they do;
A cooperative nature – they’ll be part of a team and will have to get on and work with others;
Persuasion – they should be able to bring others around to their point of view;
Assertiveness – they should make their point firmly but without aggression;
Resilience – they should bounce back from rejections and be able to surmount obstacles;
Self-motivation – they should demonstrate a tendency to take the initiative when ambition demands it.
Look for evidence of all of the above qualities in written applications and interviews – all of them are essential in a good salesperson.

3.    Set practical challenges

A well rehearsed set of answers in an interview can provide a lot of information on your prospective salesperson but not the ability to think on their feet – another essential quality in a good sales executive. Try to think up some sales related problems for your candidates that they won’t have encountered before e.g. pitching a randomly selected piece of office furniture to the interview panel, calling your secretary on a made up pretext and getting her to transfer the call.

4.    Incentivise and gamify

The type of applicant the position attracts will depend heavily on the advertised salary and bonuses, which means getting the combination right is vital to assembling the best possible team. You’ll want to think carefully about this – whether the targets you set for your salespeople are based solely on revenue or broken down further into separate targets for new business, renewals and recovered customers. The calculation should also take into account the value of an average sale and the expected conversion rate (i.e. the number of appointments/calls you’d expect to make for a single sale). You should also set activity targets for your sales staff – the number of calls made, prospects generated etc. These can be used to foster competition among your sales staff and be used to decide recipients of additional awards and benefits. This kind of gamification can greatly enhance productivity and build the kind of team spirit that attracts good sales staff.

5.    Demonstrate a willingness to invest in staff

The best candidates for your sales roles don’t want to feel like they’re applying for a dead end job. In order to attract, recruit and retain the best people you need to show a willingness to invest in the development of your personnel. As well as the kind of award and benefit mentioned above you should also conduct frequent reviews, track the development of each staff member and offer the opportunity to develop key skills through training courses and mentoring. Not only will schemes like these help you get the best possible people on the bus but they’ll also make sure that those people are giving their all during the ride.

Drs. Christiaan Janssens MBA
Executive Coach CJ Coaching
CRO Akwa Wellness

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