Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
In any organization, the sales team is immediately responsible for driving revenue home. While all the other departments bring customers closer to the business and handle the processes after the sale, the sales team ensures that a lead is converted to a loyal customer.
Therefore, it is always important to keep your sales team up and running. Sales representatives need to possess the right balance of technical knowledge and creativity to close a deal. It is on their shoulders that the efforts of the marketing team lie. If your sales team is rock-solid, you can attain your critical organizational goals and drive your company towards prosperity.
If you are willing to leverage the potential of your sales reps, here are some of the most essential tips for maximizing the potential of your sales team:.
1. Make use of modern sales tools
Gone are the days when sales reps could handle all the processes manually. Over time, the needs of the customers across the board have become more personalized. Also, your sales team needs to be quick and efficient without the scope of any error.
Right from lead management and generating quotes, modern sales tools allow you to automate several processes to make the tasks of your sales reps more effective. Whether you want to manage your customer database, undertake sales forecasting, generate personalized quotes or undertake any other processes that make the work of your sales teams better, you will always have a modern sales tool to get the work done.
Related: 15 Strategies for Quickly Expanding Your Business
2. Keep track of your sales activities
It is always advisable to keep track of your sales activities to understand where your sales team and organization stand. Before you start undertaking any sales processes, always have clearly defined KPIs (key performance indicators) that you want to focus on. This provides you with a sense of direction and helps you analyze the efficiency of your sales team.
Another important aspect to consider while tracking your sales activities is that of quantifying the results so you can view the progress of your sales team in definite figures. This makes comparisons and predictions easier. Two important ways of quantifying your sales activities are calculating the conversion rate and average sales (per hour).
Your sales conversion rate is the percentage of your prospective customers you can finally convert (make them purchase your offerings). The rate of conversation helps you determine how effective your sales team has been in closing deals.
The average sales conducted per hour is the measure of your sales team’s hourly productivity. Especially when you are running a sales campaign, calculating average sales would provide you with an aggregate figure about the revenue your sales team drives home every hour.
Making these calculations allows you to make sense of the sales processes undertaken by your team and gauge the effectiveness of your sales processes.
3. Have an established schedule and routine
Like any other organized activity, it’s important to have a clearly defined schedule and routine for your sales team to carry out their processes. When an organized schedule is in place, it provides your sales team with a sense of direction and plans to go ahead with until the end of a sales campaign.
A well-established routine is important for your sales reps to attend meetings on time, make necessary calls/emails on time and be fully aware of all tasks required to perform daily.
The most important aspect of having an established schedule and routine is to find a rhythm. This is different for different organizations. Understand the needs and preferences of your customers, the goals you are willing to attain and the skills of your sales reps to set a rhythm to be followed by your sales department.
Another important aspect to consider while creating a schedule and routine for your sales team is preparing a calendar for all the tasks to be carried out. It is always advisable to implement sales tools with digitized calendars that help you plan all your activities. This allows your sales reps to make sure that they are on track and not missing out on anything.
4. Set daily goals for your sales team
Along with establishing the core goals and objectives to be attained by your sales team, it is important to set daily goals to be achieved by each team member. This brings your team one step closer to the eventual goals to be achieved and provides everyone with a clear sense of direction.
Also, daily goals provide your sales team with the motivation to get the work done on a day-to-day basis. In the absence of these goals, your employees may slack around and take their tasks lightly. No matter how major or minor your goals are, it is always advisable to set them every day to give a purpose to your sales team.
Related: 4 Ways Market Leaders Use Innovation to Foster Business Growth
5. Automate time-consuming and repetitive admin work
A good chunk of a sales team’s time often goes into performing admin work. Increasing the overall efficiency of the core sales process requires automating repetitive and time-consuming administrative tasks.
Automating multiple admin processes with advanced tools can be done in several ways.
- Data entry
- Sending repetitive texts and emails
- Logging visits
- Creating plans for the day
- Update the calendar
A simple Google search would provide you with many tools for automating admin processes for your sales team.
6. Be smart in acquiring prospects
If your prospecting is smart, you are likely to close more deals in a short period. Sales reps need to understand that not everyone in the audience is a prospect. Make sure your sales team acquires prospects that fall within the milieu of your target audience.
Moreover, it is crucial to filter your prospects in a way that they can be nurtured better. Implement automated sales tools that help you filter many leads and prospects based on unique data points, such as income, demographics, business type, etc. This helps you make sure that the right prospects are targeted with the right intentions.
7. Score and prioritize your leads
Once you have acquired leads, it is advisable to score them based on their behavior. Score the ones responding well higher and the ones showing less interest lower. This prevents your sales reps from spending their time and effort reaching out to leads that are less likely to be converted.
Also, make sure that your sales reps prioritize the leads that score higher and nurture them first. This shortens your overall sales cycle and increases the rate of conversion.
8. Onboard and train your sales reps well
When you start training your sales reps as soon as they are hired, they will acquire the skills needed to close deals effectively. Make sure you have an extensive onboarding and training program for the new hires. Instead of letting the new hires watch and learn from their seniors, hire dedicated trainers to help them go out in the field and start scouting for leads.
It is also important to keep the training sessions informative and engaging. It takes an experienced trainer to teach skills and lessons so that the learners retain the information for a long time. If the new hires are not familiar with the sales tools used by your organization, conduct thorough user adoption to help them switch to your sales tools smoothly.
Related: 21 Ways to Quickly Fund Your Business Growth
9. Communicate effectively with your sales team
The key to a successful sale has always been effective communication. Similarly, managers and team leaders need to communicate well with the sales team to ensure their well-being. Whether you are willing to motivate them, make them understand new tools, or take reports of their work, always make sure there is a strong communication network within the organization.
10. Reward your sales team for success
While it is important to reprimand the team during mishaps, rewarding your sales reps when they cross important milestones is equally important. This helps the team members boost their morale and confidence in order to give their best. These rewards need not always be monetary. The employees equally appreciate perks such as paid leaves, awards and other non-monetary incentives. Moreover, this makes your sales reps feel included as an integral part of your organization.
In the end, always remember that the key to successful sales is a thorough understanding of the customers, a powerful team of sales reps and the use of suitable sales tools.