Our specialty at MB Inspirations is to create awesome, productive and eager sales teams. Every company should have the fun, joy, and fulfillment of knowing that sales come in; that there is a solid foundation of the business. In my experience, not many companies have well trained service people. Here you find some of the most important keys in creating a great sales team.
#1 Hire The Right People
This may be obvious advice, but I have seen so many companies do the opposite. They say, there are not enough people out there, the best ones are taken, or they argue they have seen some raw material that they want to turn in to gold. However, studies show that people don't change easily. Don't try to find a person and MAKE them the salesperson, but try to find salespeople and MAKE them great. There is a huge distinction between these two statements. Create a supportive, fun-loving, nurturing, and engaging environment and culture. If you are one single entrepreneur, make sure you have a personality that makes people want to follow you.
#2 Ignite Their Passion
The only way, your sales team can be effective is if you convey the mission of the business. Sometimes this is hard, because you may not be able to express explicitly what your business in essence is really about. It's not the industry, it's not your products, and it's not even the customers. It's about the problem you solve for your customer. That's the mission. In workshops we help leaders and managers to create that juicy story that makes your salespeople WANT to call and sell.
#3 Communicate Your Expectations
This step is so underrated. Do you want your team to follow certain structures you've set in place? Or do you want them to be creative and proactive? Are there any boundaries you don't want them to cross (e.g. areas, districts, industries, etc.)? Be clear in what you want and communicate that clearly. In our leadership seminars we show you how to turn from a F.U.-leadership style to a LOL-leadership style, what's the difference and how you can empower your sales team. Important for you to know is that you want to communicate effectively so your people know what they want to do.
#4 Train The Heck Out Of Them
One common mistake is that many businesses think the techniques are key to selling greatly. And yes, the right techniques can go a long way but relying on techniques only is the hard way to go about it. The key ingredient to excellence and high-performance is also developing your people's mindset. Any training that does not address this is not living up to the standard of creating great sales. Train your people often and intensively. In our experience, there is always the struggle of wanting to have your people going out and see clients and at the same time you want to train your people which takes time and money. That's why we have created the Sales Bootcamp which runs as a project over longer period of time and really trains intensively in short sessions securing a long-time increase in performance.
#5 Build An Efficient Infrastructure
You need a sales manager who supports and assists your team. The sales manager has a very different skill set than the rest of the sales team. They need to make sure that 1) all the key indicators and metrics are measured and documented, and 2) company goals are achieved, and most importantly 3) that your sales team thrives. Sometimes, you need product managers or other key people to be available to your sales staff in order to create proposals or to consult clients. Make sure they have all the information they need. Here, you want to have an ear to the ground to know what it is your people really need to know and what systems and organizational functions you want to put in place. We had a client who did not know the importance of organizational change and proper management. They had unwittingly created an unnecessarily inefficient system of communication that robbed their sales team two to three hours(!) per week that we could resolve.
The sales team is usually the most important team in your company. There are a few exceptions in which companies have a service or product that their clients need and there is monopoly situation. However, over the long run and therefore strategically speaking, your sales team is the blood of your business. Make sure you have great people and you continue to train them, to optimize your organizations, and to set new standards in order to deliver excellence.
Author: Marc Breetzke, M.A., M.A.
MB Inspirations is your trusted advisor to increase business performance especially in sales and leadership. We consult, train and coach companies and individuals strategically, systematically, and sustainably in order to continuously and never-endingly improve productivity.
Marc Breetzke, M.A., M.A. is the founder of MB Inspirations and he works with businesses and organizations worldwide as a leading-edge business strategist, consultant and lecturer. Florian Dietzel, B.A. most recently joined the MBI-Team as Junior Sales Consultant to assist our clients. Please don’t hesitate and send us your questions, comments, and feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.