If you’re leading a team of sales people, your priority is to ensure each person has the skills to maximise your business profits. If you’re not spending the time to develop your people, and if you’re not doing it effectively, they’re probably missing out on vital opportunities, and ultimately, sales. When these missed opportunities occur and your profits start decreasing, your frustration and disappointment will be directed at your frontline. But are your people armed with the resources they really need? This checklist identifies the specific areas you need to focus on to develop an engaged, knowledgeable and motivated sales team.
This one is a no-brainer. You and your team should be actively aware of your industry, as well as any competitors who offer similar products and services. If you don’t know what’s happening in your industry, how will you be able to stay ahead of the game? Make it a habit to read blogs and articles, subscribe to newsletters and industry publications, activate Google alerts, attend conferences and be aware of any marketing activities happening within your industry. You and your team should regularly share information with each other in an open forum, so go forth and research!
One of the biggest complaints that potential clients identify is that some sales professionals simply don’t know every capability and limitation of their products. This points to poor sales training, and is a surefire way to destroy client confidence. Workstar’s Just-In-Time solution is delivered on a mobile and is just one of the many ways to empower your employees with the information they need ‘in the moment’ during important meetings or consultations with clients. Knowledge is power, and it’s one of your greatest tools in winning sales.
Every company is different, with different problems that need to be solved. If, for example, your customer contacts you for a meeting or a phone conversation, and one of your sales professionals is unable to identify the unique challenges that the client faces, this could potentially destroy the relationship. Taking advantage of our Scenarios and Simulations solution allows your team members to role-play a variety of situations in a safe, interactive and engaging digital environment. It also gives them the tools to develop high-level problem solving skills, as well as the ability to add value to existing services. The inclusion of digital collaborative team learning exercises helps drive competition between sales professionals and the end result is a stronger, more engaged and focused team.
Can trust be taught? Absolutely, and it’s your role as a sales leader to instil impeccable standards within your team. The greatest mistake any sales professional can make is to promise a result …and then fail to deliver. Teaching your team to communicate effectively, be transparent and deliver on promises is the best way to earn a client’s trust, because when that trust is broken, your client will instinctively reach out to a competitor. Leading by example is the best way to demonstrate the power of trust, so when you talk the talk, you need to walk the walk.
Within a company, there are intricate layers of personnel that will ultimately affect the outcome of a sale. People who are involved in the project first-hand may not be the people who will ultimately decide if the project goes ahead or not. As a sales leader, how are you empowering your team to nurture the right relationships with the right people at the right time?
Is your team pitch perfect? If a team member’s product knowledge is excellent, but their pitching skills are poor, it may make or break their deal. As a sales leader, it’s important to encourage your team to role play and practise pitching – and yes, when you’re role playing, make sure you have someone in the room to ask some tough, uncomfortable questions. Remember, your clients are unique, so each pitch will need to be tailored to their needs, challenges and energy. You can never practise enough!
As a sales leader, it’s imperative to establish good habits amongst your team…right from the beginning. One of the most overlooked habits is keeping an effective CRM system. The best CRM databases allow sales professionals to keep the sales pipeline moving, while supporting customers more efficiently and helping identify customer needs. Sloppy CRMs equate to a sloppy approach to customer service, and if you’re not consistently updating, fine-tuning and evaluating your data, you’re only hurting your chances of maintaining valuable – and profitable - relationships.