Every person wants to accelerate and push themselves one level up in the organization.
This one level up results from years of dedication, hard work, consistency, patience, and trust.
In the sales organization, a salesperson works diligently to contribute towards the organization's overall success by meeting not only completing individual targets but the overall team targets.
Due to the performances and results, many salespersons are promoted to the position of manager. Though the word 'Manager' sounds very fancy and authoritative, let us tell you that more responsibilities and more significant challenges come with higher levels.
While managing a sales team, you are not just responsible for your actions but also accountable for the entire team's actions led by you.
If the team succeeds, you succeed!
But if the team doesn't perform, you can't blame them because you are the one responsible for their actions and performances.
This is why it becomes challenging to meet up the targets and expectations.
But since you have chosen the sales domain, you need to work collectively by scaling up the sales team with your guidance, keeping them aligned, accountable and consistent for the overall performance.
In this article, we will discuss the strategies to level up, maintain and manage the sales team performances and enhance the results along with the following:
• What is a Sales team, and what role does it perform?
• Challenges faced while managing sales team
• Strategies to manage the sales team
> Setting up Process & structure
> Setting goals and purpose
>Prioritizing training and hire process
> Promoting Creative Incentives to boost morale
> Acknowledging efforts and trusting the process
What is a Sales team, and what role does it perform?
A sales team is a group of people who carry out a set of business activities and processes to help the sales organization run effectively, efficiently and support the overall objectives.
The team consists of assigned roles based on their capabilities to maximize the engagements and performances.
On a general note, the following are the roles and responsibilities that the sales team performs for an organization:
- The Account Executive
- Sales Consultant
- Customer Success Representative
- Sales Developer
- Sales Manager
1. The Account Executive
The account executive guides the prospect by building a sales funnel that helps to reach the ultimate goal of closing the deal.
2. Sales Consultant
The sales consultant helps to support the sales by representing demons and developing proposals for the potential prospects.
They also train the salesperson by preparing them for the calls, building strategies, creating script templates, and general practice.
3. Customer Success Representative
The customer success representative focuses on renewing sales, selling, and cross-selling within the customers. Since they are in direct contact with the customers, they can help you generate revenues, close deals, and maintain good relations with your customers.
4. Sales Developer
The sales developers are also known as cold callers who reach out to potential prospects for the first time.
They are responsible for fixing the target market, building contact lists, and reaching out to clients.
5. Sales Manager
Every department has a leader, and so in the sales team. The sales manager is responsible for bringing out the best from the group by monitoring the performance, mentoring and coaching for the development, and being accountable for the team's success as a whole.
"No role is big or small
Every role is unique in itself."
Challenges faced while managing sales team
As a sales manager, you get open to more significant challenges at different levels. Sometimes, meeting the targets and expectations becomes challenging because so many pieces are moving in and around you.
Let's take a look at the significant challenges faced to manage the sales team:
- You need to keep a check on all your representatives and team members' work they are handling.
- It would be best if you see whether the team is performing as per the expectations.
- It would be best if you make sure that all of their efforts match in one and the right direction.
- You need to know who is being hired and onboarded in your team.
- You need to evaluate the competencies of different roles and individuals at different levels.
- If any one of the team members is not performing, you need to find out why to look into the matter and develop strategies to solve the problem.
- If any of the team members face difficulties and struggle for any reason, you need to check on them instantly.
- It would be best to trust your team members and progress to create an accurate revenue forecast.
Collectively, all of these challenges are a part of the process.
These are bound to happen, and you cannot avoid them.
But what you can do is manage the sales team effectively, efficiently, and successfully with the help of strategies. It will help in driving the sales and contribute towards the sustainable growth of the team and your organization.
Strategies to manage the sales team
Managing the sales team requires the manager to undergo strategies that can work for the team. This strategy helps each role hone in the position's strengths and motivates each person to impact too well.
These strategies act as the biggest motivator to exceed the goals and deliver right.
Let's take a look at the six effective strategies to move forward with your sales team effectively:
- Setting up Process & team structure
- Team Segmentation
- Setting goals and purpose
- Prioritizing training and hire process
- Promoting Creative Incentives to boost morale
- Acknowledging efforts and trusting the process
1. Setting a process and team structure
When you have multiple people associated with numerous roles, the first and foremost thing to do is setting up a process for specific items focusing on one particular purpose. With the help of a proper strategy, you can easily set the targets right with your team. They will get a chance to focus on their activities, and as a result, they will deliver the results based on your expectations.
With the right set of actions and instructions, the process turns out to succeed in achieving the organization's goals.
But it is also essential to make sure that your process should not be too lengthy or complicated. Otherwise, it will take a lot of time to understand, especially for the new hires. The process should be such that it can modify the activities that need to be completed urgently to hit the targets and later actions for later targets. In between these targets and settings, the process should be consistent and repetitive such that you can measure the progress across the sales team and track the individual performances.
Similar is with the case of setting a team structure. It is a fact that no single individual can best in the diverse domains. Your team structure should be represented so that it is dynamic and helpful in increasing efficiency and consistency across our organization.
An ideal team structure should be broken down into different groups where different individuals have different rules to carry out at different sales process stages.
This type of structure is known as Assembly Line Sales Team management that consists of
- Lead generation
- Account executive team
- Customer Success team
- Sales development team
The assembly line model is the best option if you are looking forward to driving fast build growth.
Though, there are other options as well known as
- Island model where the representative is required to handle every step on its own or
- The Pod model breaks salespeople into smaller assemblies and self-managing teams
Hence, it is all up to you as with structure and process you follow but do make sure of
- Results orientation before selecting.
2. Team Segmentation
Setting up a team structure and segmenting the team in that structure are two different things.
The sales manager should know about the respective team number, strengths, weaknesses, and preferences and then assign the roles that can fit into the structure.
For example, whether they like dealing with small businesses or large appliances.
What's the expertise area that they like to fit in?
If you assign the representative based on their specialty, it can lead to faster sales growth and foster a happy work environment. They will feel much motivated to contribute more and over-deliver on their terms.
They will also get a chance to expand their horizons by taking up new roles and adjusting to the team's expectations.
Ultimately, they will reach the level of specialization where they will get to know everything about the process breakdown, bottlenecks, scalability, and predictability.
Hence, team segmentation is crucial to fill the team structure.
3. Setting goals and purpose
Setting the goals for one team isn't easy. The plans are driven by many factors like risk, revenue, targets, activities, the uncertainty of success or failure, and so on. Apart from setting the organization's overall goals, it is also important to consider individuals' one-on-one strategies to work upon.
This concept is also known as the dual approach, where setting up the strategies will make it easier to meet the goals, track the progress, and fine-tune the overall processes.
If you focus on individual members of your team, you will get a broader picture of what issues the team is facing and what all measures you can lay to get them to perform at their best.
Not only that, by setting up the goals and purpose, you will get to learn the roadblocks that a team may face, and with the help of the right goals and action, you can track down the barriers and nail down on the individual issues.
For example, the sales team can set a target to achieve 30 sales per day
The customer support executive can set a target to remind customers about the festive sale within five days.
The sales managers can build maps and processes to outline the goals, review and create a customized plan for their representatives.
This will set easier realistic goals and successful strategies to meet at both teams and individual levels.
One of the most important things to ensure is that all of the goals should be realistic. It should not be unachievable or unattainable.
This will not only demotivate the team but will put a lot of pressure.
As a result, the team won't perform well and will not be able to complete the training and hire process.
4. Prioritizing training and hire process
A successful team is bagged through a series of conducting training and educational workshops in the organization. It not only shapes the individuals working in the team but also to the new hires who are gradually becoming part of the team.
Most of the sales representatives possess a basic knowledge of the initials. But with the help of proper training and continuous programs, you can:
- Build the foundation and give them a chance to evolve
- Keep up to the date on the industry practices
- Please help them to stay sharp and continue to progress
You can conduct training based on product knowledge, sales processes, prospects qualification, or anything that you find suitable.
It is a fact that without any structured training program, the sales team tends to perform poorly. This happens because of the lack of training and repetitiveness of these programs in practicality.
So it is crucial to assess these programs that can help bridge the gap between the representatives and the process.
In the same way, your hiring process should include:
- The exemplary onboarding and orientation process practices
- Respective assignments to be handled by the representative
With the help of the correct flow and structure of training sessions and processes, you can map each step and share them within the organization keeping everyone on the same page.
For better results, you can create diagrams and professional presentations such that it can be easy for the new hires to visualize and understand the processes and best practices. It will not only help to save time but will also help them to grasp the concepts quickly.
One last thing, these processes and training programs should be open for feedback, such that the representatives can share their views and experiences.
With the help of their feedback, you can either improve or scale up the entire sales management.
5. Promoting Creative Incentives to boost morale
The sales process is very tricky and exhaustive and can burn out the individuals working in the team. To keep them active and fresh, you need to incentivize them by promoting creative rewards and benefits, apart from the basic compensation.
The feeling of getting recognized for their hard work helps to maintain a healthy team.
The incentives can be in terms of monetary or non-monetary. You can also set the incentives in advance and share them with your representatives.
This will motivate them to work more and add a fun element to shake things up.
By encouraging healthy competition, you can promote the representatives to work more and compete against each other in a healthy environment.
Following are a few of the incentives that you can involve within your organization:
- Recognizing the team's achievement and celebrating the hard work they do.
- Involving them in fun games and events during the workdays.
- Spotlight the stand-out performers on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
- Share the success stories of the representatives within the whole organization
- Reward the individuals for their efforts in reaching the predetermined goal
- Planning a trip to nearby places
- Providing a career path to the representatives and helping them achieve their ambition
- Promoting them to close more extensive sales and deals
- Encouraging them for higher positions
- Giving them the opportunity to lead the team and work collectively
- Provide in-kind cash incentives like paying for house rent, electricity, or insurance
- Provide bonuses to representatives for every task they meet
- Initiate activity-based sales incentives for representatives
- Send gift cards to your employees on birthdays or special occasions
- Sponsored the tickets to a concert or a sporting event
- Organize fun competitions and reward the winner with gadgets
- Show employees that you care enough about their successes.
These incentives and rewards are enough to motivate the sales representative to give their best foot forward.
6. Acknowledging efforts and trusting the process
The last and most important strategy is to acknowledge the efforts you accomplish, trust yourself, and bring out the best in you.
If the manager can make a good connection with the salesperson, inspire the team, and take advantage of the strategies mentioned above, they are all ready to take up to the next level.
The sales manager should accelerate himself one way or the other and do bigger and better things. They can also ask their employees to drop proper feedback about you and share suggestions.
As the manager, you can look up to suggestions and improve within yourself.
Well, all of it can take time; what matters is to trust yourself, trust teams, choose the right strategy, and the rest will follow.
We conclude that no matter what strategy you choose, all of these will help you level up your performance and multiply your team's success. For effective management of the sales team, the most important thing is to create an alignment and integration with the team activities roles and the person handling it.
It is the responsibility of managers and a representative as a whole to contribute cooperatively in achieving the organization's goals.
Remember, Every action leads to many reactions!
This article covered everything from start to end about managing, maintaining, and enhancing the sales team effectively. Managing a sales team is a big challenge because you are responsible for every action for all the team members. It is essential to work collaboratively and collectively to satisfy the individual goals and overall goals.
All of these can happen with the help of effective implementation of strategies that can bring the desired results.
Let's take a look at the key takeaways of the article:
- A sales team is a group of people who carries out a set of business activities to help the sales organization run effectively and efficiently.
- A sales team consists of employees who are assign roles based on their capabilities.
- The significant roles in a sales team include the role of Account Executive, Sales Consultant, Customer Success Representative, Sales developer, and Sales manager.
- A sales manager is prone to more significant challenges at different levels.
- Challenges are a part of the work process.
- Decoding the challenges with the help of effective strategies will help to drive the sales and contribute towards the sustainable growth of the team and the organization.
- There are overall six strategies to get your move forward with the sales team effectively.
- These strategies include
> Setting up Process & structure
> Setting goals and purpose
>Prioritising training and hire process
> Promoting Creative Incentives to boost morale
> Acknowledging efforts and trusting the process
- The choice of strategy is subjective, but it visually helps to level up the performance and multiply with the team's success.
- It is the responsibility of the managers and representatives to work to achieve the organization's goals collectively.
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