8 x Effective Tips On How To Manage A Sales Team
How to manage a sales team; this is probably a question you’d be asking if you’re new to a Sales Leadership role, or if you’ve inherited a sales team that has room for improvement.
As someone who has been running business’s for well over a decade, I can share a few tips (and things to avoid) on how to manage a sales team.
In this article, we’ll be looking at the eight effective tips on how to manage a sales team; including further related reading to help you achieve your goals and desired outcomes.
8 x Effective Tips On How To Manage A Sales Team
How To Manage A Sales Team #1 – Hire Correctly
The first step when learning how to manage a sales team, is ensuring that you hire people correctly, and secondly; that everyone on your team does in fact want to be there.
If people are working on your team that are there purely for a pay check and don’t actually aspire to want to serve and help your potential clients, it doesn’t matter how much effort you put in – it won’t be effective.
Managing your sales team is a two-way street – you need the ingredients and means to learn how to do so (which you’ll learn here), and you need people who are willing and able to do so.
By hiring correctly up front, you’ll have steps in place to avoid the mistake of having to manage and train people who are not the right fit for your sales team or business.
Various questions you can ask in the interview process are:
- “Tell me about a time when things weren’t going well with a prospect – what happened and what did you do?”
- “What made you get involved in sales?”
- “Have you ever turned away a potential client?”
- “What’s more important – not making quota, or selling something to someone they don’t need?”
To learn how to hire Sales Professionals correctly, check out the related article below.
Related article: 10 x Must Ask Sales Interview Questions (With Reasoning)
How To Manage A Sales Team #2 – Be Clear On The Desired Results
The second important tip on how to manage a sales team, is ensuring that everyone on your sales team is crystal clear on the desired outcomes, goals, and plan of what it is that you and the business want to achieve.
Similarly, to a team sport; if people don’t know what a goal looks like, how can they achieve it?
These documents are important because it sheds light on:
- Who your ideal clients are
- How to make contact
- What activities your team should be focusing on
Having these in place, and more importantly; sharing this with your sales team, is crucial in your activities when managing and bringing them up to speed.
Below, we have two related articles to share with you how you can do this:
Related article: Sales Targeting Strategy – Your Complete Guide
Related article: Marketing Strategy 101 – What You Need To Know
How To Manage A Sales Team #3 – What Is Their ‘Why’?
Contrary to popular belief; many Sales Professionals don’t turn up to work purely for the money.
Tip number three on how to manage a sales team, is ensuring that you have the right motivation factors in place to create consistent and positive results.
As Daniel Pink writes about in detail in his book, Drive – The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us; Daniel explains that motivating people purely with money or commission won’t give you long term results.
Instead, people yearn for autonomy, mastery (such as sales training), and purpose.
These things may not all be present at your workplace – but that is completely fine.
Find out their why; by learning their individual goals, and then by communicating how a role on your sales team can help them with moving towards those aspirations.
They’ll be more motivated in taking in what you teach and being led under your management.
Simon Sinek famously writes in his book, Start With Why, that Managers and Leaders should have a clear understanding of what it is driving their team’s behaviour and choices in the first place.
By doing so, you’ll get a more long-term commitment from your sales team.
Related article: 5 x Tips To Effectively Manage Sales Professionals
How To Manage A Sales Team #4 – Show Them How
An important part of being a Sales Manager, is having the ability to show your sales team how to get there; adding this to the list of tips on how to manage a sales team.
Having clear goals, KPI’s and Metrics are great; however, without having the right training structure in place, your team will repeat their previous negative behaviour and poor performance.
When training your sales team for performance, we recommend that you focus on the key areas below:
- Sales process training, and consultative selling practices
- Analysing data
To learn more about this, check out the related article below.
Related article: 5 x Innovative Sales Training Techniques To Use With Your Team
A Further Tip On Training
The previous training tip on the list of how to manage a sales team may be a bit daunting at first to Sales Managers; especially, if they don’t know to teach the right sales process, or what the sales training should entail.
The add to that; that traditional sales training can be quite expensive, especially when they need to regularly repeat what they learn for the memorisation aspect.
That’s why we’ve made it a lot easier for Sales Managers and Sales Leaders; by creating our online sales training software, which teaches you everything you need to know at a fraction of the investment.
You can learn more about the benefits of online sales training below, versus traditional in person training.
Related article: 5 x Benefits Of Online Sales Training
How To Manage A Sales Team #5 – Hold Regular Meetings
Whether or not your sales team is remote or whether you all work out of the same office, sales meetings should be a key ingredient on your list of how to manage a sales team.
Sales meetings sometimes have a bit of a negative stigma, especially if they’re inefficient, ineffective, repetitive, and go on for too long.
Instead, we recommend you hold your sales meetings with a clear agenda; so that everyone who partakes in them walks away with great value.
A number of ideas and topics we recommend that you share in your sales meetings, are:
- Prospecting tips
- Product knowledge
- Objection handling
- Looking at individual and business goals
- Current issues
- Building rapport and trust
Holding meetings on each of these key areas will make your sales meetings worthwhile and have more substance.
Your sales team will start looking forward to them, as it’ll be a platform for efficient and transparent communication, as well as a learning and up-skilling opportunity.
To learn how to put each of these topics into place in your sales meetings, check out the related article below for more detail.
Related article: 8 x Sales Meeting Topics To Share With Your Team
How To Manage A Sales Team #6 – Be Clear On Your Sales Process
The next important tip on our list of how to manage a sales team, is ensuring that everyone on your team is consistently using the same sales process.
The sales process; or sometimes referred to sales methodology, is a step by step system your sales team should use when speaking with your potential clients.
Having the same sales process has a large number of benefits.
Some of these include consistency, ease of training, and everyone being on the same page when speaking with your potential clients.
You don’t want your potential clients having a particular experience with one of your sales representative’s; and a completely different experience with someone else – as this will cause confusion.
And confused prospects don’t become buyer’s.
Having a concise sales process is one of the most important and valuable foundations, and investments you can make as a Sales Manager.
We recommend the following steps in your sales process:
- Building rapport
- Setting pre-frames
- Sales questions
- Surface selling vs iceberg selling
- Pain, and desires
- Discussing budget
- Handling objections
- Asking for the sale
To learn more about the sales process at further length and detail, check out the related article below.
Related article: The Sales Process – A Step By Step Guide
Tip #7 – Establish A Good Culture
Company culture is critical in today’s ever demanding world of competition and is a high priority on our list of how to manage a sales team.
As per this article on Entrepreneur, Millennial’s and Generation Z are taking up large portions of the workforce, and one of their key values in staying with a company (and for you to reduce costly turnover), is company culture.
Various things to concentrate on when creating company culture, are:
- Professional development and training
- Flexibility and autonomy
- Pride, and reputation for working for a company with a compelling vision and mission
How To Manage A Sales Team #8 – Team Selling
Team selling when used correctly, can be an efficient way in having your whole team work together for a common goal; not only building comradery, but also adding this to the list of how to build a sales team.
Team selling is the act of working together; either within your own team, but other departments within the business, to coordinate an approach to close more sales.
Various people within the team can leverage information that others have on your potential clients, and also work together with material, presentation skills, and data sharing.
It’s an effective strategy, and one we highly recommend learning about – and of course implementing.
Learn more about team selling by clicking the link below.
Related article: What Is Team Selling – And How Do You Utilise It?
Our list of how to manage a sales team, consists of a number of parts; including motivation, understanding their why, executing sales processes, and of course – training and development.
By implementing each of these key steps into your management toolkit, you’ll be well on your way to becoming an excellent Sales Manager and Business Owner.
To learn more about how you can consistently win more sales, register for our No Cost Sales Masterclass here.