Manage Sales Teams – Your How To Guide
Knowing how to effectively manage sales teams is a skill that will clearly set you apart from other managers and competitors in your industry.
But how do you do it effectively?
What ingredients are an absolute must, when you need to lead and manage sales teams?
In this article, you’ll learn exactly what’s required to manage sales teams and take them from average performing, to absolute and consistent superstars.
Manage Sales Teams – Your How To Guide
Fundamentals To Manage Sales Teams – Why It’s Important
Instead of giving you niche type advice; this article will give you the fundamentals to manage sales teams instead.
This way, your knowledge can be transferred over multiple industries, and you’ll be able to take it with you no matter where you end up in sales.
Ray Dalio; a world famous investor and Co-Chairman of Bridgewater Associates, talks about the importance of fundamentals and principles if you wish to succeed at anything.
Fundamentals and principles are a must when learning how to manage sales teams, because it gives you the infrastructure to consistently help people to perform at a high level and do so consistently no matter who you manage.
You’ll learn the required framework to achieve this in this guide.
First You Need Goals
No matter whether your sales team is involved in inside sales or outside sales; to effectively manage sales teams, you need to know their goals – and they need to know yours.
One of the key reasons as to why sales teams under-perform, is because they don’t know exactly what it is they need to achieve.
Sometimes they may not know what kicking a goal looks like, or where the goal posts even are.
Often; sales managers set goals that are uninspiring, or lack transparency.
Instead, we recommend that you anchor goals with both logic, and emotion.
Setting goals for you and your team will help you manage sales teams by giving them a clearer focus, better use of your resources, and the ability to measure impact.
When goal setting, we recommend that you use the SMART method; this stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time bound.
To learn how to effectively set goals, read the linked article below for more detail.
Related article: How To Set Goals The Right Way – A Detailed Guide
Effectively Manage Sales Teams With Metrics
Another key ingredient to manage sales teams, is knowing your data; and effectively sharing this with your sales team so that you’re all on the same page.
As Geoffrey Moore once said; “Without big data, it’s like you are blind, deaf and in the middle of a freeway.”
Metrics, KPI’s and data will help you understand where your short comings are and speak to the goals you need to achieve to make your metrics come to life.
We highly recommend that you practice sales forecasting as a sales manager.
In simple terms; sales forecasting is predicting what a sales team will make in future revenue.
It’s important because it allows you to resource your sales team and business correctly; allowing you to manage sales teams by allocating them the right tools, numbers, and data needed to perform.
The numbers we recommend you keep an eye on include:
- The lifetime value of a customer
- Sales revenue
- Your retention rates
- The cost of acquiring a customer
- Your operational costs and overheads – are they all justified?
- How long does it take to close a deal?
- Your on boarding processes
- Your average conversion rate per conversation
- Cost per lead
Further reading: Sales Forecasting – What You Need To Know
A key ingredient to effectively manage sales teams, is ensuring that you initially hire the right people from the get go.
A bad actor can easily hurt your team’s morale and put a strain on both income and resources.
When hiring sales people, we recommend categorising them by the following:
- Their drive
- Other topics relevant to your specific niche and industry
By spending a little more time during the hiring process, you’ll save yourself a lot more time by not having to manage people who aren’t the right fit later.
To help you with the hiring process, we’ve put together the best interview questions you could ask.
Read the linked article below to learn what they are, and how to use them.
Further reading: The Best Interview Questions For Sales Hiring Success
Effectively Manage Sales Teams With Coaching
Investing in personal development is key if you wish to consistently manage sales teams effectively, because like any good performing team – practice makes people remember things.
Coaching is a great way to help bring your sales teams up to a high standard, because it creates an environment and atmosphere of positive learning.
One example of coaching is role play. This allows them to test ideas in an environment that won’t cost them the sale; and be comfortable enough to try new things without the feelings of being judged.
Secondly, we recommend you have your team demonstrate the process.
Once they’ve learnt the system needed to consistently win more sales; have them demonstrate each step from quality assurance, as well as helping them make it second nature.
Coaching should be something you do at least on a weekly basis.
By being consistent, you’ll effectively manage sales teams because you’ll create a healthy expectation of what you need from them, and also be transparent with what they can expect from you.
Related article: Coaching For Sales Success – Your Ultimate Guide
Have A Consistent Process
By far; the most important ingredient to manage sales teams, is having a consistent framework and sales process in which you can teach, monitor, and manage.
A sales process is a consistent road map in which your sales team can use, to guide themselves and your ideal clients on a buying journey.
When used effectively, it’ll help your sales team guide your potential clients sell themselves, rather than you having to do all the hard selling.
Although there are various types of sales processes; we recommend using a consultative method.
This helps you understand exactly what it is they’re actually wanting to buy and resolve and positions you as a trusted advisor.
Our online sales training program, called The 5% Sales Blueprint – is a step by step system designed to help Sales Professionals and Business Owners win more sales, consistently.
The steps involved in our sales process include:
- Building rapport
- Setting a pre-frame; helping you with positioning and overcoming objections early
- Asking questions that discover pain, and learn about their desired results
- Discussing the implications of inaction, and budget
- Handling objections and asking for the sale
To learn more about The 5% Sales Blueprint, our affordable online sales training program, read the linked page below.
Effectively Manage Sales Teams – Final Thoughts
This guide will give you the fundamental framework needed to manage sales teams; it’s not complicated, but it is effective and does work when executed correctly.
To recap; the areas to focus on include:
- Know your fundamentals
- Set and be transparent with goals
- Know your numbers and metrics
- Hire right
- Regularly coach your people
- Have a consistent process and system
If you’re interested in learning how to level up your sales; register for our free 7 day sales challenge here.