What is a sales team?
Sales teams play an important role in business, and it’s essential to have the right people on board if you want to see success. Hiring the wrong person can be costly for a company, so it’s important to take the time to find the best talent.
Let's take a closer look at this essential component of any business.
A sales team is a group of employees within a company whose primary focus is the sale of products or services. The makeup of such a team typically varies in different companies, but usually, a remote sales group includes positions such as account executives, inside sales representatives, outside sales representatives, and sales managers.
The major aim of the salespeople is to identify and cultivate new business opportunities by creating and maintaining relationships with potential and current customers. The main responsibility of a salesperson is to generate revenue for their company by selling products or services. A productive sales team is critical to the success of any business. To create an effective team, it's crucial to first understand what components make up a good sales team.
Ingredients of a successful sales team
The elements of a successful team are many and varied. Sales managers need to be able to identify and put them together in the right way for their business. To start, a successful sales team needs the right person for the job. Each sales rep should have the skill set necessary to do the job and be motivated to do it well. The next step is training. Training is an essential component of preparing your reps for success. Once they acquire the skills, you should arm them with all the necessary equipment and software to communicate with each other and customers.
And that's not all the ingredients. We'll go into more detail on them a little later in the article.
Sales manager role
Sales team management is the most important part of the sales process. Without competent management, it is impossible to achieve the expected results. That is why only smart and experienced sales leaders should be at the head of the department. What are their responsibilities?
The role of a sales manager has seen constant change and evolution over the years. To be successful in this role, it is important to have an understanding of the latest trends (e.g., remote selling) and the best management strategies. Leaders should be able to coach their team, provide support, and ensure that targets are met. Additionally, they must have a strong understanding of the products or services that they are selling to be able to answer any questions that may arise from potential customers.
How do I start building my sales team from scratch?
The process of building a sales team can be overwhelming for business owners. It can be difficult to determine where to start, who to target, and what criteria to use when selecting new hires. However, with the right planning and execution, it's possible to create a strong team of sales professionals.
Work on structure
If you want to have a productive team, it is important to structure it in the most effective way possible. This means that different members of the team must fulfill specific roles and work together aiming to achieve common goals. Hence, when creating a sales team, it is important to keep the following in mind:
- The type of product or service you sell
- Your target market
- The size of your workforce
- The budget you have available
- How frequently you expect new leads to come in
Hire qualified reps
Then, make sure you hire quality people. Sales is a tough job, and it’s only going to get tougher as the market becomes more competitive. You need people who are not just good at selling, but who are also good at solving problems and working with people.
The best way to find qualified people is to network with other business owners and professionals. Ask them for referrals, and interview as many candidates as possible. When hiring, look for someone who has a record of success, is passionate about sales, and is coachable. You can even hold a meeting to see how a possible future hire interacts with different types of customers. Additionally, make sure your team has the right personality types and that they will be able to work well together. Building a strong team takes time and effort, but it’s worth it in the end.
After you have identified the positions that need to be filled, the next step is to assign roles and responsibilities. This will help make the sales process as smooth as possible. Once the roles have been identified, it is important to distribute them evenly throughout the sales department. This way, each employee will have a specific set of tasks and duties for which they are responsible, which, in turn, will allow you to create a well-oiled machine that will generate leads and close deals.
Keep members connected
To build a successful sales team, it is important to help your team members keep in touch. This means having a clear and consistent communication strategy in place from the beginning.
Sales reps can be notoriously siloed. Your job as a leader is to break down these barriers and create a unified team working together toward common goals. A good strategy might be to hold regular team meetings, use a shared chat room to call and text each other, or conduct team-building activities online. This will not only enhance communication within the company but also help members get to know each other better, build rapport and trust.
Fuel your team
The fact is that training is the key to success. And it's never enough. It's impossible to imagine that one day your team will know EVERYTHING about successful sales. New trends emerge all the time, and customers change as well. After all, digital sales are conquering the world. According to a study by Telus International, most Americans are going to stay digital for shopping (71%), banking (92%), and engaging in e-health and wellness activities (77%).
That's why it's essential to keep training and coaching your employees. Here are some tried-and-tested options:
- Hold offline sales training sessions with professionals
- Arrange online webinars, presentations, and masterclasses with experienced employees
- Collect feedback from your social media accounts and analyze it with your team
- Track your competitors and their marketing campaigns
Remember to motivate
Another important task to bear in mind is motivating your employees. Sales jobs are famously high-stress and can often lead to burnout, but with the right motivation, your employees will be more likely to stick around and sell more products. So what makes people want to sell?
Several factors motivate people when it comes to sales. For some, the prospect of making money is a huge incentive; for others, the thrill of competition or the satisfaction of helping other people buy what they want.
Try different methods, and you're sure to find one or even a few that work for your employees.
How do I lead my next-gen sales team?
As a sales leader, it can be difficult to know how to best lead your team in today's market. With the advent of new technologies, the growing popularity of remote work, and shifting customer preferences, what worked in the past may not work now. So what does it take to lead your next-generation sales team effectively?
7 management tips to boost sales process
#1 Make sure you're constantly measuring results
It is critical that you continue to measure the results of your efforts to improve your work process. Why? Because what gets measured gets improved. If you don’t track how your changes impact your results, then you can’t know if the changes you made are actually helping or not. And you definitely don’t want to keep making changes if they’re not having a positive impact!
The idea to try:
CRM platforms like Zendesk or Hubspot can help track your team's sales performance as well as their interactions with customers. Such applications are ideal for storing contact and sales data in one easy-to-manage place.
#2 Develop a process that is consistent and efficient
According to Huify, the success rate of selling to an existing client is 60-70%, while to a new client is just 5-20%. That's why businesses need to have a well-developed sales process that helps them identify potential customers and close deals with the highest possible success rate. The sales process is a never-ending cycle of activity that, when executed efficiently and consistently, can lead to an increase in deals. The sales cycle typically includes the following steps: prospecting, identifying needs, proposing solutions, closing the deal, and delivering the product or service. By focusing on each step and refining your approach, you can improve your odds of success and boost your bottom line.
The idea to try:
Customer journey mapping is a tried-and-tested solution for visualizing how a typical customer interacts with your brand. It can help in identifying the buyer's persona, their needs, problems, and desires. Having such kind of map can help build an effective selling process.
#3 Provide training and support to your team
As we've already mentioned, one of the most important things that you can do to boost sales is to provide continuous training and support to your team. This will help them be more successful in their interactions with current and potential customers, which can lead to more closed deals and increased revenue. In addition, providing support to your team will help them become more productive and efficient, which can also lead to higher sales totals. Make sure you are taking the time to properly train and support your team, and a positive result will not take long to come.
The idea to try:
How about organizing a knowledge-sharing conference among company employees? Thus, employees can learn new things not only about sales but also about each other. A kind of team building!
#4 Establish a system for ongoing communication
Sales teams today face an increasingly competitive landscape. To stay ahead, they need to be constantly reaching out to prospects and current customers, nurturing relationships, and closing deals. Thankfully, a variety of software tools can help with all of these tasks. Such tools range from customer relationship management (CRM) software to email marketing platforms and proposal builders.
But you shouldn't forget about your clientele. By providing your customers with a convenient way to get in touch with you, they’ll be more likely to reach out with any questions or concerns they may have. In turn, this will help you resolve any issues as quickly as possible, ensuring your customers remain loyal to your brand.
The idea to try:
Expand your reach with video conferencing for sales. Sell to anyone, anywhere with powerful video conferencing platforms, like Whoosh. This app will help you connect with potential clients in a more efficient and professional manner. As long as allow reducing travel costs and time by meeting with clients online. Moreover, Whoosh has a set of AI-powered features that will make the online selling process more comfortable and closer to real-life conversations.
#5 Empower your team to make decisions
The best sales teams are empowered to make decisions. That doesn’t mean they can do whatever they want, but rather that they have the authority to act quickly and decisively in the best interests of their company and customers. To create an empowered sales team, you need to do more than just give them a set of instructions and hope for the best. You need to set up a system that allows them to make decisions and take action quickly, without having to go through a chain of command or wait for instructions from superiors.
The idea to try:
Many useful services can help your team be more autonomous. One of the best examples is Asana, a project and task management app, that offers a virtual workspace where the entire team can distribute, check, and cooperate on various tasks.
#6 Continually review and improve work processes
Creating and training a team of salespeople is only half the battle. To grow and increase profits, you need to continually review and enhance work processes. After all, the sales process is not always successful, and failures happen.
If your sales reps are struggling, it’s time to take a step back and evaluate the work processes that got you there. Making changes to your sales process can be difficult, but it’s worth it if it means boosting your team's efficiency and effectiveness.
The idea to try:
Social media platforms are perfect for tracking your team's performance and collecting feedback from your clients. Do not spare money and time to create business pages on social networks and hire an experienced SMM manager.
#7 Celebrate successes along the way
A sales team will only be as successful as the manager allows it to be. All too often, we see managers focusing on the negative rather than the positive. As a result, their team falls short of its potential. Sales is often a tough job, so it’s important to have celebrations that focus on the wins, no matter how small they may seem.
The idea to try:
How about giving out awards or prizes for top performers? This can be done in different ways. For example, you could have a monthly or yearly award ceremony, where the best salesperson is given a prize. You could also have weekly or monthly contests, with different prizes for various levels. Such incentives can be very helpful in keeping your team going.
Conclusion: The value of building world-class sales teams
To create a world-class sales team, you need to invest in the right people, processes, and technology. By doing so, you’ll be able to drive more revenue, improve customer satisfaction, and scale your business.
And don't forget to find a powerful and up-to-date online meeting platform! If you're still not sure which one to use, start with Whoosh. We help teams work smarter, not harder.