5 Ways to Bring Your Sales Team into the 21st Century
Are you planning to modernize your sales team?
To ensure your business won’t end up failing, you must keep the structure of your sales team updated as time goes on. Gone are the days when the relationship between you and your employee is purely transactional. That kind of relationship is just not sustainable because there is a chance they will resent you in the long run. Instead, you should view the relationship with your employees as mutually beneficial. They will help you reach your business's goals, and you will help them gain experience in the field and advance their career.
Never make the mistake that your sales employees only need a salary. They need more than that to grow in your business. They need your support and your trust, as well.
Below are five methods to modernize your sales management. Read on and find out more:
1. Foster Meaningful One-on-One Interactions
The most definitive method of knowing your one-on-one success is to ask everyone. Talk to your sales representatives about how one-on-one interactions are helping them. To keep their confidence, always promise to ensure anonymity.
Your employees will have varying opinions about these interactions. Some might say that they dread one-on-ones, while a few look forward to them. Others could see them as part of the workday — another task to cross off their list.
The sales rep’s feelings after a one-on-one session determine its quality. A good session will leave them feeling comfortable voicing out their highs, lows, and frustrations. These sessions will cover various topics, from clients to managers.
During a good session, employees aren’t likely to watch the clock too closely. Managers listen more attentively instead of talking abruptly. At the same time, they must ask questions that help improve the management and overall culture of the company.
Examples of these questions include:
What could go better?
How can managers improve?
What should change?
These questions are hard for managers and business owners. You’re exposing your vulnerabilities to people you lead, guide, and sometimes discipline. It’s uncomfortable, but doing it consistently will make it easier.
Once it becomes a tradition, you’ll have a deeper connection with your representatives. To make the most out of these sessions, give open-ended questions. Never go for questions that you can answer with a “yes” or a “no.”
2. Hold Training Sessions Weekly
It’s a no-brainer that employee development is an important component of a successful business. However, most professionals value on-the-job training rather than college degrees. The easiest way to reach a more modern sales team is to train them often and well.
Over-stimulation is normal in our current society and it, unfortunately, results in shorter attention spans. That's why you must value your employees’ attention when they are undergoing your employee development process.
This means your training sessions each week must be interactive, interesting, and informative. A manager droning for hours to teach invaluable sales techniques like micro-moments in advertising is boring. It makes your sales reps inattentive, making them retain less information.
To determine whether your sales training is effective, it must have these qualities:
Concise training means letting employees learn within 30 to 45 minutes. Interactive training means asking them questions and encouraging them to do the same. Actionable training means having everyone roleplay and practice to apply the things they learned.
Make them repeat these practices in the following week’s training sessions. It ensures retention in the long run.
3. Make and Implement Performance Improvement Plans
As a growing sales organization, you must have a way to measure your reps’ success. It’s a definitive way of assessing their performance. If they aren’t doing well, you must have measures to make them aware of it.
It’s useless to say “you must improve on your numbers.” Doing this results in a few unproductive sales reps. It wastes your company’s resources and emphasizes spots that competent applicants can fill instead.
It’s where a Performance Improvement Plan comes in. It’s a formal email record of a sales team member’s lackluster performance. It also includes a demand for better performance within a specific period and the consequences of failure.
For example, the email could notify an employee that they haven’t achieved their goals for the last three months. Tell them that their goal is to achieve at least 75% of their quota within a specific date. Otherwise, they become candidates for termination.
4. Reward Performance Beyond Sales
Hiring the right representatives that do well in their jobs is a magnificent sight. However, you’ll start seeing some non-sales activities happening around. Here are some examples:
These are reps with longer employment history helping newer ones to improve their pitches and strategies. They do it outside work hours even when they get no monetary gain. Sometimes, they'll listen to calls and tell them what to improve and what to maintain.
These are reps that bring new and great ideas to meetings. Their tenure won’t matter since these creative minds can churn fresh strategies to improve the team’s performance.
Sales teams aren’t perfect, regardless of employee expertise. Sometimes, people do counterintuitive activities that go against your company's goals. However, instead of policing your reps, some will step up and help correct others.
Your employees may show more behaviors that help make your business more manageable. As a manager or business owner, your job is to reward them for these intangibles. Do it the same way as you would when they achieve their monthly goals.
5. Team Outings Must Forge Bonds
The best method of how to motivate sales team members is to take them on outings. Happy hours in the bar or some other location is great, but they’re nothing more but a method of blowing off steam. It’s good, but it’s often surface-level.
Let your reps forge deeper bonds through creative activities that won’t rely on alcohol. It could be anything: talent shows, laser tags, or karaoke. These outings help employees learn new things, foster teamwork, and have fun.
Put your creative juices into work and let them experience new things they can bond over.
Modernize your Sales Team Today!
Bringing your sales team to the 21st century is a challenge. It’s no longer about a relationship between employee and employer. You must give enough sales team motivation to ensure they stay and thrive in your company.
As we've discussed, providing opportunities for your employees to bolster their skills and strategies is a vital part of modernization. If you're looking for an excellent way to update your sales team's strategies and align their thinking with the most cutting-edge sales practices, consider getting them certified in inbound sales. For more details on inbound sales certification and the myriad of ways it can benefit your business, check out our blog post by following the link below.