If sales (read revenue) is at the heart of your business, your sales management process is what keeps it beating. To keep the pipeline flowing, this process must be in constant, efficient motion.
Some have tried quick tricks to improve their sales management processes, infusing funds or focusing on individual sales reps for fast results. However, these methods only produce a flash in the pan. Lasting change requires an in-depth look at your sales process and its team culture. These tips will help you examine your sales management process and team dynamic for permanent improvement.
1. Have a standardized process
Before improving your process, you need to have one. You may think you’ve got a certain flow, but if you’re the only one aware of it, it’s useless. Your whole team needs to be on the same page—all the time. For this to happen, you need a documented process that includes a defined pipeline and specific approaches for qualifying leads, following up, and closing deals.
2. Set clear KPIs
Setting clear goals will help your reps know what you expect of them. Your KPIs should be both qualitative and quantitative. Quantitative goals should be spelled out: number of closings, leads generated, or other stats in a specific time frame. Qualitative goals encompass knowledge of industry, habits, attitude, and similar intangibles. Setting and following up on these goals requires meeting personally with reps on a regular basis.
3. Train your reps
Once you have a defined process, train everyone on how to execute it. This does not mean each rep will do everything in the same way, but each should be working within the same framework. You may hear grumblings, but it is important for your team to be on the same page. This way, as issues arise, you will be able to easily assess and identify ways for improvement.
4. Provide support
Initial training is important, but it has a higher impact when paired with coaching and mentorship. Each member of your sales team should have someone providing individualized support. Mentors can call on mentees to rehearse their pitches and analyze their meetings, and follow up with advice and encouragement. This meaningful feedback leads to positive, confident salespeople, which translates to higher sales success.
5. Work as a team
Sales tends to be a competitive environment, causing many to be secretive about their practices. However, a high performing sales team actually works as a team. Information should be shared often and accurately through a streamlined reporting process. Do your part to encourage the team dynamic by providing times for team development (doing charity work, happy hours, sporting events). These “non-work” times build a positive culture, leading to better communication.
6. Connect and motivate
As part of mentoring, you as the sales manager should get to know each of your team members. Regular communication through formal meetings and quick stop-ins show your team you’re invested in them as individual people, not just employees. Building these relationships also helps you know the strengths and weaknesses of each team member—which helps you put the right person in the right place to make the sale.
7. Show gratitude
A little goes a long way. A simple word of thanks for extra effort on a sale can make a difference. Take out time to publicly recognize individual and team efforts. Celebrating your wins boosts morale, motivating your team to work hard. You’ll find this motivation is the most effective tool in achieving your sales goals.
Although these tips focus on sales management, the ultimate goal is to move from managing to leading your team. Clear and consistent communication is key, as is making connections and building relationships with and among your sales team.
At NuGrowth, we know the importance of building a positive culture, which is why we get to know our clients’ unique strengths and weaknesses. Our experienced team takes our drilled down processes and adapts them for each business’ individual needs. We also provide the training, mentoring, and coaching you need to improve your sales management process.
To learn more about what NuGrowth can do for your business, contact us at 800.966.3051 or fill out our simple contact form today.