Building a successful sales team starts with implementing the right recruiting, onboarding and training programs. You can’t just hire anyone and expect them to sell; they need to be able to effectively communicate and interact with your customers in order to earn their trust. These are the do’s and don’ts of building a successful sales team.
Do: Define what success looks like
Success looks different for every business, so before you start building your sales team, take the time to define what success looks like to your business. For example: are you looking to grow your customer base by 10%? Are you looking to increase revenue by $10 million? Are you trying to cut down on operational costs? Once you have an idea of what success will look like, it'll be easier for you and your team know whether or not they're successful.
Do: Start with the right people
Too many businesses make the mistake of hiring based on enthusiasm or who they think will be the best fit. This is how you end up with a sales team full of people who are not passionate about what they do, and frankly, don't care. Hire the right people and your business will take off.
Do: Train, train, train
When building your sales team, you want to train them well in order to form the best possible relationships with potential clients. A well-trained sales consultant will also be able to provide better customer service than an inexperienced one. Train your team how to use each product or service as well as how to answer any questions about it.
Do: Set clear expectations
It can be helpful to have formalized expectations for your team, but it also helps to make sure everyone understands what is expected from them. It is important to set clear expectations for the sales consultants on your team, including developing guidelines for things like goals and quotas. Consistent communication from the top of the company is key in order to ensure that all staff members understand their role in the company.
Don't micromanage your sales team. You want them to be empowered to make decisions on the fly. Micromanagement will stifle their creativity and ability to meet the needs of customers.
Don't: Set unrealistic goals
If you set unrealistic goals for your sales team, the chances of them succeeding will be slim to none. This is because it takes time to learn how to sell effectively. Setting unrealistic expectations will only lead to disappointment. Plus, if your team doesn’t feel motivated or supported, they may leave before ever reaching their potential.
Don't: Forget about culture
When hiring sales consultants, it is important to consider the culture of your company. You want people who are happy to be there, so take into account the environment in which they will be working. At Patten Solutions, for example, we have lunch every day with our colleagues to get to know each other better. We also have an open office layout so that everyone is visible and can talk with each other freely.
Don't: punish failure
One of the biggest mistakes sales managers make is to punish failure. Asking questions, being open to feedback, and offering constructive criticism should be the focus instead. Sales consulting can help you build a successful sales team.