As the market continues to evolve, the smartest business executives realize that launching a great product or service is only half the battle. Creating a powerful sales team is key to upholding your brand, maintaining a positive image, as well as bringing the sales process to fruition.
In our experience, some companies work very hard to bring a new product to market while refusing to invest the sufficient amount of time and effort in sales. This is a big mistake, which may ultimately result in failure. Simply put, your product, no matter how useful or innovative, is only a small element of your overall business strategy. Unless you are a large organization with a huge marketing budget or sell primarily through various retail channels, it is critical to have a powerful and well-developed sales team to turn your endeavors into a success.
Below you will find the most practical and field-tested advice on how to put together a successful sales team that will help you build profits and propel your business forward.
1. Hire the right sales people to bring your product to market
The first step to hiring the right person for the job is outline the most essential skills, talents and capabilities required to sell your product. Are you looking for a closer or someone with a consultative approach? Do you need a friendly and outgoing individual, with a sense of humor and high energy level, or are you looking for someone with a proven track record of sales success, solid reputation and impressive educational credentials?
During the interview process, every HR manager should properly describe their organizational culture and all the nuances of the job. In addition, they need to clarify what their specific needs, values and performance expectations are. It’s also important to mention compensation packages and all the sales tools and training new hires are going to get.
Quite often, you have to rely on your instincts to determine whether the person sitting in front of you is a great fit and would feel comfortable working for your company, dealing with your colleagues and selling your products/services.
2. Invest in sales training
When it comes to sales, the learning never ends. According to our most recent research findings, the sales landscape has dramatically evolved, making it harder than ever to connect with prospects, build trust and close the deal. Therefore, the sales professionals who get proper training and keep abreast of all the latest sales trends and developments, are more likely to rise to the top of the game and achieve their full potential. And it’s the top performers who should act as your brand ambassadors and tell the world about your products or services.
3. Do not overlook the importance of sales coaching
Sadly, due to time constraints or a heavy workload, some sales professionals ignore the significance of sales coaching. In our experience, effective coaching can boost morale and bring out the best in salespeople. What every sales manager should know is that a systematic and ongoing dialogue, regular support, and frequent feedback can make all the difference and lead the sales team towards peak performance.
Additionally, every organization needs to implement a new salesperson on-boarding plan allowing new hires to adjust faster, learn new policies, embrace the learning curve, and fully understand the products and services they are going to sell.
4. Measure the outcomes of your sales process
Another important aspect of building your sales force is to establish key performance indicators (also known as quantifiable measurements or benchmarks), to ensure that your salespeople are doing all the things they need to do in order to be successful. Once you clearly identify your mission and your major organizational goals, you need to measure progress towards these goals. In addition, you need to set specific targets for each Key Performance Indicator (KPI) and carefully measure against these targets. Always remember: if you don’t have mechanisms in place to measure, assess and evaluate the performance of your salespeople, you may not be able to figure out if they are operating at peak efficiency.
Bottom line: While working hard on creating, testing and launching a new product or service, companies should invest an equal amount of time into training their sales professionals, building strong sales teams and nurturing best sales practices. The reason is simple: the efforts of your salespeople lie at the core of your business success, and a great product can mean very little without the right right team selling it.