Managing a sales team is not easy. Like other sales managers, you keep looking for some ways to boost productivity and end up with some tricky solutions.
We often read that effective management means to provide training, equip sales reps with tools, and then check the numbers. It is not that easy. The way you manage can either inspire them to outperform or crush their morale. You need to be clear with your techniques, the ways you help them achieve goals, and inspire them to strive for more.
It can be challenging to know what your sales team requires from you and what challenges they are facing. Therefore, we have compiled these strategies to help you lead your sales team to success. Before that, here is a quick list of common reasons that hamper the progress of the sales team.
Reasons Your Sales Team is Under-Performing
Do you know 66% of salespeople fail to reach their quotas?
You might think it is because of having the wrong people on the team or lack of motivation. However, there are infinite reasons why your sales team is not achieving targets. A few reasons they are not performing at peak level are:
- They have poor communication
- They don’t know how to use technological
- They receive inadequate training
- Inconsistent follow-up
- They don’t know about your products/services.
- They lack motivation
- They have limited access to the
- They operate without the sales
And the list goes on.
It can be overwhelming for a sales manager to handle the team, especially when they have high targets and goals to achieve. You can’t keep losing employees and hiring new ones. The estimates even say that this losing and hiring game can cost you 200% of an employee’s salary.
However, achieving efficiency is not just about adhering to company policies and making quotas. It’s more than that. To achieve real success, you need to lead your team, motivate them to perform better. Tools like Dynamics CRM mapping extension can help you a lot.
How Can you Manage it?
With these 7 steps, you can boost the sales team’s productivity.
1. Set Realistic Goals
Clarifying your targets, goals, and vision is the first step towards business success. If your sales team doesn’t know whom, how, and why they’re supposed to target, they won’t be able to achieve more.
Explain to them your sales objectives; set high expectations but realistic. The best way to do so is to break down your goals into individual members and the team. What each one of them is expected to do, which area they are supposed to target, and so on. Dynamics CRM map integration is a solution that can help you assign the leads and areas to your sales rep directly from your CRM.
Besides setting sales goals, measure calls, emails, team meetings, etc. It would give you an overall idea of where the business is heading. Weekly targets and reports would be a better option to start with. If every member of your team can view the activity and each other’s targets, the chances are they would strive for more.
As said before, keep it realistic. It’s better to attain 60% of accomplished goals (converting leads to customers) than 100% of modest goals (only leads).
2. Avoid Micromanaging
How do you manage your sales team? Do you keep checking up on them every hour?
If yes, then it’s wrong. Checking up on your sales team is not wrong but every hour stifles your sales rep. To report you every instance, they distract themselves from the lead and the work they’re supposed to be doing. This results in no target hit.
Instead of calling them and tracking their every movement, discuss the goals once. Ask for the results at the end of the day or other defined time. Though asking if they are stuck somewhere once or twice is a separate thing and you, as a manager, should do that.
If you want to know what your team is doing, and how your sales reps are performing on the field, choose the smart way. A tool like Microsoft Dynamics CRM Mapping can help you track your reps live, without hovering.
3. Nurture the Culture
See how your company culture impacts your employees. After all, it is one of the most important factors for job seekers.
We know you can’t calculate it in numbers like total sale and leads. Though there are ways, you can ensure that you provide a culture that exhibits high performance. Here’s what you should focus on:
- Work ethic
- Timely appraisals
- Fair compensation and awards
- Team bonding
- Constant feedback
- No tolerance for unprofessional behavior And more…
Every organization has distinct ways of dealing with these. For example, a few companies prefer
monthly performance certification while others choose to go with annual performance awards. The key is to motivate and fuel the employees to achieve more. How you do it can vary. Suggestions from your employees can help you implement a healthy culture.
While setting the cultural tone, as a sales manager, you need to ensure that every sales rep adheres to the policies and rules. Teach them the subtleties of working in an organization and how to deal with it.
Importantly, be a strong leader; provide opportunities and a positive environment.
4. Provide Quality Training
Let’s face it: Your sales team lacks some skills or doesn’t have good training sessions. You need to provide them with professional training to hone their skills, guide them through the sales procedure, and inspire them to turn more leads.
It’s a must. If your team does not understand the product, they won’t be able to get the customers to make a purchase. Barely 13% of customers believe a salesperson can understand their needs.
Organize weekly training sessions for interns and new joinees. A monthly or quarterly training and development session would be better for senior sales reps. In those sessions, you can train them about the new tactics, market strategies, new products, and other desired skills like handling sales tools. As salespeople spend most of the time conversing with the prospects and leads, organizing soft skills training would be an advantage. You can also arrange personal skill training such as a meditation session for concentration and relaxation, after all dealing with humans is distressing.
To ensure that your sales team is learning and getting valuable inputs from the training, ask for feedback. It would help you avoid wasting time and efforts on methods that don’t add value.
5. Promote Transparency
Transparency means every person on the team knows one another’s performance and how the issues are addressed. It also means understanding what the sales reps are doing to coach them correctly. Visibility and transparency together create a sense of accountability and ownership in the employee. This combination, in turn, gives them a confidence boost.
Fortunately, some tools can help you view and analyze the data from one place. You can manage your sales team’s activities and enhance team productivity with Microsoft Dynamics CRM map integration. Dashboard can display all the sales in one place.
Effective management also means tracking sales metrics like the number of calls, time spent on cold calling, and how much time sales reps spent on selling. Tools like Dynamics CRM mapping can equip you with heat maps to visualize the sales result. Along with lead count, also keep a check on lead response time, opportunity win rate, cost per acquisition, and customer lifetime value.
Use these numbers to identify trends and present opportunities for the sales team.
6. Foster Communication
We know one-to-one communication can be challenging, but it’s not a big deal. Besides, having a one-to-one and team interaction will create a space for creative ideas, learning strengths, skills, and interest of an individual. It will encourage employees to ask for guidance.
Many times, it happens that your sales rep is struggling with the sales tool but is not asking for aid. This friendly environment will give them room to ask for help without hesitation. It will motivate them to speak, bring their opinions and ideas on the table. As a manager, you can analyze your employees’ strengths and weaknesses and figure out the way to make them better.
Communication would also play a significant role in forging alignment between sales and marketing team. We know that customer shopping behavior has changed with digitalization. Until a sales rep reaches them, they are already halfway on the buying decision. Not to blame the sales reps, it is the power of marketing. It creates a huge impact on the customer, proffering sales reps with little room to turn them to leads.
For this reason, the sales and marketing team must work together. Moreover, what could be better than healthy communication with the team?
7. Use Productive Tools
Do you have the proper tools to manage and track your business? Does your sales team spend more time on spreadsheets? How do you identify your leads? Do you have a CRM system?
The reason for asking these questions is that you need a tool to connect with your team. You cannot let your sales team spend 4 hours on entering data on Excel and an hour on doing the actual thing, i.e. sell the product. Besides, email is not enough to keep the communication going or update about an upcoming meeting. Calendar invites and phone notifications may go unnoticed.
To manage all this, you and your team need a tool, just like a CRM system that would track all the details of the employees, customers, leads, sales, etc. You need one that would also keep the members updated with meetings and deadlines. A Dynamics CRM map integration would make sure that your sales rep never misses an appointment. It would give you an overview of daily tasks, schedules and more.
Lead the Team
Last but not least, step out of your manager shoes and take in the leadership roles. Managing a sales team is unlike managing other teams at a certain level. Only a leader can understand the needs and provide support by prioritizing them, valuing their work, motivating them, and supporting them on the way.
Be the one who leads not the one who tracks.