Ah, sales: it’s what so much of business is all about. As much as we’d all like to believe that promotional products just sell themselves, a superstar selling team is essential for converting passing interest in promos into repeat orders for your business.
Have a Plan
When it comes to managing a sales team, it’s imperative to have a plan. Flying by the seat of your pants is a recipe for disaster. But don’t worry – it doesn’t have to be complicated! There are three simple questions you need to ask yourself to build a solid sales strategy:
- Where does the business stand right now?
- What are your goals for your team, sales and otherwise?
- How do you want to accomplish those goals?
Once you have an idea of what you want to accomplish and how to do it, constructing a plan is easy – you just have to connect the dots. To really help your sales team shine, though, go the extra mile and help your salespeople craft personalized sales plans. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of your team and help each salesperson achieve their highest potential by playing to their strengths.
When it comes to expectations, there are two key things to consider: setting and managing. Clear expectations are essential to running your team well. Once you have a plan (or plans, if you’re doing individual plans for your salespeople) in place, setting those expectations is simple: give your team goals and let them know how you’d like them to meet those goals.
Managing expectations is just as important as setting them. Make sure your team knows what the stakes are for their goals – what happens when they meet their goals? What about when they don’t? If everyone has a clear picture of their expectations and the corresponding rewards and ramifications, your team will likely run much smoother.
Keep an open line of communication with your team and help your salespeople stay up to date on goals, metrics, and other happenings. By communicating clearly and often, you can ensure that your entire team is on the same page and easily see what and who might need a little extra attention.
Instant messaging is a great way to stay in touch and improve communication with your team. With SAGE Chat, you can message with your team members and even send products and searches directly from SAGE. Your salespeople can also chat with suppliers to get quotes, proofs, and more in a instant. Make your job and your teams’ easier by staying in communication with each other via SAGE Chat.
Utilize Team Management Tools
Help everyone on your team see how things are progressing by using a team management tool. Some managers keep track of everything on a whiteboard or a virtual leaderboard. Others send weekly emails outlining progress toward sales goals. While those are all great options if they work for you, gathering all the information and making it presentable for your team can be very time-consuming.
With a tool like the Project Management module in SAGE, you can help your team see all your projects and orders at-a-glance, improving team communication and transparency. Because the Project Management module connects with all other areas of SAGE, including the CRM and Order Management modules, they’ll be able to quickly tell what clients have been taken care of and who still needs to be contacted.
Keep Your Eye on the Prize
Sales is a results-driven field. To manage your sales team well, you’ll need to keep your eye on the prize. Create a team environment that values transparency and is oriented around your overall goals. Help foster that environment by emphasizing the positive outcomes you’re all working towards and empowering your salespeople with the tools and education they need to succeed. It’s leadership 101 that your team will follow the example you set. If you’re focused on getting results, your salespeople will be too.
Never Stop Learning
Good managers know that they can always improve and constantly strive to be better. To manage your team to the top of their potential, you can never stop learning and growing. Industries change over time, and if you let your mindset get too locked in, you’ll fall out of touch with your team. At the same time, it’s important that you encourage continued learning for your team. Don’t just train them once and set them loose – comprehensive training means continued support. Give your salespeople continuing education opportunities to help them be the best they can be.
Managing a sales team can be a challenge, but you’ll be ready to lead your team to sales success with these tips and tools at your disposal. Read more about how to support your team with our blogs on motivation, mindfulness, and burnout.