As the force that drives your customer acquisition, your sales team plays a big part in the growth of your business. In fact, without an effective sales team, most companies wouldn’t survive. It comes as no surprise then that top sales directors put no small amount of effort into finding the best salespeople out there. We all know the type – super confident , extremely driven, and customer focused. But, surely there’s more to an effective sales team that just hiring these persuasive sharp-shooters?
Well, yes. Despite being very good at what they do, your top performers are still ordinary people. They still only have two legs and two arms, and can only perform a very limited number of tasks at the same time.My point? Make sure they are spending their time and energy on tasks where their efforts will count the most. Your salespeople are good at selling – not admin and not generating leads – but selling.
To help your sales team be the best that they can be, you need to make sure that the vast majority of their time is spent wooing customers and that they have the best resources possible. How do you make this happen? Here we have some tips:
Fine-tune your lead generation and qualification processes
You might be tempted to encourage your marketing team to generate as many leads as possible. But such an approach would cost your sales team their time and their sanity. They would waste much of their time chasing leads who have no need for your product, and your business would develop a reputation for misdirected cold calls. The point is that quantity is of no significance if the quality of your leads is not good enough. Make sure to get your marketing team on board so that they know what kind of leads your sales team really needs. The handover process shared by both sales and marketing should involve a lead-scoring system to qualify leads who are ready for sales.
Use data effectively
One of the surest ways to improve the performance of your sales team is to give them quality data. Bear in mind, data comes in two types: performance data and contact data. Both are useful, but, while it takes time to accumulate and analyse performance data, contact data is something that can be improved almost instantly. Consider your customer database. When was the last time it was updated and cleansed? Given that data deteriorates at up to 30% a year, how much of that data do you think is still valid? Now imagine how much time your team is wasting on dead end calls. Before you do anything else, cleanse that database.
Mobile communication and collaboration tools
There’s a myriad of innovative new sales tools to streamline processes, and you need to arm your team with the latest and greatest if you don’t want to give your competitors an advantage. Of course, technology is only an advantage when it is used properly, and the proper use of your sales tools has to be incorporated into your processes and best practices if these tools are to give your sales team an edge. Consider your goals and how the tools at your disposal can help you achieve them. And remember, you want to free up your sales team’s time so that they can get more face time with their prospects. Any technology which does not help them in this way is probably not going to be worth what you pay for it.
Conduct year-round training
The best sales teams are continuously upskilling their team members. Such instruction and knowledge sharing can cover topics ranging form technical training on products and services to sales process training and the sharing of insights. However, before you get carried away, remember that the development of effective training programs is guided by any weaknesses or opportunities for improvement. This kind of targeted upskilling both motivates top performers and turns average salespeople into top performers themselves, providing measurable ROI from your training efforts.
There are many ways to give your sales team a competitive advantage, and while some, like qualification processes and training might take some time before they deliver results, others, like improving your data, can improve your sales team’s performance right now. To learn more about how optimised data improves your sales team’s efficiency and effectiveness, you can download our data guide, an eBook that explains the ability of qualitymarketing data to drive sales growth.