Successful sales are the building blocks of your business’ success and drivers of the business growth. For first-time entrepreneurs whose businesses are in the startup stage, the task of building a sales team becomes even more daunting.
The entrepreneur’s guide to building a successful sales team
They either do not know how to sell themselves or are unaware of how to manage salespeople and build a successful sales team. These scenarios can serve to be problematic for entrepreneurs as sales are essentially the lifeblood of all businesses irrespective of the industry verticals your business is operating in. .
Step 1: Understand the sales cycle
When creating a successful sales team and process, you must first and foremost fully involve yourself by engaging in the sales cycle. See the ebbs and flows to fully understand what’s needed. Only by involving yourself in the sales cycle you train and develop a team that understands the challenges and requirements.
Step 2: Hiring the right team
When building a successful sales team, identify your current clients and your prospective clients and assets – then comprehend what type of individual they would want to meet with. This will help narrow down your list on which individuals you are willing to hire. A non-tangible factor to look for in a prospective employee is empathy, along with someone who is teachable. If your employee lacks empathy, then they won’t care about your clients as it is something that cannot be taught. And if they are unteachable then they have no chance of taking your company to new heights.
Step 3: Develop a repeatable hiring process
Every single addition to your sales team has long term ramifications to your sales effectiveness. Having a well thought out hiring strategy and formulating a repeatable hiring process ensures that the people you hire are the right fit for your team. Shortlist the roles that you need to hire first. An innate understanding of your business is crucial to attract the right talent for each role, shortlist and hire the right candidates and successfully onboard them within your organization.
Step 4: Design an effective compensation plans
When you are first starting out you want highly motivated sales reps on your team to take your business to the next level. Sales compensation plans can be a driving force in motivating your sales team to win more deals and drive more results. The performance of your sales team is tied directly to the compensation structure you draft so make sure that the pay and other benefits you offer is lucrative for the sales reps. Whether you are offering commissions, base salary, bonuses or a combination of these, the compensation plan and the benefits offered should be easily comprehensible by the new hires to keep them motivated.
Step 5: Ensure access to the right tools to succeed
Having the best people in your team can only take you so far. If they don’t have the right tools to help them succeed, you likely won’t get the desired results. Whether it is an analytics software to keep track of the KPIs (key performance indicators) or CRM (customer relationship management) software to keep track of all the deals within the sales pipeline, you need to ensure your sales team has the access to the technology tools it needs to succeed and improve their sales performance.
Step 6: Keep training and development integral to the sales team
Access to growth opportunities is a great motivator to the sales team and in order to navigate the constantly evolving business scenarios, training and development opportunities are a lucrative affair. Ensuring that your sales reps get access to learning opportunities also has immense business benefits as well. It keeps the skills of your sales team sharpened and empowers them to excel at closing more deals effectively. Once you have selected the right individual it’s important to train them properly.
Hiring the right people for your business
Before you successfully add the right people to your team, you need to come up with your list of requirements. Define the specific set of skills, level of experience that you require in your sales reps. Determine if you are looking for a generalist who can effortlessly don multiple hats or a specialist who is an expert in one particular field in sales.
Once you have a clearly defined picture of the role that requires filling, the next task on hand is shortlisting the candidates who you consider a right fit for the role. How do you ensure that the person you are considering is the right fit?
As an entrepreneur, you need to ask yourself these questions before you make the decision to hire.
- Would I buy from this person?
- What leads me to believe that this person will be as successful or more successful as me in selling my solution?
- How can I nurture this person to achieve their full potential?
The individual you hire must have the necessary drive and passion for selling and or experience.
To be successful in sales, you need to be somewhat of a self-starter as oftentimes salespeople get a lot of autonomy. Have the internal motivation needed to close deals and motivation can be for money or simply recognition. Some salespeople are notorious for running around in circles and never closing deals. Make sure your salespeople are also closing deals and collecting checks.
Want to ensure that your business is set up for succeeding at sales? Our expert consultants are just a call away.