After evaluating some of your recent performance figures, you might conclude that hiring and building a sales team is necessary for growth. However, hiring a sales team is one thing, building a winning sales team is another. To make this easier for you, I have come up with 10 best tips to kick-start your efforts in this endeavor;
1. Define the description, roles, and objectives for your sales team
Before hiring a sales team, it’s important to have a job description with clearly stated roles and objectives. This will help you to understand why you are actually hiring a sales team. The quickest way to come up with this is to look at the skills that you want to offload and those you want to keep. You might be looking for someone who goes out there and brings in customers. That’s not a very good task to do yourself as your focus should be on streamlining your company’s processes and continually refining your product as you grow the already acquired customers.
Look at what your company needs and the sales skill set that currently exists. Once you compare these and come to terms with where you want to go, it will be easier to develop your objectives for the sales team.
2. Define your sales process and strategy
It’s important to understand what processes your company will employ in its sales department. This will help you to determine what talent you need in a sales team. For instance, one sales strategy could be using product demos to demonstrate to customers why they need your product and how to use it. By knowing the sales strategy you intend to follow, you will be able to move to the next step.
3. List the behavioral qualities you need most
Once you know your sales strategy, you can come up with qualities that you need in your team. For example, say your product requires demos as discussed above, you might therefore need a very fluent speaker and a person who is patient with people. This patience is crucial for consumers who may not understand how the product works during the very first demo. If your sales strategy is to contact consumers using mobile, then you would require a people person like a customer care executive.
4. Come up with a definitive compensation plan
I discuss money issues early on because money is important to every salesperson you will want to bring on. Since you already defined your sales process and strategy, it’s easy to come up with a compensation plan for your sales talent. This can be done by way of commissions and bonuses. Alternatively, you could base this on commissions and minimum basic pay whether or not the sales reps bring in a new customer within a certain period of time, usually on a monthly basis.
As a good rule of thumb, have a base salary for your team so that they don’t have to worry about their next paycheck. Let them focus on getting those new customers instead of worrying about money.
5. Stick by your company’s culture
Culture in a startup is very central to the success of the company. In a previous article, we discussed how startups can maintain the company culture even when they continue to grow. The article can apply to you here as well so do check it out.
The bottom line is that during your hiring process, you need to find people who are willing to embrace the company’s culture. Finding people who go one step further to enrich the culture you’ve already built is even more effective. People who disrupt the way a startup does things and carries itself can be very detrimental to its growth.
6. Budget for training
Don’t hire a sales rep based on their previous successes and have high expectations of them reproducing the same results in your company. Things might not be that straightforward. The product is different, and so is the company, the customers your sales reps are going for, and the environment.
With so many things being different, the only surefire way to ensure your team will reproduce their heroics at previous companies is by investing in their training. Build their skills further and customize these skills to the needs of your company. Make sure to educate your new sales team on how to find possible customers, how to stick by your sales strategy and finesse it. Provide feedback and never stop coaching them on how to be better. Remember, training is an ongoing process as is learning.
7. Be quick to fire
You don’t want dead logs in your team. If the person doesn’t have results to show, fire them. Very fast.
That’s because in sales and marketing, time is of the utmost essence. The more time you waste with an unproductive salesperson, the more money you lose, and the more customers go to your competitors.
Some people are very good on paper and theoretically during the hiring process. They are also good at pleasing you so that they can get that job. Once the job is there, days come and go, and they have nothing to show for it. Don’t tolerate such people.
8. Do a lot of communicating
Communication between you and your sales team should be consistent. Communicate any news quickly to avoid having things falling through the cracks.
Don’t leave issues sitting there for weeks unaddressed.
Don’t leave your sales team guessing.
Great communication is an important part of building an effective sales team.
9. Develop metrics for success
Having metrics that you can hold your team to will go a long way in keeping your team accountable and defining their milestones. Let the team send you daily or weekly reports and stats on how they are progressing. Don’t skip this step, no matter what.
When your team meets specific targets, give them little bonuses.
10. Read widely
There are lots of bestselling titles that show you how to build winning sales teams for your growing company. Get these books and read them in plenty, learn from them and implement what you deem fit into your sales team. You can never go wrong in learning a lot about anything. The more well-read you are, the easier it will be to solve everyday problems in your company and build a more effective sales team.
11. Invest in quality PR
Yes, you heard that right. PR isn’t only ideal for attracting customers to buy your products and services. In addition to that, good PR helps you capture the attention of qualified job seekers. After all, everyone wants to work at a company that has a positive brand identity, and this is exactly what PR helps with.
At the same time, we understand that as a startup founder you might have your hands full with the day-to-day running of your business. Adding PR responsibilities to your already overflowing plate might be challenging. It is for this exact reason that Pressfarm exists. The skilled team at Pressfarm has partnered with several startup founders over the years to build a memorable public image. By creating quality content like press releases and guest posts and distributing this content widely, the experts at Pressfarm can help boost your credibility in the industry. More importantly, by putting this content in the right place when it matters, Pressfarm can help you earn trust among your target audience. This trust would go a long way toward helping your sales team convert more leads into buyers.
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