How Can Small Businesses Capitalize on the Strengths of Their Sales Teams?
Small businesses and start-ups cannot afford to waste time or energy. Competition is fierce and every moment wasted is a moment they use to pull further ahead. Unfortunately, that’s what you end up doing when you hire and forget your sales team.
Just because they looked good on paper doesn’t mean they’re going to perform at their best from the very start. For your small business to succeed, you must capitalize on their strengths from the beginning.
Keep Training Them
The first thing you should do when you hire someone is to train them. Just because they have experience and skill doesn’t mean they’re full suited to your company. Your small business has its own practices and systems, and they need to acclimate to them to perform at their best.
Problems arise when you train them at the start and never improve upon that. Sales techniques and company systems can change over time. Not keeping your employees’ skills up-to-date can result in an inefficient sales force. Even if somehow neither systems nor techniques change, you should still hone and improve their existing skills.
Examine Metrics Holistically
Tracking numbers is important. It informs you of how well your current systems are working. However, you shouldn’t stop the analysis at the end number. To truly understand what parts work and what parts need oiling, you have to study the whole process. Establish metrics that can determine which parts need help, such as where possible customers are lost. The more you understand how consumers go through the sales funnel, the more you can optimize both the sales process and your team.
Keep Your Eyes on the Future
The present is what matters for many small business owners. It’s hard to think about the future when business is slow and keeping the lights on seems like a herculean task. Despite how tenuous it all seems, you must keep your eyes on future developments. Don’t just have a plan for selling the product now. Think about how your current sales can power future business.
For example, customer referral programs can exponentially increase the business you get in the future, but they’re not something your sales team can just whip up on the fly. Determining importance metrics, figuring out what deals you can afford to give out, preparing scripts – these all require intent and time. Prepare for the future well, and you will reap what you sow, which in this case hopefully means more revenue.
No man succeeds alone in business, and your sales team is no exception. They won’t make it if they’re ignoring each other or worse, tearing each other down to get the top spot. They’re called a team for a reason, and not just because they’re in the same department. If they’re not greater than the sum of their parts, something is wrong.
Keep them focused on doing better than the competition, not better than each other. Have experienced members tutor new hires to get them up-to-speed as soon as possible. Give them frequent updates on what the competition is doing, then let them find solutions to it internally.
Organize Them According to Their Strengths
Your team isn’t made up of people with the same skillsets. Some people are better at cold calls, while others are great at starting and maintaining long-term relationships with clients. Recognizing who is good at what and sub-dividing the sales team is an important part of maximizing their effectiveness.
Getting the most out of your sales team is a key component of running a successful small business. If you can’t move product or get sales, you’re just spending money. Treat them like you would any important part of your company. Never stop training them. Look for ways to improve and streamline the sales process. Take care of them and they’ll take care of you and your business.