How to Improve a Sales Team

Posted by in Podcast,Sales | February 13, 2014
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In this episode of Better Business Podcast, we talk about specific ways to setup and improve a sales team and important things to implement or avoid when managing sales teams.

Full Transcript of Audio Below

We’ve transcribed the audio into text and formatted it for easy reading below. Please excuse any typos or odd wording, as this transcript is taken directly from the spoken word within the audio above.

Having and improving a sales process is important to growing your business. Proper metrics, reporting processes, team coordination, and the infrastructure to make this all possible are sometimes a challenge to “get right”. In this podcast, Randy talks about specific ways this can be done and provides things to implement or avoid when managing sales teams.

Review the Current Sales Process and Modify It

Interviewer: Hi Randy, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me today.  I’m very excited to talk to you about a specific question which is how to manage a sales team? What do you do when you go to a company, and they tell you that they have their sales process in place, and now they just need to have that, how do they structure, how do they manage their sales team, what do you typically tell them?

Randy: Well, you know many times we’re asked to come into a company, and they do say well we’ve got a process; just help us make it better. Making it better is very open ended.

One of the things that I traditionally do is I look at their process, and we’ll likely redesign that process somewhat, because we kind of take the process backwards, from

  • Where do you want to be?
  • Why are you putting a sales team in place? and
  • What are your goals?

What Systems Are In Place to Track Metrics?

So we’ll normally work from the end goal of what is it that the business owner, or the management team want  to do with the company, and growing it, and we’ll work backwards from the revenue increase in terms of

  • How many invoices there are , and
  • Literally work the cycle backwards to know how many calls a telemarketing type of a team must do per hour, per minute, whatever the  case might be.
  • We’ll look at, and generate those statistics, and those milestones that are needed to be successful, and to have a good sales process.
  • We look at the software systems they have in place, or spreadsheets, or lists, or however they’re doing their job. and
  • Most importantly, we document the process so that the whole team can be very, very clear on what’s expected of each member.

If each team member does their job, in full, and everybody knows who’s job is who’s, it just makes the whole process easier, and more successful.

Have a Contact Management System in Place

Interviewer: Great, now what types of software do you recommend – a certain CRM or do you recommend a certain set of metrics? I know you talked about that a little bit, when talking about sales calls, but is there something a little bit further you might do to work with, to manage that sales team and how they’re doing?

Randy: Yeah, we’ll look at the software, and CRM systems, and contact management systems (CMS ) they may already have.

If they don’t have them we’ll likely recommend that they do have a contact management system, or a CRM.

  • That can range anywhere from a very  simple low cost system so that they can just get the numbers, and measure, and monitor to a higher end system that will contain all the operational components for the full business model, not just the lead generation type model, or that sales generation model.

But we go into some companies that need to follow on;

  • They say we’ve made the sale and now we need to have the customer serviced, and we need to do that correctly.
  • So many times we go into companies, and they’ve done a good job in lead generation. But then their attrition of customers on the other end is too high, and that’s also because they’re not focusing on that customer service component.

In one of the other areas that’s very prevalent is; a  lot of times some of the  harder driving business owners will really focus on that external sales process, that lead generation; and they kind of forget that they also have internal components.

  • Their own team, those human beings inside that are growing that business, you need to deal with that too, and
  • You’ve got to give them the right tools, components and expectations.

Define Milestones and Monitor Performance

Interviewer: That’s great. So you know, how do you suggest that flow work with the team, in reporting, and that follow-up, and making sure that you keep that human element in there? Do you have any suggestions for that?

Randy: Yeah, what we’ll normally do is,

  • We’ll take those milestones that I mentioned before and define what those are.
  • Then on a weekly, monthly, whatever basis that fits the model that they are driving to, we’ll give the feedback, and
  • Make that feedback available to that internal team, so that they  know where they’re very strong, where they’re powerful at and most importantly; where they maybe not so powerful.

You know there’s a saying – If you fix what’s broken, all the rest works. Maybe you’re not focusing enough on it. How can you fix what’s broken, if you don’t show what’s broken? And do that in a very factual manner. That’s what we have our metrics that we measure to, and share those with the team.

Involve Team Members in The Process

Interviewer: Then I would assume it’s more based on numbers, and analytics. It’s not personal, or anything else, but it just flows. Am I understanding that correctly?

Randy: Yeah, it is, and having those defined metrics keep that very factual measurement non-personal.

People will take their job personally, and they do, but if you give them those metrics to guide themselves to, it kind of stops that personal stuff, except for the internal personal things we all have.

We want to meet our numbers, we want to be good. If we can provide those milestones for the team everybody will drive and it really becomes an easier management for the team; and for the company , and the managers.

Interviewer: Perfect. Thank you so much. Those are really great tips and a really great overview. I appreciate that. Thank you so much Randy.

Randy: Thank you.

We Are Happy To Help

If you have a sales process in place and need help to streamline it or come up with ways to make it more profitable, contact us today.  We’ll help you identify your business’s weak points and work on improving them.

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About the Author – Randy

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