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Optimising sales team performance


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  • 1. Optimise sales team performance It’s now more than ever that you need to ensure that collectively and individually your sales team is performing to its best ability. Yes we know is hard making sales at the moment but that they way it is how to make sure that we are using every tool in the box to obtain those sales. One of our advisors worked for a large global company with a dedicated UK sales team. The sales team was split into a Northern sales team and a Southern sales team. During the recession in the early 90’s the Southern sale team struggled badly because in the past sales had been so good with orders taken mainly over the phone with little need for any real sales skills they had become expensive order takers. The Northern sales team fair better because the economy in the North had been less buoyant and they had use all their sales skills to get the business. Management had taken their eye of the ball despite having sophisticated sales management and most of the Southern team lost their jobs and more importantly it took time to recover the lost sales. Targets Set targets which are measured and achievable for the team and its members who focus on margin and profitability. Have regular sales meeting every week either face to face or by phone to discuss with the team what they believe the next week’s sales, next months and 3 month sales pipe line looks like, identifying problems, concerns or issues that stop them achieving their targets. Selling Ensure that your sales team is selling benefits not features. Make sure that everybody in the business who might come into contact with customers and potential customers realise that they are part of the sales team and the need to act accordingly. Skills and Experience Recruiting a sales team is never easy they look good on paper but can they really deliver. Checking their skills and experience is essential and their ability and record to hit target. Obtain references from at least 3 companies that the candidate has worked at don’t be “fobbed off” with they work here and there where on time reference. Specific company and product skills might have to be taught in-house and it does no harm to run induction sales orientation course imbedded with the processes and procedures of your business and also find how it was done in their previous businesses you might learn something. Continuous training is essential to ensure your sales team has the right skills to ensure they can deliver the business you want. Management
  • 2. Ensure that organisational structure supports the sales team by having a sales manager to control the sales team this is not a part time role for the business owner its need somebody’s full attention. Split your sales team into account management and business development some of your ream will be better at one or the other function play to their strengths. The two sales functions require different attitudes and skills. Specifically allocation accounts to an individual sales person allowing them to build a close working relationship with the customer and potential customers. Introduce structure territory management to maximise efficiency, reduce cost and maximise on territory time with customers and potential customers. Have a structured customer plan detailing every that is known about the customer: its revenue potential, its buying process, the decision makers, part they play in the decision and their motivation, important dates ie when a contract is up for renewal, your competitors and their relationship with the customer, the customers suppliers and their customers and detail the frequency they are going to be contacted by email, phone and face to face. Introduce a sales structure that reflects the way you business interfaces with customers, how they order, the value they order and complexity of the sale ie you might have need to have a dedicated telesales team, a direct sales team and an internet sales team. One shape does not fit all. Salary and Commission Make sure your pay, commission and bonus structure motives your sales team to bring in profitable business and claw back commission when the sale falls through or customer fails to pay. Support Support the sales teams by providing the information and data that allows them to sell more efficiently. Record Keeping Keep a record of every communication with customers or potential customers it’s vital that all information about the relationship with the customers etc is held centrally which is accessible to all departments that interface with them. A useful system which we have mentioned in previous Viewpoints is CRM – customer relationship management. New Mindset has the experience to support you to optimise your sales force to deliver growth and profits. Contact Andy Hamer on 01276 537 282 or email for a no obligation discussion