A good sales team will often separate a flourishing business from one that is facing constant losses. Even if your company has a have a fantastic product or service, selling it is an entirely different beast. You won’t make it without the right sales team. Discover here how to create and develop the best sales team possible and how to invest in it for less than you would imagine.
What is a Sales Team?
Let’s start with the basics. At its core, a good sales team is responsible for selling your products and services and increasing those sales. That may sound very simple, but the type of sales team you need will depend on your type of business.
Are you an online business with hundreds of thousands of customers across the country? You won’t necessarily need a salesperson that goes door to door: you are going to want someone who knows how to reach a wider audience on the web. Are you primarily selling a product or service to a few key customers? You are going to want someone with good people skills that can interact with your customers and develop even stronger professional relationships.
Sales professionals also tend to specialize in certain situations. Some sales teams work great at creating sales out of nothing. If you don’t know where to start or are struggling to get your sales going, this team could turn things around. Other sales teams thrive at taking an already stable sales base and growing sales even further. These teams would work well for business owners that have solid sales but are looking to grow their business and need an extra boost.
For more information on the different professionals that make up a sales team, you can read a detailed description of them in this article from a professional growth marketing manager. Next, we are going to dive into the next question: What can your sales team do for you?
The Benefits of a Good Sales Team
There are quite a few obvious and even subtle benefits that a good sales team can bring to your business. The first and most obvious benefit is an increase in sales. More sales bring you more money, which allows you to invest in better infrastructure, better materials, and gives you some nice profits to keep you and your employees happy. However, the benefits of a sales team go far beyond simply making more money.
A good sales team will not only increase sales, it will also give you a better idea of your target audience and what will work for your business. A good sales representative will tell you which leads are worth following up on, and which are better off ignored. This will save you time and resources that can best be spent improving your business elsewhere.
The last aspect of a sales team that most business owners forget is a development of personal and professional relationships. The easiest way to gain better sales is to create a strong customer base. You want your customers to keep coming back for more, and a good sales representative can foster great relationships with your customers that will have long-lasting benefits that go beyond making more money.
How to Improve Your Sales Team
Once you get a few sales team members, your next step is figuring out how to shape them into the best sales team they can be. There are a few key things you need to do in order to set your sales team apart:
- Reach for The Stars– Logic might tell you that you should set easily achievable quotas. In reality, it is much better to set the bar extremely high. The reason being that a lofty goal will incentivize the team pushing harder and harder to get closer to reaching the goal. If the quota is set very low, once it is reached your sales team is not as likely to try and sell even more.
- Training. Training. Training- The best sales team are going to be properly trained. This training will not necessarily be on the basics of marketing or sales (although if you think that would be helpful then go for it!). Your sales team needs to know not only the market data but also everything about your business and its services or products inside and out. They need to know all of the great things your products can do while keeping in mind any limitations your business has. They also need to know what is expected of them and what your ideal way of business looks like.
- Proper Incentives- While you may not think that someone should need incentives to do their job, having good ones certainly don’t hurt. Have you ever seen a TV show where the person with the best sales gets a trip to Hawaii or a brand new car? Well, your incentives don’t have to be that crazy. There could be a simple pay bonus that the person with the highest sales receives at the end of the month. Or you could give the best parking spot to the employee with the most sales (although that might only work if everyone drives to work!). Incentives also do not necessarily have to be competitive. And don’t forget to celebrate the success of your team! Rewarding achieved goals and stellar work can boost morale and make your team want to work even harder. Giving more paid time off (like letting everyone leave early on a Friday) when goals are met means your employees will know that their hard work and dedication will be rewarded. Learn here some ways to keep your employees motivated.
Invest in a Sales Team without Investing Money
It may sound contradictory, but it’s possible and attainable. If you can’t offer you sales team a salary, or attractive incentives like the ones mentioned above, you can offer them stock options or equity in your company. But above all, the golden rule to make your sales team shine and work harder is this: they need to truly believe in your idea and in your company’s mission. If they believe in your company, your sales team members will feel inspired to go further. After all, their own success is tied to the company’s success.
Hiring interns is also an alternative to paid team members. They will be willing to work for minimum wage (or free) as long as they can boost their resume and advance their career. To hire interns, contact your local college and university career offices to post an announcement.
Another option when you can’t afford a full-time team members’ salary is using contractors or part-time employees. While the hourly salary may be high depending on their responsibilities, you don’t have to worry about paid leave or other benefits such as medical insurance. You can easily find contractors in sites like Upwork and Freelancer. Before classifying a worker as a contractor, ensure you’re in compliance with your state’s labor laws.
Lastly, you can always turn to family and close friends. Be aware that working with family members can be tricky, but when correctly managed, the benefits can surpass the challenges. Learn here how to work with family members with zero drama and 100% productivity.
How Many Members Should Your Sales Team Have?
We insist you can build an excellent sales team “for less”, and we are not talking only about money. We also refer to the number of people in your sales team. You don’t need a big team to reach more customers and sale more, as long as they are properly trained and highly motivated. When you rely on a small team, each person truly counts. It’s a fact! Have you heard about the “Ringelmann Effect”? The term refers to the tendency for individual members to become less productive as the size of a group increases. This concept was named after Maximilien Ringelmann, a French professor of agricultural engineering. In one of his experiments, he asked volunteers to perform a very simple task: to pull on a rope. He found that when only one person is pulling on the rope they give 100% of their effort; however, as more people are added, the individual effort goes down.
All this said it’s still hard to give you a specific number for your company since this will depend on various factors: the type of business you run, the product or service you offer, the size of your company, the total number of employees, etc. However, here you have some key guidelines that can help you with your math:
- Diversity: This goes for any type of team in your company. When the members of a team have different backgrounds, knowledge, and abilities, once combined they can become a powerful force.
- Coordination: Even the smallest sales team can be highly effective when properly coordinated and organized. Technology can help you with this task. For example, a good CRM system can help your sales team stay focused and organized. With features such as lead prioritization and automatic reminders, they can improve their productivity. Also, provide your sales team with mobile communication and collaboration tools. As they may spend most of the say in the field, they need to have remote access to customer and sales. You can also use technology for yourself to track performance and identify areas for improvement. The most important thing you can do to improve your sales team’s performance is to figure out how well they’re performing and then make a plan to help them do better. So you need to have a system in place that tracks sales performance.
- Balance: There must be a balance or proportion between the number of members in your sales team and other important figures in your company. Ask yourself the following questions: how many people do you currently hire in your company? How many sales you do currently have and how many do you project for the year? How old is your company? (generally speaking, the older and more established a company is, the smaller the sales team gets).
Still figuring out how big your sales team should be? At Camino Financial we can help.
While we wish that building a great sales team was as simple as doing all the mentioned above, it sadly is not. Your business is unique, and so should be your sales team. However, you can read about tips and tricks from industry experts about managing your sales team and learn new and useful techniques. And if you still have trouble figuring out how big your sales team should be, or how much you should invest in it, turn to the experts. At Camino Financial we offer you advisory and personalized solutions for your business. Talk today to a business specialist!
Success Stories From Across The Country
If you still don’t understand the importance of a sales team, take a look at these 5 stories of salespeople that turned a small business into million dollar industry figureheads. These sales stories show how far great salespeople can take your business, and also gives some important lessons that you can use to motivate your sales team.
We hope that this article has shown you how important a good sales team is to your business, as well as given you guidance on how you can build the best sales team for you. Be sure to visit the rest of our blog if you are considering investing in other areas of your business, like digital marketing. We wish you the best of luck in finding and building your sales dream team!