Building a sales team is a complex process depending on several factors. It’s incredibly challenging if you establish it from scratch with high efficiency. When creating the structure and functions of the sales department from scratch, there is a risk of getting lost in the details. The primary efforts should be focused on the key factors that will ensure the performance of the main tasks of the sales department. Let’s dive in.
Before we get down to creating a successful sales team, let’s get the theory straight. According to the sales team definition, it is a business department that aims to generate profits for the company by negotiating with leads from first contact to closing the deal. In other words, the sales manager’s goal is to enter into a conversation with potential and regular customers, sell them the company’s products, conclude contracts and receive payments to provide the company with income.
One salesperson who holds everything together is enough for a business at the start. This is a good solution, especially if the person is talented and well-motivated. But as the company develops, there is often a need to create a whole sales team. How to understand that you are in need and what steps to take when forming it.
We’ve prepared three factors that indicate you should create a sales team.
- Poor feedback on customer service. Sales rates have dropped significantly, and the specialist can’t do the job alone.
- Constant turnover of managers. To retain the base of regular customers, work with them should be carried out continuously and fully understand their current position in the funnel.
- Increased demand, with which one specialist can no longer cope. A salesperson simply does not have time to process so many requests at once, which is how many customers are lost.
All of the above means that it is time to create a team.
First, you need to understand what results you expect in the end. This will determine how you approach your work. If you do not set ambitious global goals, it is enough to designate a certain amount at location B. If you seek to become an unconditional leader in your industry, you need to make an effort.
- What results would you like to achieve?
- What kind of expansion do you envision for the company?
For example, the team’s goal is a monthly increase in sales by 7% and stable customer loyalty.
The most common sales department structure contains three levels, each with a separate block of tasks: searching for new customers, handling incoming traffic, and serving regular customers. This option can increase the speed of work and minimize costs. The competent work of the head of the department, whose tasks include planning sales and preparing reports for the higher level or owners of the company, is of great importance here.
It is necessary to make a real financial scheme of action, thought out in detail. You can’t organize a sales team without the expenses. The plan should include:
- Indication of the total amount of all costs;
- Breakdown of costs by period;
- Data on one-time expenses.
You have to build an algorithm of interactions between different departments of your company. The sales team will be at least in contact with marketing and accounting. Think of the best ways to bring them together and how you can organize them.
The list of tools that can be used to automate the work of the sales department today is so long that any professional can get confused trying to make a choice. A CRM system like Zoho will help to record all actions in the sales funnel and store information about your leads and customers. Whoosh, a video conferencing service, will be able to make text, audio, and video recordings of conversations between managers and clients and schedule meetings. Cloud storage, like Dropbox, will keep all the necessary documentation in one place, allowing you to segment it by access levels. All you have to do is choose the solutions that will make your sales team more efficient.
Managers should report milestones and micro-wins if they want to motivate a team. When they communicate this to their employees, they become enthusiastic. You shouldn’t forget about financial motivation either. This is especially true for salespeople who bring thousands of dollars to your company. The motivation doesn’t have to be complicated. On the contrary, it is better to offer a straightforward one so that any manager can instantly evaluate what they can get.
You should first determine who you want to see on your sales team. Plan what tasks the new employee should do and what education would help them to achieve this. We also advise paying attention to experience, references, and the ability to learn and sell.
Hiring is only half the battle. A good salesman learns throughout a lifetime. You must develop a training plan for your employees. For starters, it should be a complete introduction to your company’s product, a sales funnel, customer profile, script, and tone of voice. In the future, develop an ongoing training plan. Use role-playing with real-life situations, call recording, various product and service tests, screencasts from more experienced employees or guest sales stars, classic and digital books, podcasts and webinars, and regular training meetings for small workshops and sharing experiences.
Remember that building an effective sales team is a long and thorny road, where you will learn from your own mistakes and cases of other companies and, sooner or later, create the team of your dreams. Good luck!