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September 26, 2016

How to Manage a Sales Team

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sales managementNo matter how good your product or service is, your sales team is an integral part of getting it into your customers’ hands. For this reason, it is important to make sure that they are given the proper attention. As the sales team manager, it is your job to make sure that they are achieving their goals, but just as importantly, it is your job to make sure that the team’s culture is healthy and that they are receiving the proper training. Below, we go through some practices you can follow to ensure their success:

Monitor performance indicators and make sure they are clear

Your sales team needs a clear picture of exactly what their goals should be. This will help them to focus their efforts and give them a target they can reach for. As time goes on, it can be easy to assume that everyone knows these goals, so it’s a good idea to articulate them regularly to ensure that your entire team is on the same page and working towards the same end. Keep track of these measurables and work with team members who may be struggling in order to help them to reach their goals. While you shouldn’t let underperformance slide, management and other team members should work with them to help them figure out what to do to meet their goals and improve their processes moving forward.

Build a culture that encourages success

Set high expectations from the beginning. People tend to deliver based upon the expectations set upon them, and if you act as though your sales team will perform poorly, chances are that you will be proven right. At the same time, if you set your expectations high, it is likely that they will rise to the occasion.

Creating a strong team culture also involves building relationships between team members. Building a cutthroat environment where team members are always looking to succeed at the expense of each other can be toxic, so encourage a feeling of camaraderie between team members. As your team members become familiar and comfortable with each other, your team’s work processes can become more intuitive and natural, further boosting performance.

Train the troops

Even if you have the best processes laid out for your sales team, they will do you no good if you don’t train the team. This can include everything from small, internal training meetings within your sales team to larger, day-long events. As they work in the same environment day after day, it is easy for salespeople to settle into a rut, which can dull their abilities. Bringing in an outside expert for negotiation training can shake things up and give them new insights on the best sales strategies, honing their instincts and revitalizing their efforts.

Coaching happens every day, not just in formal meetings

Corporate sales training events are a wonderful way to improve your team’s results, but training doesn’t stop there. As a sales team leader, you are responsible for your team’s results every day. While individual coaching opportunities can take time from your already busy schedule, it is worth the investment. Taking time to step aside and work with individual team members will build their confidence, both in their own abilities and in you as a leader, and can help them to feel like a part of a successful team.

Celebrate successes

When your team members achieve something, whether it’s big or small, acknowledge it. Celebrate it! Do this as often as you can, because each little celebration gives the team a boost and motivates them to do better. Recognize the successes that your team members have and reward them.

Some sales managers wait too long between wins to celebrate in order to make the celebrations seem more meaningful. While this makes sense to a degree, waiting too long to celebrate can backfire and make your team members feel underappreciated. When your team has a success, acknowledging that success motivates them to achieve even more the next time.

Your sales team is one of the most public faces of your company, but by putting in a little effort and providing the proper training, you can set them up for success. That will bring positive results for them individually and for your company as a whole.

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