The advent of the digital age has opened up a myriad of opportunities for business professionals who are capable of assembling a stellar sales team from the ground up, but many up-and-coming workers and seasoned business veterans alike are stumbling when it comes to recruiting team members. When it comes to developing a successful sales team, the costs of failure could literally tank your business, which is why it’s so vital to follow the right steps.

Here are the steps you can follow to build a successful sales team from the ground up at a minimal cost, and the hurdles you’re likely going to encounter along the way.

Planning your team

First and foremost, you’ll want to begin planning what kind of team you’re hoping to assemble. At this stage in your team’s development, you’ll want to determine such things as the general size of your team, how much funding you have to dedicate towards its creation, and how scalable you intend to make your team in the future.

If you’re expecting rapid growth, for instance, your sales team will need to be capable of quickly swelling in size at a moment’s notice. Smaller businesses, however, will need to take their time to avoid burning through all of their capital at a breakneck pace.

You’ll also want to take this time to review the commonly made mistakes that have sabotaged sales team in the past. If the business owner and the sales team managers aren’t familiar with the simple mistakes others have made in the past, they’ll end up producing lackluster teams of their own. Read up on the mistakes managers make when they get sloppy forming a sales team if you really want to avoid the hassle of having to start over.

Finally, your planning process will need to include an intimate review of the tech you plan on using. Most contemporary sales teams are very digital in nature, after all, so getting the right hardware and software for the job is an essential part of building a truly successful team. You’ll also want to consider vetting employees early on in the process to determine their technical savvy; employees who aren’t well-versed in IT skills are likely to stumble and hold the rest of your team back.

Now that the early planning process is complete, you can begin the actual interview and hiring process that will ultimately round out your sales team. Before you bring someone on board, however, you need to make sure they’re a proper fit for your company’s culture and workplace.

Finding the right candidates for the job

Your sales team needs clever workers if it’s going to do anything but crash and burn. Thus, it’s probably worth your time to review some of the techniques you should be relying on when it comes to sourcing sales candidates. Bringing on a team member who can’t mesh with the rest of the team and creates disturbances in the office is one of the most frequent ways that managers actually sabotage their own operations without realizing it.

Once you’ve brought on some employees following a thorough background check, you’ll also want to be constantly honing their skills so that you don’t see sales figures dipping a few weeks after the job’s begun. Consider matching up your new team members with veterans in a mentor program, and you could very well turbocharge the training process while making your new workers feel more comfortable at the same time. Salespeople in the contemporary market are currently burning out of the industry at a high rate, so giving your workers a helping hand is also a useful way to keep them engaged and happy in their workspace.

It’s also important that managers realize that dedicated salespeople are an incredibly valuable resource to any company and need to be treated right if they’re not going to get poached by the competition. Unless you want your newly-forged sales team to immediately start receiving offers from your greatest competitors, make sure your compensation and benefits packages are fair and enticing enough that a disparate array of talented salespeople will want to make your company their home. Above all else, putting your salespeople first is the best way to ensure your team gets off on the right foot.

Assembling a sales team can’t happen overnight; you can speed things up by relying on tech, but you need to understand that the more meticulous you are when picking candidates, the more effective your team is likely to be.

Take your time when reviewing applications and refuse to settle for less when the time comes to bring on a new team member. With the right managers leading the charge, your newly-created sales team will soon be breaking records and scoring customers in droves.

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Aaron Lee
Aaron Lee is a serial entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist. Since the age of 17, he has started and sold five businesses before creating Dash Serviced Suites--Hong Kong’s fastest growing asset-light, tech-enabled, serviced apartment community operating over 100 apartments. Aaron focuses on investing in technology to build industry disrupting startups.

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