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How to Make Your Sales Team More Productive, Part 1

By: SmallBizClub

 

How to Make Your Sales Team More Productive 1

Increasing competition in the retail market, both offline and online, makes it necessary for small business enterprises to enhance both the productivity and efficiency of their sales team. The following tips can help to make your sales team productive and enhance their performance.

Set SMART goals

At the beginning of the month, set up goals which are Smart, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound (SMART). Setting clear goals and team objectives will ensure that each and every member of the team is clear what the targets are, and what is expected of them. A sales team without specific goals and objectives may fail to deliver the best performance.

Provide need-based, periodic training

Every sales person has a different way of pitching a customer for a sale. While a few salesmen may be good at generating leads, others may be efficient in educating a customer about a product or service. Similarly, a few may have expertise in building rapport with the customers while others may be good at closing a deal.

Related Article: How to Foster Productivity Through Communication and Transparency

In order to bring all team members to a common platform, it is essential to deliver effective training on a periodical basis. Identifying the competencies and skill gaps of each sales personnel before delivering training sessions is necessary to provide objective training. Training ensures that the salespeople are able to develop superior skills while ensuring that their existing skills don’t become obsolete. Training will help to boost their confidence, motivate the team and make them aware of changes taking place in both the industry and external market.

Keep the team motivated

Keeping your sales team motivated through reward and recognition is an age-old practice to boost performance. A simple ‘pat on the back’ does wonders to keep sales personnel motivated. Holding periodical ‘one on one’ meetings where the team members are able to share their experiences, share problems and get resolution is a real motivator to enhance their commitment and make them more productive.

Providing occasional training & development, brainstorming, and fun at-work activities will also help in engaging the sales force, and motivate them for better performance.

Emotional intelligence

If you’re a team manager, it ‘s necessary to develop a strong EI. This helps to understand and control your own emotions while remaining sensitive to the emotions of others. The team manager must develop his/her own EI while working towards developing the EI of sales personnel. This will help them to build better relationships with colleagues, foster teamwork, control emotions, and build rapport with customers.

EI will also help the sales personnel to have better control over their own emotions. For instance, when achieving a sales target becomes tougher, some personnel may be subject to stress and anxiety, further hampering their productivity. Tips on EI will help them maintain their psychological balance even during difficult times. Here are a few EI highlights:

  • Understand own strengths and weaknesses: work on overcoming the weaknesses and build on the strengths.
  • Practice responding instead of reacting: reacting involves an unconscious process where a salesman experiences a disturbing trigger. For example, feeling irritated if a customer asks the same question again and again or tries to provoke a salesman.
  • Create a positive environment: it is essential to avoid negative talk and promote a positive attitude. Always learn from your own mistakes, be open to feedback, and pay attention to your own behavior.

Responding involves a conscious process where the salesman initially understands his own feeling and then decides how to behave in such as situation. In the above situation, the salesman maintains his calm and politely answers the question twice or three times. If an irritating customer situation still persists, the salesman can handover some literature or give the website address to ease the situation.

Sharing best practices during team meetings

While it’s essential to hold regular team meetings to understand the problems faced by each team member, it is equally important to share best practices. During team meetings the sales manager/supervisor will be able to resolve such team problems and encourage the best performers to share the best sales techniques they use.

Team members can also share their experiences and the encounters they had with clients/customers. These experiences may reflect moments of fear, excitement, anxiety, confusion, dilemma and even humor. Sharing experiences followed by best practices will not only bring togetherness in the team, but also encourage each team member to help the other, in a professional and a friendly way.

In Part Two, we’ll discuss three more ways to effectively enhance your team’s sales productivity.

Author: Sawaram Suthar is a digital marketing geek, helping small and medium business grow their businesses. Currently he is marketing manager at Skyward CRM. Anyone can reach him @sawarams or via his blog thenextscoop.com.

Published: October 20, 2015
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