Has your sales team grown thanks to success, but all of a sudden started to plateau, missing sales quotas and generally not performing as you want? Struggling to keep track of your team in general and losing vital information? Or are you worried that this will happen soon?
Keep reading this guide to managing a fast-growing sales team to prevent potential issues.
Why sales team management is vital
As your sales team grows rapidly, it can get more difficult to know how to manage them, leading to ineffective management. Missed quotas, high staff turnover and other problems can result when a team is poorly managed. When people don’t work productively, they are less efficient, and they then feel they are better off elsewhere.
It becomes a catch-22, as now the team is less productive, losing the productive members who feel overburdened, increasingly making it hard to manage, leading to worse performances. In addition, with a large sales team, it is hard to keep track of what each member is doing, how they interact with their customers, and how they approach their sales.
No matter what sort of team you manage, whether it’s internal or outsourced, remotely or offline, you can always benefit from learning some of the sales management best practices. This article will provide six steps on how to manage a sales team.
Step 1: Organize the processes for cold outreach
Cold outreach can be challenging, no doubt, and a vital part of any sales business, as it secures your first customers, as well as your new customers. When this isn’t organized properly, it will be harder to achieve, and your team will struggle to meet their quota requirements.
The average response rate to cold emails is about 1%, and the conversion rate has been dropping over time across the board. Make sure your team is doing proper market research, personalizing contact interactions, and when it comes to emails, make sure the team is writing quick and brief emails, sending follow-ups, and generally putting a bit of time into cold emails. This will improve the response rate significantly.
Analytics is also a useful tool to keep a track of responses and details of who is being reached out to, who responds, and who is converted. The approach can then be tweaked in line with your team and customer’s specific needs, for even greater success. Analytics will be mentioned a few times in this post!
Incorporate software into this process, to automate work while maintaining the ability to personalize your cold outreach. For example, QuickMail (which has a free version) can help streamline the cold emailing process through automation, and integrates with other apps with ease. This program still provides a good degree of customization to ensure your potential clients feel they are being paid attention to in their communications. When the cold outreach process is streamlined, the team will better approach the task, get better results and the customer will also have a much better experience at their end, in addition, boosting sales.
Step 2: Introduce a CRM system
Just like how analytics about cold outreach can help keep track of success, a CRM (customer relationship management) system can be really useful for sales team management. CRMs keep track of all the up to date important information about customers, every interaction, every request, every email, call and so on. It is all stored in one place, to help support the sales team in their interactions with customers by giving them all the vital information.
Without a proper CRM, details are lost, information gets out of date, and sales have to ask repetitive questions, which results in difficulties when trying to build relationships with the customers. If this happens, the customers will simply leave.
There is a really wide range of CRM applications that are very easy to use and very accessible. Many CRMs can be free, such as HubSpot CRM for Sales Leaders, so there is little reason to not take advantage. What is important is to find what software best works for your team, and is compatible with anything else you are currently using.
Step 3: Set up rules for managing sales reps
Sales rep management requires rules to help get the best success rate. Give your sales reps standardized rules and processes that will achieve the most. Without some standardization, the team will make mistakes and struggle to achieve the results you want them to!
For example, set up a “sales funnel”, with a range of steps on the way, which should be simple and easy to follow. Train the reps to internalize these steps, starting at introductions and ending in receiving the payment.
Apps, such as getresponse (which starts at 15 USD per month), can help with this, by providing a visualisation of the approach and automating the process. Whatever goal you have for your funnel, can be adapted. So if it’s sales, marketing, or whatever else, the funnel will visualize the entire process, helping you manage your team and for your team to get better results.
The step by step approach, whether we are thinking about work, studying, or day to day life, will always make tasks easier, clearer, and more achievable. For sales, it is just the same.
Step 4: Set clear and understandable KPIs
When looking at how to manage a sales team, the use of KPIs, a key performance indicator, helps to keep track of the success of the company. There is no universal KPI standard; you need to set them in relation to your business, your goals, and how you wish to achieve success.
For example, if you want to achieve an increase in sales (which presumably you do if you are reading this article), you may define your KPI as to “increase sales by X%”, or “upsell by X%” or “increase response conversion by X%”. The KPI or KPIs need to be clear and understandable for your sales team, so they know what to focus on and to give them a sense of purpose.
Software can interactively display these KPIs, and use statistics to ensure that no important data is lost and the KPIs are clear to the team and achievable. For example, Simplekpi displays the goals alongside other key information such as reports and analytics.
By taking advantage of this type of software, your team will see the KPI, if they are reaching it, and what needs to be changed to succeed. Without making the KPIs clear and easy to understand and track, they won’t be effective motivations for the team.
Step 5: Prepare scripts for a sales call
We talked a bit about cold outreach before, and when it comes to calls it is very important to have a suitable script. A script will help make the process of making a days’ worth of calls more efficient, and then any curveball questions asked to the team member will be easier to answer, as they haven’t used all their brainpower creating an entire conversation.
Note: this doesn’t mean these calls should be impersonal, they require personalization, prior research about the client (this ties back to point 1 and the CRM), and leaving room for creativity. However, by following a script, it will make that outreach a bit easier and efficient for the sales reps.
There are software solutions that can help with this. The challenge of a script is to balance efficiency with the personalization that customers will want to hear. Software, for example, Stonly, can offer custom interactive scripts, displaying the history of the customer and what next for the caller to do.
This allows the caller to not get overwhelmed or lost with a written script, provides what is necessary for them to say to not overload on the customer, and generally streamlines the process.
Step 6: Record every call with a meeting management software
The final tip we will give is to oversee all meetings and conversations with clients. With a growing team, it’s impossible to observe everything at once, but you may want to ensure that your team is working to full capacity, aiming for the KPIs, using the funnel system and scripts, and generally doing their best.
You can use meeting management software such as Notiv, to do all of this. Notiv can help organize information before, during, and after meetings. It can also transcribe all interactions, so you can monitor what has been said and check back for important information that has been exchanged. Sign up here for a free trial!
A good range of sales management strategies are important, but they can be difficult to manage. This is where sales team management software can come in. Notiv helps your team improve, keep track of information, and use it to improve both the team’s and client’s experience of interactions. Now you know a bit more about how to manage a sales team.