In order to succeed in this economy, someone needs to be in charge of building your sales team: Hiring, Motivating, Steering and Managing.
You need a Professional Sales Manager to do all this.
The funny thing about Sales Management: You can’t study it at school, there are not many books about it, and a great many sales managers are really salespeople pretending they enjoy managing.
For those of you who are dedicated to this mysterious trade, here are few practical updated tips from my Sales Symposium, that I held last year:
7 Tips To Improve Your Sales Team’s Performance:
1. Consistent personal lives
Great salespeople have a sense of urgency and are always “on”.
Performing at this high level requires having a very consistent and stable personal life. Therefore, make sure your interview process uncovers the full personal picture of sales prospects.
2. Never cap a salesperson’s upside potential.
Let your salespeople remain delusionally optimistic about how much they can sell and earn. You might just be surprised at what is possible.
3. Balanced sales commissions.
Sales commissions can backfire as often as not, especially when the sales team wins (earns their commission) but the company still loses (misses budget, loses money).
This is why the Sales Manager should have a big incentive tied to the overall sales (revenue) goal.
As for the salespeople, I recommend a balanced approach of incentivizing profit margins together with top line sales goals (along with some fun targeted incentives along the way.)
A simple approach to profit-based commissions is to tie it to gross profit margin. According to my friend and client, Paul Reder, calculating the GPM can include the cost of equipment assuming it is estimated and not part of overhead.
Only for simpler sales can you base commissions on top line numbers.
4. Competitive juices.
Bring out the competitive spirit and desires of your sales team with weekly meetings reviewing key metrics; but keep the meetings short!
Ideally you want at least 3 competitive salespeople on your sales team to keep the juices flowing. Three is the magic number.
5. Participate to buy-in.
Sales meetings should be participatory, with everyone filling in and discussing their own metrics; and adding their own ideas.
It should never be a lecture; even I fall asleep at lectures.
6. Magic in the motivation.
It’s not just money that motivates, it’s much more:
- the competitive spirit and celebration of wins,
- the acknowledgment of a happy client and beautiful job done,
- the sales awards you hand out on a frequent basis.
Don’t confuse money motivation with overall motivation. If you only rely on dollars, your salespeople will lose their focus over time.
7. Great sales managers grease the skids.
Sales Managers develop technological solutions and remove the obstacles of distraction, so their sales team can stay focused on selling.
Every sales person needs different grease to remove different obstacles.
“Grease Grease Grease”….is the sound coming from behind the door of a great sales manager!
Your team will love you if you can constantly remove those obstacles.
Your Challenge: Sales management is an active profession of constantly building and improving.
Make sure to track all the metrics of your pipeline: # leads, # of appointments, # of proposals, # of contracts.
Perhaps the most important metric is the “the speed” of your selling process.
Keep track of each salesperson’s “time to sale” and constantly look for ways to “remove # of steps, interactions and days” in the sales process.
Ready, Set, Build the SalesTeam!
P.S. Join us at Mariani to see how they sell, and manage their sales teams of design, install, enhnacements, maintenance and all their other services.
Bring or send your team, and get them pumped to finish the year strong with better selling tools and systems.
Bring Your Team And Finish the 2023 Year Strong!