Building a high-performing sales team is not a one-day process.
It takes time to find the best people who can work together towards a common goal. Even once you create an amazing team, you’ll need to coach them and continuously motivate them so that they keep being engaged and focused.
In this article, we’ll cover the three most important steps of building a high-performing sales team - the hiring process, the sales process, and how to set up measurable goals.
Restructure your hiring process
If you have a job vacancy and put out an ad, you’ll receive a lot of applications - 118 on average.
The trick is understanding how to detect the right people and what to look for in resumes. You want someone who has the experience, can clearly communicate, and knows how to work in teams.
Put thought and effort into the job description
In order to receive applications from people who would be a good fit for your company, you need to put work into your job description. Be clear about what your expectations are and make sure to highlight the benefits of working for your company.
Once you create a good job listing, ask your existing employees to send it to any people they have in mind. Remember that your new hires need to fit into your company culture and the best people to describe it are your current employees.
That’s why you need to ask them for recommendations. If you’re fostering a positive work environment, your employees will be the best brand ambassadors, since they’ll want to bring in hard-working people that can elevate your team and have vast knowledge they can share with others.
Save time by laying out requirements for the title, as well as a range of the expected salary and the commissions they can expect. Seeing how these are the most common reasons people pull out of job roles, make sure to provide that information before the start of the interviewing process.
Characteristics of a high-performing sales team
Although there is no such thing as a perfect salesperson, there are some common traits you should look for. Remember, you’re looking for the person that would best fit into your existing sales team, not someone to work by themselves.
Keep your eye out for someone who is:
- A proficient communicator
- Willing to learn
- Has high emotional intelligence
As important as language is in sales, non-verbal communication is where the money’s at. Your salespeople need to be able to assess potential clients’ needs, “read the room” on which package to recommend, and know when to try to upsell clients.
Mentor your new hires to ensure success
Once you hire the right person and commence the onboarding process, don’t forget to keep periodically coaching them. Think of it as an essential part of your business. All of your employees have room to grow, especially the newest ones.
Make sure all your sales agents are up to date on the product training. As the market changes and customers’ expectations rise, you need to be able to shape your sales pitch on the go. That can only be done if all of your salespeople have a thorough knowledge of your products and services.
For example, if you sell mattresses, your sales agents must properly differentiate between latex and memory foam mattresses, which ones best suit back pain sleepers, which are your best sellers, etc.
Although your sales agents aren’t providing customer support, they need to be able to answer questions from potential clients.
Define your sales process
The only way to supercharge your sales is by having a clearly defined sales process that your whole team understands. Set up the stages of the sales funnel with the corresponding stages of the sales cycle.
The stages of the sales cycle are:
- Prospecting for leads
- Contacting potential customers
- Qualifying the customers
- Presenting your product
- Overcoming customer objections
- Closing the sale
- The follow-up process
You should have a customized content strategy for every stage of the cycle that is focused on the buyer. Your marketing team should help you out and make sure your content is engaging and gives people the incentive to buy.
Remember, not all your leads will go through all the stages of your sales funnel. However, it’s important to set it up.
Steps for setting up each stage of your sales cycle
In the first stage where you’re prospecting for new leads, try offering them an incentive, such as a free sample or discount. Something that has real value but can only be utilized by trying out your products and services.
Once you reach the third stage, segment your customers and make sure to divide them into groups of people who are more inclined to buy and groups that need more nurturing.
The more detailed your lists are, the better. Over time, you can reevaluate how likely they are to buy and shape your strategy accordingly.
In the next stage, it’s important to figure out if your leads need your products or services. The best way to present your solution is to customize your approach to their company and specific needs.
Explain the benefits your product or service brings to clients, as well as how much time you can save them. If your demo goes well, they will most likely ask for a business proposal.
💡 Pro-tip: Don’t use your proposal to talk about your company and values, but to sell your client the positive experience they’ll have working with you as well as the benefits you can bring them. Include detailed timescales and references that can help you win the deal.
The negotiation process is the last step before closing the deal. This is where you lean into the process of building a relationship with your clients. Listen to them and try to be responsive to their needs.
If it all goes well and you close the sale, the follow-up process starts. Make sure to check in with your existing clients periodically and ask for their feedback. Your pipeline should be periodically updated.
As you may have noticed, the stages of the sales process require a lot of work and contact with the client. You want to ensure your sales team has the time to give each potential client the attention they deserve. That’s why scheduling software, such as YouCanBook.me, is a must-have tool for stellar sales performance.
By creating and sending a link to a customized booking page, your clients can automatically sign up for a discovery call, follow-up chat, or demo at a time that suits them. The booking page will only show your free times, so you will never be double-booked. YouCanBook.me also automates confirmations, reminders, and follow-ups for your sales team, so they have more time to focus on their clients.