Getting More Out of Your Sales Teams
As the summer winds down and your sales representatives gear up for the fall sales season, it may be time to look into how you can revitalize your sales team's energy and performance levels.
Summertime can be a spotty time when it comes to achieving sales targets. Between hot weather, vacations, and the general play-and-relax culture of summer, you may find your sales numbers slumping during the last few weeks of August. But September is just around the corner, and now is the perfect time to inject new life into your sales initiative by re-examining how well you are motivating and managing your sales team.
At Netpique we are often asked what is our secret to getting consistently good performance from our sales teams over time. The truth is, there's no one magic secret. Our sales results are founded on several building blocks that work together to create cohesive, high-performing sales teams. The good news is, you can implement these same principles in your own sales teams.
First, in order to quantify and work toward the results you expect, you need to implement consistent accountability for those results, not on a monthly or yearly basis, but on a daily basis. It's easy for sales representatives to blame the weather, "bad area," or even their managers for poor sales numbers. It's equally easy for monthly quotas to simply go by like forgotten deadlines without a more specific, daily accountability program.
Don't just track sales: figure out exactly what your sales representatives need to do to achieve those sales, and track those activities as well. Number of doors knocked, number of presentations given, hours worked, referrals received, there are many statistics you can collect besides simply counting completed sales. Tracking your team's performance on a daily level, and holding each member accountable for his or her results, will give you a chance to help out where needed, and give your sales representatives an incentive to conscientiously do all the little things that add up to sales success.
One of the things our sales representatives tell us they love about Netpique is the caliber of sales training we offer. A good training program is an investment not only in your company and its success, but also in the people who work for you. If you can gain a reputation as a company that cares about developing its people and helping them to achieve their potential, you will have an easier time recruiting and retaining good sales representatives.
Our sales representatives refer their friends to work at Netpique because they feel that they have benefited professionally from their experience working at here. They value the way working for us has developed their potential and helped them to become more confident and successful. You can create that same dynamic in your company by working to develop your sales representatives on a daily basis and showing them a path to lifetime achievement as they master the sales profession.
It is hugely motivating for sales professionals to allow them to be in control of their earnings. One of the best ways you can get more out of your sales teams is by taking a look at your compensation plan to see if it truly aligns the interests of your sales representatives with the interests of your company.
For most sales representatives, having a healthy base salary is an important ingredient in a stable, good job. But they also want a commission component that will enable them to achieve their financial goals. Make sure that commissions are a significant percentage of your team's compensation plan. And never cap those commissions. When you leave commissions uncapped, the sky is the limit, and your sales representatives are in control of their own earnings.
Sales representatives (and people in general) do work for money. But they also work to achieve less concrete things, like approval and recognition. Sales is an emotional job. Your sales team's state of mind will have a huge effect on their performance on a day-to-day basis. Unless you are also helping to motivate your sales representatives in ways that don't involve money, you will not see as much success.
Putting thought into a variety of different creative sales contests throughout the year will give your sales representatives something to work toward, and keep things interesting. Announcing a spontaneous spiff like movie tickets or gift cards for good performance on a certain day can help raise flagging numbers.
Create a culture of fun and celebration by highlighting and encouraging individual successes on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. When someone achieves something great, whether it's a record sales day or simply significant personal improvement, take time during a sales meeting to recognize that achievement. Having many positive experiences on a regular basis, individually and as a team, is what will build teamwork and create an atmosphere that encourages personal success.
Making sure that you are giving proper attention to accountability, development, reward, and celebration will, over time, create the type of cohesive teamwork and consistent sales results that you would like to see. If you need assistance in any of these areas, Netpique can help. We provide sales channel solutions as well as customized consulting for companies of all sizes in a variety of industries. Contact Netpique to find out how we can help you get more out of your sales teams.