“Success is never owned. It is rented. And the rent is due every day”.
Perhaps no other department in today’s enterprise has to live this quote like the
sales department. With the key responsibility of getting the money rolling and driving the business, the sales team has to revise, revamp, and relook at their sales strategies to remain agile in the face of constant change.
But growing a high-powered sales team today is a challenging exercise for most organizations. With the age-old sales formulas dying out and the consumer becoming more enabled and empowered than ever before, the sales teams are feeling the pressure to up their game.
Today, the customer is 57% into the purchasing decision before they even engage with a sales team. This shows that the time of the proverbial ‘sales pitch’ is over. What the customer is looking for when they engage with your sales team is knowledge, and an access to a trustworthy expert who can confirm their buying decision by logically clarifying their doubts while giving them the best possible buying experience. The focus of the customer is now on ‘value’ more than on ‘pitches’.
Thus, building a strong sales team to grow a business is the smartest thing to do. It is also one of the hardest things to do.
Here are a few things that organizations can do to grow high-powered and strong sales teams.
Talent matters – make sure to get the right fit
The desire to build a strong sales team is great, but are you relying solely on your gut feeling to drive the hiring process? Organizations leveraging the proverbial gut feel to make hiring decisions often falter in their intention because of a few reasons. A gut feeling cannot be quantified and, hence, it is not scalable so, as a process, this fails. Secondly, not everyone might have the same feeling. So how will you make a hiring decision if the collective instinct does not comply?
Since sales is both a collaborative and an individual job role, it demands a certain kind of hire – one who can work with a team but can also contribute independently. Drawing up a list of criteria that can correlate with the success in the sales role then serves to be a much more quantifiable and scalable process. This makes sure that the salesperson the organization hires is the closest fit to these characteristics that are correlated to sales success.
Elements such as prior success rates, coachability, intelligence, work ethics, drive, and motivation can fit into this list and can make sure that each individual is the right fit for your organization.
Power skills lead the way
Selling is no longer all about cold calls and emails. And it has gone beyond slick smooth-talking. Today a successful salesperson is one who can capably amalgamate product knowledge with a high plethora of power skills to crack a deal.
When building a sales team, it is essential to look for people with power skills. Skills such as communication, teamwork, empathy, positivity, trust, and honesty are essential to developing in all salespeople to grow a strong sales team.
Equally important is a high EQ (emotional quotient), the instinctive capability to feel and understand a customer pain point and give the best possible solution for it. This job also needs people to be highly driven and adaptable, creative, and great collaborators so that complex problems can be solved easily. This approach of being solution-driven helps to solve customer challenges and problems with confidence and ease and, consequently, drives up the revenue.
“Success lies in walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill
Sales is a challenging job role. For every success, there is a herculean amount of effort. The assault on patience is relentless. Failure is a very real possibility until the final sign on the dotted line. Dejection and disappointments are an integral part of the life of any salesperson. But what makes a successful sales team stand out is how motivated is the team through this journey of highs and lows.
To build a strong sales team, organizations have to ensure that their salespeople never lose focus and can constantly stay self-motivated. This comes from becoming more self-aware, knowing their strengths and weaknesses, and what they need to do to grow in their roles. Giving them access to behavioral skills analysis tests or 16 personality factor assessments is a good way to give them clarity on their improvement areas, appreciate the skills they have, and help them excel in their job roles.
Deep product knowledge
Having clear, precise, in-depth, and detailed product knowledge is essential for every sales team. Having clarity around product differentiations, updated product knowledge, and a clear idea of how the product can solve different challenges in the context of the customer are essential skills to have.
For developing a strong sales team, organizations have to work in a focused manner to increase and improve the knowledge repository of all their salespeople. Having an online information repository to enable self-service, detailed product onboarding plans, and regular training and development sessions on product information, contribute to the success of this process.
Provide strategic leadership and coaching
One of the most important pieces in the jigsaw of a powerful sales team is that of strategic leadership and coaching. While individual ambition is essential for closing a sale, the focus of the sales team has to be for the business to grow. It also involves having highly focused sales managers who not only keep an eye on the sales figures but also on the developmental health of their sales team.
Identifying the high-potential salespeople, charting out their career path, and helping them connect with the right mentors all contribute to developing strong salespeople who go on to first fill the sales pipeline and then consequently fill the leadership pipeline.
Mentoring and coaching play a big role in developing strong sales teams. This is primarily because
- Sales success not only depends on knowing the product but involves the use of certain power skills to map implied and explicit needs of the potential client.
- It involves determining how business needs will evolve and grow.
- It is about becoming more intuitive towards identifying needs and possible avenues for sales.
All these traits and many others are the trademarks of great salespeople. They are essentially power skills – skills that take time to develop as they need constant reaffirming. So, what are you doing to help your salespeople become your sales superstars?
NumlyEngage™ offers a skills data-driven model, leveraged by AI & ML, to help organizations kick start their sales coaching initiatives in a matter of a few days. It captures the many nuances of sales coaching to help sales teams sell fast and win big! Get a demo today!