Approach each customer with the idea of helping him or her to solve a problem or achieve a goal—not of selling a product or a service. So teaches motivational speaker and sales expert Brian Tracy.
That’s the baseline mantra of any good sales team. But that’s just the baseline. There are many factors that go into building a strategic sales team that drives your top line and ultimately enhances your bottom line. Here are six other considerations:
1. Hire the right people.
Without the “right” people on the team, the team will never see the “right” results. Although you want skilled salesmen in your pack, skills can be taught—motivation cannot. Don’t be afraid to create a team with a blend of seasoned high achievers and less-experienced candidates who are motivated and eager to learn.
After all, football legend Vince Lombardi once said, “The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.”
2. Educate your team on your products and services.
If you want to help your sales team solve problems rather than just sell products, as Tracy said, providing education on your products and services—and the various, even often-overlooked problems they solve for customers—is an absolute must.
3. Capture customer case studies.
Inspire and equip your staff with customer case studies that demonstrate specifically how your products and services helped customers meet specific, even intense challenges. Create PDFs or other sales collateral with which to arm your sales team.
4. Create a culture of rewards where every winner wins.
Many sales groups reward the highest achiever. That’s a good practice but everyone making sales should feel like a winner. Every win—large or small—should be celebrated at team meetings.
5. Coach the weak and the strong.
Continued coaching on what works, what doesn’t—as well as new techniques, new products and new services—is vital to keeping your team motivated and on the growth track personally and professionally. Invest in your sale staff and they will invest their energy into your goals.
Giles House, CMO of CallidusCloud, puts it this way, “If you can give a B or C player more time, you will almost certainly see a performance lift: more time to prospect, more time in front of customers, more time to prepare.”
6. Arm the sales team with lead generation tools.
Don’t make the team do all the heavy lifting. Deliver strong leads to their doorstep. Give them the tools they need for effective follow up. Allow time for relationship building with customers during work hours, not just on their own time.
As Katherine Barchetti, founder of K. Barchette Shops, once said, “Make a customer, not a sale.”
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