That may seem like a rather stark headline but don’t scoff yet, read on…
Sales staff are the lifeblood of many SME’s and without them, business would surely dry up. If you are having difficulty in maintaining a successful and stable sales team, then you are not alone. Here are some of the things that an owner managed company can improve:
Lack of a Consistent Sales Process
A consistent sales process that is stringently followed in a consistent manner makes everyone’s efforts more effective in the long run. When people have expectations that are clearly expressed, they are able to understand their role in the sales process and perform more effectively.
The Challenge of Managing New Sales Hires
Owner Managers are often overburdened and their expectations may not align with their efforts. A strong sales team requires proper training and continuous guidance and management in order to take the firm in the desired direction. Owners do not usually have the requisite time and energy to effectively perform these necessary roles and tasks.
Choosing the right people from the start is the best way to ensure you are building a strong sales team. It is key to utilise effective screener questions and have a set of desirable personality traits as well as professional experience. The hiring manager must target a very specific skill set and have specific criteria to follow, a solid Job Description is a must here.
Sink or Swim Training
While most firms have some type of shadowing process set up, there often exists little to no formal training. New salespeople may receive an overview of the products and services along with a collection of outdated marketing materials and be on their own from there. True and valuable training is meagre if it exists at all. The remedy here is that as painful as it is you must set aside time in the first month to work closely with the new hire, if you don’t have the time then you will need some help. Early investment in a recruit will reap dividends in the long run.
A new Sales person costs money in recruitment, Salary, Bonuses, your time, other members of the team’s time and if they don’t work out the process and costs start all over again.
Inability to implement or improve any of the above is not your fault, however, inaction over a prolonged period will hold you and your business back from growing and prevent you from driving your business forward.
Providing a clear and consistent framework for success will increase the morale and longevity of your sales force while enabling them, and you, to reach greater levels of success.
As always we are available for a coffee (virtual if required) and a chat!