CEO Advisor Can Help You Build Your Sales Team
In many small businesses, you may be the sales manager, marketing director and salesperson all in one. As you grow, you have the need for additional people to handle specialized jobs. One of the most critical positions you will need to hire is a sales manager, because sales are what drive your company's growth and profits. All other things being equal, the more well-managed salespeople you have the more sales you will generate. Adding sales people and improving your sales staff team with training and managing are essential to growing your company.
Measuring Sales Productivity
Tracking sales by salesperson is an essential part of effective sales management. To track your sales team properly, you will need to set goals by creating a Sales Plan with sales goals by salesperson by month for the fiscal year. Then, communicate these goals to each salesperson regularly and hold each of them accountable for meeting their goals. A Custom Relations Management (CRM) software is that is kept up to date and monitored daily is critical to meeting your sales goals.
Adding salespeople can result in steadily increasing sales. This can free you up to better manage the sales team and spend time and energy on other critical tasks. Hiring salespeople could also hurt sales, erode profits, damage valuable customer relationships, and destroy your image in the marketplace. The difference between these two scenarios is the difference between hiring the right salespeople and the wrong ones. CEO Advisor, Inc. has a 10-step approach to assist its' clients in making sound, profitable sales hires.
Salespeople have the most daily contact with your prospects and customers. They need to be pre-screened, interviewed three times, have their references checked and have a background check performed on them. To hire the right salesperson for the job, you have to have a clear understanding of what you need with a concise job description. Do you want someone who is a closer or one who takes more of a consultative sales approach? Do you need someone fully trained and experienced, or hungry and willing to dial 100 times a day to secure appointments.
Good salespeople want to be treated fairly and with respect. This starts with disciplined and consistent training. Misunderstanding your company's compensation plan is one of the main reasons for sales staff dissatisfaction and turnover. For all potential new hires, explain precisely how they will be compensated. In addition, clarify the territory, your sales goals and performance expectations, the training you will offer, and the sales tools you will provide including a CRM software solution, target lists and leads. You should also provide candidates with a thumbnail description of the market and the competition.
Once you initiate the salesperson search, consider the following:
- Look internally. You may have technical, support, operations or administrative people who would and could successfully move into sales. Post the ad internally or discuss the opportunity with employees that represent a fit.
- Ask for employee referrals. Chances are your existing employees know the kind of people who would be great salespeople and happy working for you.
- Network with suppliers, customers, colleagues, advisors and social contacts. This can be cheaper, faster and more reliable than advertising to the general public.
- Check with professional associations. They may have job lines to help members find employees.
- Online advertising. The speed, freshness and searchability of online job sites make them attractive options for both candidates and employers.
- Check with your local universities. You may be able to hire a recent graduate who's enthusiastic, effective and less expensive than a seasoned professional, or an intern for lead generation or sales appointment setting.
Types of Salespeople
Direct Sales Team
This is the heart of your sales team and where you will leverage your sales for growth. Be disciplined in your hiring and training to increase your odds of successful hires. Make sure you hire salespeople that are hungry to get on the telephone, aggressive to gain meetings and close sales, motivated by money, are professional, coachable and experienced.
Manufacturer's Reps or Independent Contractor Salespeople
Manufacturer's representatives and agents are terms used to describe independent contractor salespeople who work on commission. Independent contractor salespeople are not on a base salary, they receive a percentage of what they sell. They offer a practical, cost-effective alternative to a direct sales force for many growing companies. There are more than a half-million reps in North America, most selling to targeted markets in select geographic regions.
Telemarketers who contact prospects and customers by telephone can provide customer service, perform sales, as well as, take orders. One of a telemarketer's most useful jobs is generating qualified leads. Because you contact customers by telephone, it's easy to track results from a telemarketing effort. You can build your own telemarketing operation in-house by implementing a CRM software and secure lead lists, setting goals and managing the sales effort.
It's never easy to hand over responsibility for an important management job to someone else, but hiring an effective sales manager is a critical step to growth. It's unreasonable to expect you to be able to make 30 - 40 sales calls a day, direct other salespeople and run the company at the same time. Once you hire a sales manager, you'll be able to greatly reduce your sales calls, eliminate managing salespeople, and devote the balance of your time to the jobs you're uniquely qualified to handle, like devising the company's strategy, securing funding, making opportunistic acquisitions, developing new products, etc.
A good sales manager has to be able to:
• Manage salespeople and train them effectively
• Develop sales strategies and plans
• Set sales targets for the sales team
• Monitor sales performance
• Personally handle key customers
• Prepare sales reports and monitor and track the CRM
• Report directly to you or a superior
A sales manager should have good leadership and communication skills and have a proven record of growing sales in past positions.
CEO Advisor, Inc. is a specialist in helping companies build and manage their sales team so they can grow to the next level. We address your specific needs with hands-on action and seasoned advice. Contact the business advisor Mark Hartsell, MBA, CEO of CEO Advisor, Inc. at (949) 629-2520, by email at MHartsell@CEOAdvisor.com or visit us at www.CEOAdvisor.com for more information.