Following the economic trials that have plagued businesses since 2020, many companies are hoping to recoup losses, push sales, and pursue expansion. According to reports, 89% of sales professionals believe this is all hinged on sales teams. With that in mind, it’s understandable why many businesses are hoping to start 2022 with a solid and scalable sales team.
That said, creating or fine-tuning an adaptable sales team may be easier said than done. Before scaling your team, make sure you have a defined, repeatable sales process. From there, if you’re hoping to elevate your sales team—and your business, in the process—into a force that can flourish in 2022 and beyond, here’s how you can start:
It’s absolutely necessary for contemporary sales teams to use digital tools. With this, you can streamline workloads and reduce inefficiencies. Spend time researching a CRM that is best suited to your business’ size, needs, and budget. Eliminating manual, repetitive tasks and allowing your team to automate responses, schedule interactions, and overall keep a close eye on prospect journeys is essential. While at times a larger investment for a small company, having a solid tool for your sales team as early as possible can eliminate friction and headaches in your sales cycle.
As you scale, you’ll need to monitor performance to evaluate the effectiveness of both your sales cycle and team. Your company budget and revenue targets will be hugely important in determining headcount, goals, etc. While your sales team might not be using the tool themselves, having clear financial forecasting technology goes hand-in-hand with determining headcount, sales goals, and the like. The right tech will turn your data into a clear and categorized asset that will be automatically updated onto a shared platform. In this way, anyone can easily access forecasts, reports, and metrics no matter how big your team gets. As a bonus, this tech can also be leveraged to create comprehensive investor reports and board updates. In the future, this makes pitching and raising funding rounds more organized.
Your team’s data isn’t only helpful in illuminating external efforts but also internal ones. Sales team metrics and KPIs can track how employees are performing and what needs improvement. Some of the metrics you can look at are:
Understanding these metrics will be critical in evaluating the efficiency of your teams, and allow you to redirect resources into higher-performing channels. Perhaps you find one segment of customers cost more to acquire than they end up paying back in revenue over their lifetime (LTV:CAC). Knowing this, you can better position your sales outreach to potential customers types that have proven more profitable. This will help you measure ROI and set realistic goals. Without optimizing your team’s data, you could very well be stalling your own progress by only focusing on abstract details. As you scale your sales team, keeping track of metrics will also help you pin down specific avenues that other departments in your business can pursue. By treating data as pieces of the same puzzle, you can use them as a map for your team.
A scalable team needs to be rooted in good people. Hence, it’s important to attract the right talent as early as possible. To do so, remember that as much as employees want professional growth—they’re also looking for personal incentives. As such, when scouting for sales team members underscore what you can offer them as individuals. In LHH’s guide on what to look for in an employer, having a work-life balance is described as integral. This includes offering more flexible and compassionate working setups that won’t require employees make personal compromises. After all, recent employee studies show that almost 70% of applicants would choose work-life balance over higher pay. By front-loading how you’re a well-rounded team (and actually following through), you’re more likely to attract similarly well-rounded talent who will add value to your organization as you grow.
In the same way it is more cost-efficient to retain current customers than it is to acquire new ones, it is important to invest in your current employee base. Set them up for success with tools that make their lives easier, as listed above. When analyzing efficiency with metrics, encourage their input as well to identify where bottlenecks or friction are occurring in the sales process.
While it’s possible to find employees who already have the skills your business and the industry need, it’s better to have a system that teaches and empowers all members. This way, even if one employee with a specific skill were to leave, your organization won’t be down a leg. By providing consistent coaching, you can both teach new skills and nip team weaknesses. If you and your team are new to coaching, try to look for a provider who offers simple and customized sessions. According to the Forbes Business Council, this type of training is much likelier to result in memorable, relevant, and repeatable lessons.
Last but not the least, you’ll want to take a look at your leadership team. If leaders aren’t agile and updated on the efforts happening on the ground, any positive changes will be limited. As Joshua Swerdlow explains, sales leadership, just like good sales teams, should always be learning and developing. To avoid having short-sighted or detached leaders, include them in training with the team. Regular check-ins must also be encouraged wherein there is an equal give and take of ideas and reports. This way, your leaders are engaged and just as invested as sales team members.
Requiring equal parts grit, nuance, logic, and creativity, sales teams can make or break a business. This is especially true if you’re trying to get your company into the next stage of expansion. However, with an approach that combines personal development with professional training—as well as informed strategy and good technology— your sales team will be ready to join the big leagues.
Article written by Rosemary Jordan
Exclusively submitted to kpisense.com