As a sales manager, you want to do everything you can to boost your sales team’s productivity, performance and success. Upgrading your team from the sales basement to the sales loft is not just about having the right selling techniques and training.
It is also about:
- The company’s culture
- The right tools
- The right technology
As a sales manager or leader, don’t just stop at how your actions impact your customers, think about how your actions impacts your employees. Top performing companies have happy customers and happy employees. And while you may not be able to control how the overall organization is run, you can provide your team with the most efficient selling tools/technology and help create an environment that is more productive and rewarding for your own team.
The top performing businesses seem to just ooze an atmosphere of passion and opportunity. They draw in the most talented professionals, those of which act as a magnet to entice the most valuable customers. These organizations have created just the right professional culture. But, how exactly do they build this culture?
Knowing where your business adds the most value for customers:
Sure, the most successful businesses might offer the most competitive prices, but you can be sure that the companies with the best culture offers undeniable value. Have a discussion with your team about where they believe your company can uniquely solve prospects problems. As a sales manager, it is essential to clearly outline where exactly your business adds value. By defining this, it ensures that your team fully understand where they help your customers the most, and not just a vague, wishy-washy idea of what they are offering. And while it might sound obvious, it is not possible to have a successful selling culture if your team does not believe in what you are selling.
High level morale and motivation:
Have you been noticing some of your team members taking a sloppy approach to simple tasks? Your team might be suffering from low morale. Low morale does not mean that a sales rep just so happens to have had a bad day, it stems from a withering sense of job satisfaction. The daily working environment does little to motivate them to be the best employee they can be.
The Employee Motivation Theory states that the ‘alignment of aims, purpose and values between staff, teams and organization is the most fundamental aspect of motivation.’ Successful companies have used motivational and inspirational quotes, posters, quest speakers, personal stories, team building exercises and games in order to boost employee motivation levels in all kinds of organizations. And while some may find these methods cheesy and unnecessary for selling products, these experiences for employees have been proven to significantly improve attitudes, confidence and performance. Genuinely motivated people are capable of dramatic achievements.
Remember that “Good Job” goes a long way. Back when I worked a part time job in retail during college, I remember a new floor supervisor stopping to tell me how good of a job I did helping a certain customer. From then on, I found myself working harder for more positive recognition and to maintain my newly realized reputation for excellent customer service. Celebrating a job well done in your sales team’s day-to-day work is the easiest, cheapest, and most effective way to boost morale.
Even minute details such as the color of the office walls has been proven to psychologically affect a sales person’s mood and productivity levels. According to research, greens and blues create a calm, serene atmosphere, but too much of these colors may slow down productivity levels. Adding a smidgen of orange, yellow or red somewhere is said to increase the energy flow and enhance productivity. Maybe stay away from too much yellow though, it is said to cause stress and anxiety in some.
Tools and technology
Your sales team are only as good as the tools they are given. Happy workers use the most efficient tools and technology for prospecting, lead nurturing and cold calling so they can maximize productivity and drive better results.
Identify prospects more efficiently:
Identifying relevant leads can be one of the biggest frustrations a sales person can face. Prospects are the first key ingredient to business success and every happy seller has a continuous flow of leads coming in at the top of their sales pipeline. Here is where technological tools can help.
For example, with the Self-Service Social Data from Connectors Marketplace, prospect generation suddenly becomes a lot easier. This lead generation tool provides list after list of social media prospects for your sales people to search through. It allows them to customize their search by category and select keywords in order to find perfect prospects for your business. By providing each lead’s social media accounts, your sellers can search to find more detailed information much faster than sourcing leads themselves.
Nurture leads more efficiently:
In today’s business world, smart companies are utilizing powerful lead nurturing tools and technology to help their prospects get to know, like, and trust them, and close deals when competitors can’t even get past the front lobby.
SwiftPage, for example, is one of the many nurturing tools that allows your sales team to send out batches of custom emails to prospects. This email can contain a link to a quality article, blog or maybe even a webinar your prospect will find interesting. SwiftPage differentiates itself from other automated email tools because it then sends your sales team a ranking report based on how the prospect interacted with the email. The best time to follow-up is when you know your prospect is interested.
While LinkedIn Sales Navigator is useful for identifying leads, it is also handy for helping sales people leverage this social media network to turn cold calling into warm conversations. Prospect’s account activity will show up on your sellers LinkedIn Sales Navigator newsfeed so they can track their goings-on, rather than having to seek it out. With this information more easily accessible, salespeople will be able to social sell and build stronger relationship with clients.
Cold call more efficiently:
They’ve identified their prospects efficiently, they’ve nurtured relationships efficiently, now your sales people need to get those potential customers on the phone efficiently. Auto dialers make cold calls and lead generation much easier, both because they help sales professionals pace themselves properly on days when there is cold calling, and because an auto dialer can make sure that sellers do not waste time with wrong numbers and voicemail.
They can also be programmed to send custom messages to your potential customers, which allows businesses to automatically confirm appointments so no-show rates are a lot lower. This enables companies to never waste time from missed appointments.
VanillaSoft customers say they are calling five times as many contacts as they were before investing in an auto dialer. Other top auto dialers for 2016 include Connect TCM, Tenfold Sales Dialer, and Five9 Auto Dialer.
Having the right sales techniques and training are of course vital to your sales teams quality of work and level of success, but without the right tools and technology, and that core selling culture of motivation and purpose, those techniques and training methods aren’t worth very much. All of these components must come together in order to send your team straight from the sales basement to the sales loft.