On June 30 2016, TRG International continued its Talent Management webinar series with the topic “Build, Retain and Develop your Salesforce“. As sales teams are pivotal part in any organisation, the webinar garnered discussions about building and sustaining a stellar sales team that can bring excellent result to the organisation. And for a brief view of the webinar, here are the 7 concrete ways that help you build, retain and develop your Salesforce.
1. Right people, right job
Clearly there are a lot of candidates for sales vacancies, but you are highly recommended to choose the person who:
- Fits who you are looking for (a hunter/farmer/ a salesperson enjoying networking/ a salesperson following processes…).
- Fits the culture and environment at your organisation.
- Preferably owns experience in selling products/services related to your organisation’s business.
For managerial positions, don’t forget the element of leadership skills as a sales manager is no longer a pure sales representative.
2. Manage with pipeline and KPIs
Pipeline is a detailed list of potential clients with estimated revenue that can be generated. This serves as a target for the salesperson to strive for and also a tracking tool for the manager to follow his/her members’ progress. In case salespersons ignores update pipeline regularly and with sufficient information, you can consider make this task a KPI for the team. KPIs, on another side, is also a tool to measure the salespersons’ performance. However, you should be very careful when setting up KPIs to maximize its effect on the salesperson. Listen to recommendations on KPIs in our previous webinar here.
3. Sales managers should be examples
No one likes a manager who just talks but doesn’t take action. Sales managers might advise his/her team members on particular behaviours or skills. But the managers him/herself should also display such factors when working or the salespersons would fail to trust the managers, which would lead to downgrade in team’s atmosphere and cohesion.
4. Understand the salespersons’ personality
Not all salespersons are full of energy, ambitious and competitive. Some might be more laid-back and prefers a careful approach. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you the sales managers get to know your salespersons. This assists you in reasonable delegation and motivation. You can choose either spending time with them to get acquainted or utilise personality assessment to capture a general view of their behavioural tendencies.
5. Flexible rewards and recognition
Don’t stereotype salespersons as those only motivated by monetary rewards. Different salespersons have different interests, so you have to be flexible with rewards and recognition for them. Information about their personality and interest obtained from point 4 can be taken advantage of in this task to tailor the motivators.
6. Set SMART goals
Don’t let your salespersons wander around and sell without a specific goals. Apply SMART (Specific – Measurable – Attainable – Related – Time-bound) goals and accompany them with effective KPIs to establish a target framework for the salespersons to strive for. It’ll be easier for the salespersons and sales manager to track progress and take appropriate action.
Training courses might be an effective motivator for salespersons, which help them earn essential knowledge and skills to develop expertise. But at the same time, it is recommended that sales managers conduct coaching – which is more personal and about experience sharing with individual for the salespersons. Coaching session might assist the salespersons establish their goals and development path as well as recognise factors that have impact on their performance. Ideally, coaching session is conducts between salesperson and his/her line managers and shall take place periodically. For a business to survive, it needs to have sales.
For a business to thrive, it needs to have a sustainable and effective sales force built over time and continuously improved. What you need to remember is “Do not stereotype your salespeople as one type, look at them and care for them as individuals”. These abovementioned 7 ways are suggestions for you to realise such the aim.
Listen to the full recording of the webinar here for detailed discussion related to this topic and stay tuned for our upcoming webinar in August.