July 20, 2015
By Casey Houser, Contributing Writer
Sales managers have a lot on their plates. First, they have to make sure the proper personnel inhabit their sales floors to secure sales. Then there is management of those personnel to keep ahead of sales quotas, meet revenue goals, and keep team cohesion at a maximum.
As a recent blog post at VanillaSoft points out, the first of those tasks involved both hiring team members and weeding out the bad seeds. This includes initial and ongoing training while also monitoring agent performance to inform those trainings. The first step can be a big one because it involves refinement of a team that will carry a business onward toward customers.
Beyond that, though, the management of a refined sales team can also carry a lot of weight. It can be helpful for managers to define their sales processes to team members. This will certainly involve getting on the sales floor to figure out what methods of customer interaction work best for the products or services at hand, and that will seek to solidify a strategy and increase manager clout with the rest of the sales team.
Personnel will also need the right technology to back them up. This can include software such as customer relationship management, scripting, and call routing programs that automate connections between agents and customers while also giving agents the information they need to create and close deals. Reporting software can also make a good addition because it can determine if there are gaps in processes that a software tweak could remedy.
At this point, sales teams will be in high gear, and top performers will want rewards for their hard work. Managers can meet those expectations with sales bonuses and salary hikes. At the minimum, salaries should match industry standards. But if managers really want to keep their high rollers around, they should reach above those numbers to create an atmosphere that truly indicates a desire to keep those team members.
There will also be time to reflect on under-performing members. This should first mean a step back to training that, as it was noted earlier, can learn from monitoring of successful agents in the business. Training can help many agents step up their game, but unfortunately, managers may have to let go some people who hold back the whole team.
All together, these tools can work in tandem to create sales teams that are top notch. The systems are repeatable and can inform each other; furthermore, they are universal in their application. Largely, they require continuous effort on the part of managers who must keep abreast of industry trends to introduce new practices and possibly new software to their teams. If the brass hire well and maintain their companies, they can see success by referencing the basic notes listed above.