Where should you begin when you’re building a sales team from the ground up? This is a question many new companies face, and it’s one you’ll need to answer correctly if you want any chance of staying competitive. Read on for tips on how to build a sales team from the ground up.
Tips For Building A Sales Team From The Ground Up
You are probably already aware just how important your sales team is to your company’s success, and it’s only natural that you want to do everything you can to stack the odds in your favor. Here are some tips for building a winning sales team from the ground up.
Starts With Great Organization
Building a successful sales team from scratch starts with great organization. Make a plan for your sales team that includes the number of roles you will need and what part each of these individuals will play in the grand scheme of your sales department. Consider how many inside sales people you will need to find leads and pass them on to other account executives as well.
The way you coordinate your reps will vary. You might choose to break them down by area of expertise, or perhaps you’ll choose reps to cover certain territories. You might also divide them by product categories or break them down by national versus smaller accounts. Specialization is particularly important within larger sales teams.
Create A Sales Hiring Process To Follow
Before you make your first hire, you’ll want to have a sales hiring process in place to help you make choices you’ll be happy with in the long run.
First, you’ll want to make a point of hiring people who are coachable. Although this can be a tricky trait to hire for, it can pay off very nicely in terms of giving you salespeople who can adapt easily as your business evolves.
One way you can test this is by asking the person you’re interviewing to sell you an object in the room. After their pitch, tell them what they did wrong and repeat the exercise to see how well they’ve implemented your advice.
Do not make the mistake of hiring based on industry and product knowledge alone. These may be useful traits, but it won’t get you too far if they don’t know how to sell.
Form Your Key Performance Indicators
We are well and truly in the Information Age now, which means it’s possible to track so many different key performance indicators that it may be hard to know where to focus your efforts. You will want to look at the monthly and quarterly numbers of your salespeople, but you will also need to look at other indicators that they are successfully managing their base.
According to Salesforce’s third annual “State of Sales” report, 66 percent of sales teams use customer satisfaction as their top KPI. This indicates that a positive customer experience is considered a strong sign of success by many companies.
You might also want to look at how many calls your salespeople made, how many appointments they went on, or how much of their business comes from new versus existing customers over a set period of time. Set expectations, let your representatives know what they are, and then track indicators to see how well they’re doing.
Establish Your Sales Quota
A sales quota is one of the most important factors in building a sales team from scratch. Each salesperson needs a quota, and the sales manager must be held accountable for the whole team’s numbers. Those who don’t make quotas for a set period of time may need to be placed on probation.
Take Care When Hiring A Sales Manager
As the person building the team, you might serve as the sales manager initially, but you will also need to focus your efforts on growing the company. This means you will not be able to manage the sales team forever.
When you’re looking for a sales manager, resist the temptation to choose a standout salesperson on your team. Managing sales is a very different role than selling itself. A good sales manager will need a good understanding of how to hire and grow a sales team, and this extends to the inside as well as the outside sales team. They also need the ability to lead and inspire.
The need for a sales manager will depend on the size of your team. With just a handful of salespeople, one may not be necessary, but if you’re looking to expand, you will need someone dedicated to the role. As the person behind the company, you want to work on the business rather than in it.
Train And Educate Your Team
Any investment you make in training and educating your team is likely to pay off in the bottom line. Your salespeople need a thorough understanding of your products, company, marketing strategies, the customer base and the software tools you’re using. In that spirit, you’ll need to train and educate them at every chance you get. Consider training at least twice a month, and send sales managers out on calls with salespeople occasionally to provide constructive feedback.
You can also make use of books, demonstrations, and role-playing exercises to keep your salespeople’s knowledge and skills current.
Get Professional Sales Training On How To Build A Sales Team From The Ground Up
Building a sales team from the ground up properly can be challenging. If you want to set your sales team up for success, get professional sales training tailored to your business from the experts at RCG Workgroup.