5 Proven Ways to Manage a Sales Team

When we think about how to manage a sales team, many might picture iconic pep talks from sales managers in movies like the Wolf of Wall Street and Boiler Room.

The motivational quotes and promises of success-filled futures are too good not to quote. So enjoy a few of our favorites:

Wolf of Wall Street quotes from Jordan Belfort:

“The easiest way to make money is — create something of such value that everybody wants and go out and give and create value, the money comes automatically.”  

“Successful people are 100% convinced that they are masters of their own destiny, they’re not creatures of circumstance. They create circumstances. If the circumstances around them suck they change them.”  

“97% of the people who quit too soon are employed by the 3% who didn’t.”

Boiler Room quote from Jim Young:

“There is no such thing as a no sale call. A sale is made on every call you make.  

Either you sell the client some stock or he sells you a reason he can’t. Either way, a sale is made, the only question is who is gonna close? You or him?  

Now be relentless! That’s it. I’m done.”

(As a call coaching and training company, it’s obvious why this quote is best.)

These quotes are classics and have found their way into many sales meetings. Have you used any of these lines to motivate your sales teams?

Beyond inspiring hard work and vision, the quotes highlight the reality of managing a sales team; it is no easy job.

Effective sales managers try to hire the best sales candidates. Also, they often provide the latest tools to enhance the sales process. Most salespeople even subscribe to author Jordan Belfort’s belief, “I did not come to this world to be average.” (The Wolf of Wall Street)

The reality of sales team management is that the work and responsibilities are not tough. Sales leadership has its high highs and some depressing lows. Hopefully, you have more of the highs.

We often hear from our clients that it’s difficult to understand what their sales team actually needs to hit goals, make profits, and drive sales.

Is your sales team underperforming? Are development and achievements lagging?

If you answered yes, then your team is not alone

66% of sales people are not reaching their quotas.

Managing a sales team is challenging. Perhaps this is why we hear such stirring, passionate quotes.

We hope to explore some effective sales management strategies and help you adopt the right sales team structure to make 2021 an epic year.  

We will answer some of the top questions, including:

  • Which sales team management strategies worked and which ones didn’t?
  • How are you building a successful sales team?
  • What sales team management strategies have you tried?

How to Manage a Sales Team

#1 Manage a Sales Team- Have an Onboarding Plan

It’s tempting to throw representatives directly into selling. While it might solve your immediate goals, it can harm your long-term growth and sales success.

Without a proper onboarding and training program, you’re missing out on a lot of vital benefits, including decreased ramp-up time and better performance. So it’s essential to onboard and nurtures your sales reps.

58% of employees who go through a structured onboarding program are likely to still be working at an organization after three years.

The best sales teams have friendly and efficient onboarding processes. They provide an environment with the highest probability of success.  Consider implementing the following sales onboarding plan, if you don’t already.

  • Clearly outline the sales team roles and the responsibilities
  • Spend time introducing each salesperson to fellow employees
  • Immerse sales recruits in your company’s culture
  • Familiarize them with your industry and core business
  • Properly train them on the tools and sales software
  • Ensure that the new sales rep is comfortable

Some organizations make the first day all about making the new agent feel pleasant by dropping the paperwork and enabling them to build interpersonal rapport with the team. Fostering an initial comfort level creates a positive work environment for new sales team members.

Building a solid onboarding plan will show your new employees how appreciative you are to have them at your company. When they feel welcome and valuable, new sales reps are more likely to be successful.

#2 Invest in Training

We know sales managers are busy. However, it’s best if you didn’t stop at onboarding. Regular training is essential for excellent sales teams to become more proficient, confident, and profitable.

One great idea for 2021 is to have sales reps share expertise at lunch-and-learns.

Encourage agents to attend conferences and workshops that contribute to their professional growth. Some organizations give salespeople a budget to participate in a training course that they choose.  

You can also bring in speakers and mentors who can build up the team.

If you train your sales team properly, they will be equipped to handle challenging situations. The sales team will be capable of closing more deals.

#3 Inspire Your Team

Successful sales managers understand the significance of inspiring their team. Motivation can be one of their best sales team management strategies.

Inspiring your team is defined as:

Appreciative: Showing appreciation for the hard work of the sales team and rewarding them accordingly

Accountable: Taking responsibility for what happens, even when the results are offensive

Honest: Always revealing the truth to both colleagues and customers

Creating an environment in which your team feels motivated will encourage them to excel. Energized salespeople produce steady deals and higher profits.

#4 Set Goals and Monitor Results

How are your agents performing? Are they selling enough? Have they improved since last quarter?

If you don’t have answers to these questions, your metrics aren’t clear enough. Chances are if you don’t have the answers, your salespeople don’t know either.  

Salespeople are highly motivated. However, if you can’t pinpoint progress, commitment and enthusiasm will suffer.

Every salesperson wants goals. Decide what key performance indicators (KPIs) are crucial for the growth of your business. So set practical quotas and goals around your KPIs.

With the 2021 KPIs, you can encourage healthy competition among your team. Leaderboards, dashboards, and other forms of public recognition are excellent for motivating your team.

#5 Give Regular Feedbacks

Sales departments should be a place that encourages development and progress. To create such an environment, implement a method to give regular feedback to your sales representatives.

It’s crucial that you not only give feedback about what your agents are doing best, but also the areas in which they could develop. However, make sure that feedback is not just criticism. Everyone savors praise and compliments.

Sales professionals often want to know how they can improve. The fact is, their success depends on it. So make sure you provide honest, practical feedback for your sales team members.

Manage a Sales Team: Wrap Up

For a sales team to be successful, it requires active management. As a sales leader, you’re the linchpin.  

Implementing and practicing the sales management strategies described above will yield remarkable improvement for your sales team.

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