Sales teams are hard to grow. The job is demanding and turnover is relatively high, with even good workers quitting after failing. However, the need for a sales team is always there and it cannot be ignored. With the averages for turnover reaching as high as 34% in 2017, it suddenly becomes very obvious just how difficult it is to keep and grow a successful sales team. These are the facts, there is no denying them. However, let us focus on what can be done for the statistics to change when your company is in question.
Start with high expectations
When looking for good candidates for your sales team, make sure you pick great resumes with high-achievers from the get go. Since there is a limited number of openings, this creates competition even before the work has begun. Your existing salespersons will also start feeling the heat, which should make them do better. If they don’t there is an alternative already waiting for them, which is the actual beauty of having sourced out several potential high-achievers from the start.
Keep the team growing
As you expect the inevitable turnover to come for your team, you should always keep one step ahead. If you can expect one third of your salespeople to quit (or get the sack) over the course of the year, you should be working hard on filling those gaps. However, do not do it by hiring only when you have no other choice – this will create a situation where your hiring quality goes down. You need to be ahead of the curve and keep a steady inflow of candidates, just like the first time you started creating your team. Keep looking for quality resumes, keep interviewing and keep hiring, funneling the quality to the top, all the time. Never stop doing it.
Use any tools at your disposal
Your team needs to be ready for anything, but most of all it needs to be functional in the contemporary world. Not only are modern sales departments introducing the bdr role more and more, but they are well aware of the latest technology that helps them do their jobs better. Project management tools are a must, of course, alongside cloud storage for easy sharing and collaboration. You should have a sales tool that will provide analytics for your team, as well as allow for template sharing, engagement tracking and similar.
Know what you have accomplished
Although sales require many unmeasurable qualities to achieve success, some metrics have to exist in order for your team to know what to aim for, as well as quantify their success. Your Key Performance Indicators should include things like conversion rate, new leads per month, or new business vs renewal business. Add a healthy dash of revenue churn, client churn, your overall margin, as well as the revenue growth rate, which might be good to have in rear view. Think about individual team KPIs where you might track what people said they would do vs what they actually did. It could be an enlightening thing to see, both for the company and the individual team members.
Grow your sales culture
The people in your sales team are what makes up your sales culture, but in order to live by it, you need to establish guidelines, lead by example and, most importantly, hire people who fit that state of mind. After that, train them and structure the team so that it grows towards unity. The culture helps your team work better together, however, this works only if the members fit well within it. Once again, this all starts with the choices you have made when shortlisting and hiring people, which is a process you need to perfect over time. Perhaps your culture prefers having rockstar-type of salesmen, perhaps it requires hard workers and number crunchers. Perhaps all of them. But you need to be aware of who you need and work towards getting those people in your sales team.
Bringing all those high-quality working people together and giving them a purpose – that is what creates a team. But providing them with a culture within which they can improve and grow and become part of it, even steering it in the right direction – that is the ultimate goal.