HARDISON’S TIPS – JANUARY 13, 2021- IS YOUR SALES TEAM READY FOR 2021?
- Do you have a Winning Sales Strategy? Before each year the sales strategy needs to be analyzed for 5 key elements – Target, Direction, Methods, Management and Success. Are you aiming at the right target, has your direction been laid out and is it understood? Have you prepared your team with the right methods and tools? Do you have methods of measurement to monitor success and have you hired the right people? Can you verify where you’ve been successful and are you celebrating your success! Selling is difficult enough, so remember to find your target, align your goals, measure your success and celebrate your victories.
- Is your Selling Process Defined? Managers need to align their processes to meet corporate expectations. In order to effectively manage sales and grow an organization, selling process must be properly communicated and educated to the front line and the support team. I’ve seen 24 step sales processes and 4 step sales processes within organizations. Neither is right unless the end result can be effectively and efficiently communicated and managed. Managers, Executives and Board Members rely on the consistency and accuracy of the sales team, so properly alignment is essential to growth and stability.
- Is your Sales Support Structure in Place? Sales professionals are only as successful as the support team around them. Sales support includes finance for pricing, technical assistance for the bits and bytes talk, marketing for lead generation and communication, proposal and research teamwork along with executive support to get the deals closed. Sales will not be effective if the team is not complete. Working as a team is the key to future success.
- Do you have the Right Sales Team in Place? Have you spent the necessary time evaluating the hiring process within your organization? Have you formally reviewed each sales person’s performance on a semi and annual basis? Have you implemented a sales training program that is continual throughout the year and reinforces the selling process you’ve established? Hiring the right people eliminates struggles further down the road. If you have dedicated professionals with a targeted focus, you’ll be ready to succeed.
- Are your Sales Goals Aligned with the Corporate Goals? Review and verify your sales incentives. Many times, sales goals are not aligned to meet the real corporate requirements. If your company needs to achieve a higher result in a specific area then confirm you’ve placed enough performance-based incentive on the targeted area. Sales people sell where they make money, it’s that simple. If incentives are weighed towards achieving financial success versus corporate requirements, sales will lean towards individual financial success. Each year quotas and commission plans should be evaluated and tested.
- Keeping clients is less expensive than acquiring new clients. It is imperative to work directly with your existing clients and make sure you are exceeding their expectations. Working closely right now is the most important time you can spend.
- Sales training is not something that comes in a can! It is not something that is done in a week! Proper sales training is ongoing and focused on what your company, your client, your product and your process. Beware of sales training that fits every company. Training a team of sales professionals depends on many factors and must be ongoing and reinforced throughout the year.
Making adjustments to your team will ensure earlier success for next year. Reducing sales cycles and eliminating non-selling activity should be a focus for the management team. Increasing effectiveness through proper hiring practices, targeted marketing campaigns and ongoing training programs will result in success for 2021 that can’t wait until next month.