A company relies on the creativity and skill of the sales department to drive revenue. The sales manager works with his staff to develop effective solutions to customer issues and create ways to attract new clients. There are strategies that a proactive sales manager can use to utilize the talents and strengths of his sales team to increase overall performance.
Setting goals is used by sales managers to gauge a sales associates’ performance. But it can also be used to maximize team effectiveness. By utilizing a team bonus structure, the sales manager creates a situation where the group becomes responsible for its collective performance. The manager encourages teamwork within the group to help each person reach his maximum possible bonus level and ensures that the team has all of the resources it needs to succeed. Those resources include regular product trainings, a reference library and access to pertinent Internet websites.
Interaction between sales professionals in an atmosphere monitored by the sales manager can be a useful way to exchange ideas. A weekly sales meeting where members of the team are encouraged to discuss any issues they are having with customers, products or internal support problems can help build a sense of teamwork. It can also be used as a way for members of the sales group to encourage each other and offer suggestions to improve performance.
Sales professionals are expected to be creative in the pursuit of revenue, but even creative sales people need basic criteria to use as a baseline for performance. For example, if your sales staff engages in outbound calls each day to find new prospects, then you can set a baseline of 25 calls per representative per day. Your sales associates then have a minimum to use as a measuring stick, and you can achieve excellence when they exceed those minimums.
When you give your sales team an active role in determining its own success, you can help to increase awareness of the group’s performance. Delegating responsibility for activities such as monitoring credit issues with the accounting department and maintaining accurate inventory information from logistics to sales professionals will make the group more aware of the way in interacts with the rest of the company. It also helps the sales group to have a more direct influence on important customer issues, such as credit limits and product availability.