Business

How to Build and Train a Successful Sales Team for Your Startup

A killer sales team is the cornerstone for building a vibrant business from the ground up. As a founder, it’s important to stay on your toes right from the get-go to mold a team that can propel your business forward. So, let’s go over some crucial tips to help your sales team roar.

Have an effective hiring process

A rock-solid hiring process is the starting point for building a star-studded sales team. Bringing the wrong people on board can shoot your costs through the roof as you hire, train, fire, and rehire continuously.

The best sales training companies advise that a watertight hiring process begins with a well-thought-out plan that defines:

  • the qualifications you are looking for
  • your shortlisting processes
  • how you are going to screen the candidates

Remember to be thorough when vetting your picks. Some people may have glowing profiles on paper but can’t stand the heat in a real sales situation. So, consider including some role-playing and situational questions in your interviews.

Provide support for your team

Once you’ve hired and onboarded your team, it helps to throw your company’s weight behind supporting them. Leaving your salespeople to sink or swim may create confusion which can gag their development and stop them from thriving.

Some of the ways to support your team include:

  • Providing enablement tools that streamline operations and increase productivity.
  • Making professional development a prime concern, for example, by conducting regular sales training and skills development courses.

According to Mckinsey and Company, when sales managers spend 50% of their time coaching sellers, their teams are 1.4 times more likely to become outperformers.

Choose the right training programs

It’s not enough to simply offer training. To build a team that won’t crash and burn, it’s critical to have the right kind of sales training.

Some programs can be boring with an overdose of theory, which can leave your team feeling dazed and having learned little to nothing.

So, choose a sales program that:

  • offers a curated blend of theory and hands-on, skills-based practice
  • incorporates a mixed bag of activities
  • is interactive and stimulating

Clarify goals and targets

Even with the best training, if your sales team is shooting in the dark or aiming in different directions, you aren’t likely to consistently hit your targets. So, make sure you clearly articulate goals and targets to rally your team towards a common goal from the very beginning.

While it’s important to set goals that stretch your team, remember to keep them attainable. Puffed-up, unreachable goals can demotivate your salespeople leading to poor performance.

Consider setting group goals that guide the entire team. Also, agree upon individual goals that feed into the wider team efforts.

Measure and track performance

Once you define the finishing line, it helps to regularly measure performance to determine how fast your team is running.

Regularly chewing over and examining your team’s performance helps to open your eyes to:

  • training areas that need improvement
  • strategies that need tweaking and refocusing
  • poor performers within your team

Once you identify the subpar parts of your processes, you are better placed to quickly make changes to strengthen your team.

Some of the main areas where companies can keep watch include:

  • Overall performance indicators such as monthly revenue growth and average profit margins.
  • Sales activity including leads that are created, calls that are made, or emails sent.
  • Lead generation metrics such as average response time or percentage of leads followed up.
  • Customer-focused metrics, for example, customer satisfaction, program utilization, and channel ROI.

Acknowledge and celebrate your team

According to Quantum Workplace, when you recognize your team’s efforts, you move closer to unlocking their full potential. So, take time to celebrate, and reward your sales team when they hit targets and push barriers.

By turning the spotlight on great performers in your company, you can reinforce excellence and create some healthy competition to spur on the entire team.

That said, it’s important to balance how you recognize actions and results. Focusing entirely on results may discourage some team members, especially during periods of sales downswings. On the flipside honoring only actions may result in little motivation for salespeople to push and close sales deals.

Final word

To build a strong sales team, tee off with a bang by hiring the right team. Then prop your sales force up through support and offering the best training initiatives. Also, set clear goals and keep an eagle eye on performance to give your company a flying start.

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