News : 5 Steps to Develop an Exceptional Sales Team

Where to start…. Let’s take you though some crucial stages in developing your exceptional Sales Team

So, if you are reading this you may well be a Sales Manager so the best place to start is with yourself, measure yourself against our list of key competencies and identify if you need some development, only when you are totally confident in your abilities can you lead the way to manage an exceptional team and hit those targets for the long term.

Development for All Key areas for Sales Manager Development:

Some questions to ask yourself… 

Do you and your team have clear and specific goals?
Are you Motivated to Smash target?
Do you naturally motivate other members in your team and encourage them?
Are you a Great Coach and Mentor?
Do you interact well with other departments?
Do you enjoy analysing, forecasting and planning?
Are you able to share your knowledge with others?
Do catch your people doing something right?
Do you catch you celebrate success?
Are you able to share your knowledge with others?

If you have answered YES to the majority of these questions then you may be on the road to becoming an exceptional Sales Manager.
What next:
  1. Identify your strengths and weaknesses and implement a continual development plan that will help you progress with the skills that you need.
  2. Always review your skills and re adjust your development plan. (this can be a simply list of all the skills you need and score them (1 – 10)
Once you have evaluated and developed yourself and you are confident with your skills and ability then you will need to evaluate your sales team members performance, the performance of the group as a whole and maybe sub groups so that the team work as one.

Sales Team Development

Sales people need a wide range of skills to be effective and successful in their role.
Identifying their strengths enables you as the Manager to develop them in areas of weakness. Proactively doing this will build confidence, enable them individually and your team to achieve greater results.

From our years of experience working in the Sales Industry here are our top 15 key skills for top sales people to focus on.
2.Appointment Making
3.Rapport Building
6.Confirming the Need
7.Understanding Product/Service Benefits
8.Building a Desire
9.Presenting the Solution
10.Objection Handling
11.Packaging the Price
12.Defending Price
14.Closing Closing Closing
15.Follow up

Identify their strengths and weaknesses and implement a continual development plan that will help them and you track their progress and develop the skills your team needs.
Always set aside time to review individual’s skills and re adjust their development plan. (this can be a simply list of all the skills you need and score them (1 – 10)

Hire the right people

Exceptional hiring skills are among the most desirable of all leadership skills in today’s workplace.

The ability to select, motivate and retain the very best sales people is a hallmark of both top sales managers and high performing companies.

It's perfectly understandable that companies want to hire new employees with potential.

However, this strategy can often lead to low levels of motivation, low output and high staff turnover.

The advice is not to recruit potential unless you are willing to develop it. If you have the skills and time to train coach and mentor new sales people then you have the potential to develop them.

If you don’t have the above but you do have the budget to send new recruits for sales training then you have the means to develop them.
If you have neither then don’t recruit potential
What you are looking for is someone to do for you what they have already done for someone else.
What you are looking for are transferable skills.
You need sales people with a proven track record
If this is a replacement position, start with an exit interview to find out why the previous job holder is leaving. Next you must do a job description - only in terms of a title but also output.
Title: New Business Sales
Output = Make X number of called calls. Do X number of quotations. Open X number of new accounts.

Title: Key Accounts Manager

Output = Grow existing accounts by X%, Open 3 new key accounts of X size in X months.

Write down exactly what you want this person to achieve.
Now write a person specification.
List the core competences that are required to do the job.

You must now compile competence behavioural-based questions for the interview.
This type of questioning can be five times more effective at getting the right people into your business.
Interviewing can be an exhausting business. Many interviewers talk too much - the skill is to question, listen, and clarify.
Don’t make promises you can’t keep and don’t hire potential unless you are willing to develop it.

Understand Motivators

If you want to motivate your sales people, then it’s simple. Catch your people doing something right and praise the procedures you want repeated. Recognition is a massive motivator. It costs nothing to say thank you but the rewards from recognition are priceless.
I can remember doing a motivational survey for one of our customers to see if we could find the biggest motivators and the best manager. We got about 48 delegates in a room seated at round tables with 6 people per table.
Each delegate had to complete a number of sentences such as:

- 'The biggest Motivator is...'
- 'The biggest de-motivator is...'
- 'If you want to motivate us you should...'
- 'If I was in charge of motivation I would...'

We had about 20 questions altogether and at the end of the exercise each team had to compare notes and reach agreement prior to giving feedback to the entire group. While the delegates worked on their task the mangers listed what they believed to be the biggest motivating factors.

The managers list looked something like this:





These factors are important to attract salespeople to the business but they soon become an entitlement. “I’m entitled to a BMW, it’s part of the package.”

So, what was the biggest Motivator and who was the best Manager?

The biggest Motivator was recognition and the best Manager 'Mark Johnson'. Why was he the best manager? He's interested in me. He's the only one that takes the time to talk to me and more importantly listens to me when he does not want anything.
When you see, the other managers coming you think here comes extra work or I must be in trouble. Mark always has something good to say about my work. He always finds time to thank me for the small things that make a big difference.
How do you measure motivation?

You can measure the level of motivation by what your people do after they do what you paid them to do.

They go the extra mile for managers who say 'thank you'.

So, Catch your people doing something right and praise the procedures you want repeated.


Be able to Coach

Coaching & Mentoring are development techniques designed to enhance the skills, knowledge and work performance of every member of your business team. They are techniques that apply to employees in all departments and at all levels.

Your people are your greatest assets and by supporting them through an established process of coaching and mentoring you will instil confidence and create a positivity that will lead to even greater business success.

Joining a good coaching and mentoring programme will teach you the skills required for both coaching and mentoring and shows the relationship between the two skills - how they complement each other, as well as the distinction between where and when you should coach or mentor.

Where coaching generally focuses on a particular task, some individuals need to learn mentoring which focuses on the whole person. Mentoring is about the guidance and support you can give to an individual that gives their career direction and purpose.

Coaching is a master skill of great Managers, Supervisors and Team Leaders. Having invested in recruiting the best people, the best Managers invest in coaching to develop, motivate and retain great people.

Become a Coach and Mentor learn from expert trainers and become the powerful coach and mentor that will strengthen your team and propel your business to greater success.

Develop your coaching and mentoring skills to:
- Be a powerful coach and Mentor
- Find the good and great in every member of your team
- Help them set development goals
- Help them gain high self-esteem and confidence
- Help them to help you grow the business
- Give them support and encouragement
- Praise the procedures you want repeated and then teach them to become the next coach and mentor
Having worked for over twenty-five years with outstanding Sales Professionals across a wide range of industries, selling every conceivable product and service if you are serious in becoming an exceptional Sales Manager then read more of our blogs here we hope they help….