Many companies rely on a sales team to generate income and often this means running an in-house operation that is one of the most essential elements in the success of a business. However, sales is a specialised area that needs a certain skillset and talents in order for individuals to be successful in the role.It also requires strong management and leadership in order to make sure the team runs at top efficiency. When all of these factors come together, they make a unique operating environment that thrives on pressure, but also creates a potential for explosive events.
A typical sales room environment might actually be a difficult place to foster a true team ethic. Although it is obvious that everyone should be aiming for the same end results, as in making revenue generating opportunities for the company, in most situations a healthy sense of competition amongst staff is needed to fuel both ambition and achieve set targets. This can mean that a ‘dog eat dog’ mentality comes to the surface and when this happens strong leadership is essential. One way to make sure full efficiency is achieved in this respect is to offer sales staff a decent basic wage, so that they are not worried about paying their own bills and can focus on making deals for the company. Obviously, commission rewards are a traditional way of giving sales an impetus, although some contemporary approaches advocate a level of sharing to engender a team ethos.
The only way for any member of staff to be able to operate at full efficiency within any organisation is by having the right training to do the job required of them. This is particularly true when it comes to sales as someone who goes off-message or isn’t sticking to the script might end up mis-selling your goods or services. Not only can that lead to dissatisfied customers, in the worst-case scenario it can result in wider reputational damage and even legal problems.
The Role of Technology
As with every other aspect of running a modern business, technology has revolutionised the way sales teams operate. Obviously online methods mean that social media and SEO generated leads play an ever increasing role in reaching out to potential customers and clients but the organisational side of things has changed drastically too. Even sales teams that used traditional methods such as telephone follow ups are likely to be doing so over VOIP based systems as opposed to landlines, whilst those dealing with internet interactions need to be armed with equipment that is fit for purpose. In a world of ‘big data’ that can mean significant attention to detail in terms of server tech and communications capacities.
Any activity that is team-based, be it in sport or in business, needs to take into account interpersonal relations and multi-person dynamics. A clash of personalities can disrupt productivity and team members with too much of a ‘me first’ attitude can scupper your plans of having a competitive but harmonious sales room workplace. This is yet another area where strong leadership and management is key. That can mean a strict approach to disciplinary matters and a willingness to fire troublemakers, while on the flip side a well thought out hiring policy can often stop such problems arising in the first place. Sadly, one big problem that occasionally rears up is that of substance abuse among sales staff. This is something that is all too common in many highly competitive occupations, and again management needs a direct and decisive approach. Using solutions such as those provided by third party specialists offering an oral fluid lab test service is one way to keep on top of things and make sure employees are adhering to your codes of conduct and operating within the law.
Top Performance Levels
The only way to know whether or not your sales team is actually running at full efficiency is to be able to check on how their performance levels are relating to actual results. The metrics you can use for this will vary greatly on a case-by-case basis, so there’s no real ‘one size fits all’ solution that your business can buy off the shelf. However, setting realistic and achievable targets is an important step, because it is hard for an individual or a whole team to be properly motivated if success always seems to be one step ahead of them but ultimately out of their grasp.