We are experiencing an increasing demand for sophisticated, commercial sales talent. We are in an age where customers, across almost every touch point of a business, including sales teams, are expecting a personal, immediate, and intelligent solution to their problems.
For sales managers and leaders, now is the time to re-evaluate your sales processes. Your commercial success means a review of the technologies available to your people and, most importantly, an updated, motivational game plan that makes the relationships with your customers the number one priority for your team members.
Take a minute to review the existing practices in your rulebook that consistently champion and drive the highly successful outcomes of your salespeople. I’m guessing you’re a target and deadline driven sales leader which is great; the best ones are. Keeping your team focused on what lies ahead, applying a sense of urgency around every sale is probably delivering you great results. But what if you could improve these results?
More and more, we are seeing research that supports the positive impact the creation and daily practice of an open feedback culture is having on the performance of teams. A recent Deloitte survey shows that purpose matters.
Giving each member of your team a clear sense of purpose, by being specific about their professional sales development opportunities or introducing an open response mentoring program can significantly assist team motivation. As a leader, this means becoming transparent with objectives and outcomes even if that means you have to tailor the message for each person. You need to communicate, communicate more, and then communicate even more, until everyone’s on the same page.
It’s expected as a manager, that you have, over the course of your sales career gained practical and relevant experiences that will help your top salespeople with essential performance skills including sales forecasting, call planning and negotiating the sale. But how well would you rate your team in knowing that we are in an age where the customer drives the relationship? With their forecasting and negotiations are they seeing things from the customer’s point of view or just your organisation’s?
Technology is also an essential tool you must offer your top performers to help them know their customers better, and in turn, keep them delivering outstanding business solutions. I’m not talking about excel spreadsheet pivot table type of technology, although they can be awesome. I’m meaning equipment that can provide your team with real-time analytics and insights to help personalise every customer’s experience with your business.
Mobile technology, (Wi-Fi, email, cloud-based programs) and automation technologies (VPAs or virtual personal assistants, collaborative tools) can help your team reduce their productivity gaps by giving them access to sales, client and other important relationship data anywhere, anytime.
Your results-oriented team members know that a one-time sale from a customer isn’t profitable. Drive their hunger further by providing them with better strategic insights and tools that will help them sell smarter. It’s the transparent communication idea we touched on earlier.
‘Customer experience’ has overtaken ‘process’ as the top key performance indicator used by sales teams to measure success, according to the annual Salesforce Research report. As customer’s take control of who they want to do business with, often evaluating the worth of their B2B salesperson by how well they individualise their experience, now is the time for sales leaders to begin creating a modern sales approach that puts trust in the team, and energetically shares in their success.