Making sure your team has the tools to succeed
As any coach of a sport will tell you, you have to be confident that your team has all the tools they need to win every time they step into the arena. I believe that there is a similar parallel in business, and within sales team management in particular.
Source: Marketing professional Kary Zate
I'd be willing to guess that, if you're like most, you probably take a good percentage of that confidence for granted when managing a sales team. Very often, companies assume that everyone has mastered the corporate playbook and they should instinctively know how to do their job. After all, it's what you hired them to do, right?
But, that's where the problem often lies. To be successful, teams can never take anything for granted. It's why they spend countless hours on the practice field in preparation to get it right on game day. And in business, you need to look at it the same way. Here's how:
Have a game plan. Developing a clearly defined sales process that employs all of your best practices is worth the time and effort. When your team knows the landscape and the milestones, you dramatically improve their chances of success. They'll now know what to do, where to expect the typical hurdles, and the best ways to overcome them.
Drill them on the fundamentals. Most sales professionals know how to sell effectively, but are you confident they know how to sell YOUR product well? Don't just dump sales sheets and brochures on them, or tell them to read the website. Develop "drills" that encourage and challenge them to know your product inside and out. The sales axiom of "it's easy to sell what you know" is never more appropriate. Make them know your products in their sleep. It's really worth their time -- and yours.
Give them the skills/tools they need. Companies spend millions every year hiring outside consultants to train salespeople to "sell smarter" or whatever the latest buzzword is. But more often than not, it's about learning a technique and not how it fits with your product. Like I said earlier, many salespeople already know how to sell. But your people will deliver much more if they're shown the best practices for selling YOUR products. That's where having a defined sales process comes in and where sharing what you've learned over time will make a significant difference. When you share knowledge, everyone benefits.