How to Manage a Sales Team Successfully

It's essential to learn how to manage people.

One thing many successful businesses have in common is an effective sales team. Their team members know how to find new customers and clients and keep them coming back for more. They can confidently answer questions and know just what to say to nail the sale. It’s not enough to hire skilled salespeople, you also need to know how to manage a sales team effectively.

So, how do you do that? We’ve pulled together top tips that should help you exceed your sales quotas month after month:

  1. Set individual and team sales goals
  2. Create a comprehensive training program
  3. Streamline your sales process
  4. Give ample feedback
  5. Incentivize your team members

1. Set Individual and Team Sales Goals

It’s beneficial to set individual and team sales goals such as the total value of sales, win rate, and number of calls made. Your team members are likely to be more focused, motivated, productive, and successful if they are working toward clear goals. Having shared goals is likely to increase employee morale, engagement, performance, and collaboration.

One of the most common goal-setting tools can be summarized by the acronym SMART. SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. Here’s how to create a SMART goal and an example:

  • Specific. We want to increase sales revenue.
  • Measurable. We want to earn $100,000 in sales revenue.
  • Attainable. This is an attainable goal because we earned $80,000 in sales revenue last quarter.
  • Relevant. This is relevant because our team is responsible for reaching out to customers and clients.
  • Time-bound. We want to achieve this goal in the second quarter.

For example, your goal is: We want to earn $100,000 in sales revenue by the end of the second quarter.

2. Create a Comprehensive Training Program

Create a sales training program to give your sales team members the support and resources they need to be successful. Consider developing trainings on hard skills like how to use your sales software, conduct buyer research, and discover new clients. You can also teach soft skills like communication, relationship building, and organization.

Your sales team needs to be crystal clear on what they’re selling. Conduct trainings on the selling points of all your products or services. It can be helpful to have members of other teams – such as your marketing, product, and customer service teams – share their insights. Your sales team can help them by sharing what they’ve learned from conversations with current and prospective customers or clients.

3. Streamline Your Sales Process

One of the best tips for how to manage a sales team is also the easiest to set up. You can use scheduling automation software for a variety of sales tasks from prospecting and lead enrichment to scheduling calls and sending proposals. Some scheduling automation tools can help you with management tasks such as reporting, lead rotation, and lead scoring. You can also save time by creating sales scripts for all the products or services your team sells.

4. Give Ample Feedback

If it makes sense for your business, consider sending customer or client satisfaction surveys. It’s also helpful to consolidate the most insightful feedback your sales team members have received during pitches.

In addition to gathering feedback, part of learning how to manage a sales team is learning how to give constructive feedback. Watch your team members in action by listening to calls, reviewing their sales emails, and sitting in on some of their pitches. Mention what they’ve done well and ways they can make their pitches even more effective.

5. Incentivize Your Team Members

The best way to motivate your sales team is to provide incentivizes, making it an essential for anyone learning how to manage a sales team. There are three common compensation models for salespeople:

  • Base salary. If you choose this model, your sales team members will receive an annual salary. You could further incentivize employees by offering performance bonuses if individual and team sales quotas are met.
  • Commission-only. With this model, you wouldn’t pay a base salary. Your team members would only earn a percentage of the sales they make. Keep in mind that to recruit and retain salespeople, you may have to offer a higher commission rate if you choose this payment structure. (There are a variety of different commission models to consider.)
  • Base salary and commission. This is likely to be the most compelling compensation model for people who want the stability of a standard paycheck and the opportunity to reap what they sow. You’d pay a base salary and an additional commission rate based on the sales they make.

Continue to Execute Hiring and Management Best Practices

Your sales team will be even more successful after you implement these tips for how to manage a sales team. Keep up the momentum by acting on more expert-recommended hiring and management advice from Monster.