By Duran Inci, CEO at Optimum7 E-Commerce Marketing, a Digital Technology Company.
Building and scaling a sales team requires more than putting a job advertisement online or in the newspaper or quickly acquiring clients. You also want to have a foundation for future scaling and to earn more revenue consistently.
Remote selling has become a new priority. With current events mandating that professional offices remain closed if they are nonessential, salespeople need to make cold calls and schedule meetings using digital tools.
According to Hubspot, 64% of sales leaders who invested in remote selling met or exceeded revenue targets this year. This is an extraordinary statistic and shows the potential for this venture.
LinkedIn also released a state of sales report about 2020. They noted that changing business practices is inevitable thanks to the different demands of a 2021 world and the lack of in-person interactions. The writers found out the following: Sales technology is becoming more prevalent. Trust is a commodity often in short supply when talking with reps, and 43% of salespeople were using digital tools in 2020, which was 54% more than they were in 2018.
Sales representatives need to be team members.
Salespeople need to do more than talk with clients and scour regions for potential leads. They need to know how to work together and contribute to a whole company. That means that a good sales rep will care about the business and provide ideas and suggestions for improving it. Showing a proactive approach is always promising.
This is especially important if they are paid on a commission basis as opposed to a salary with bonuses. With commission-based income, salespeople have a greater incentive to close sales, but they are also more competitive. You want to hire representatives that balance incentives with the common good.
What does this mean for superstar salespeople? Some can prove themselves as superstars who close large numbers of sales. It’s nice to have a few superstars, but you would probably rather have someone who can work well with others than an individual with a large portfolio.
To get a team player, you need a sales representative that is passionate about their work. They will demonstrate company loyalty and show up constantly prepared. Look up references and ask previous employers about job candidates’ work dedication.
Good sales representatives are also ethical and thinking of helping their team. You want someone who will not land in hot water during a meeting or cut corners. Have values outlined in the company manual, along with penalties for violating them. Established guidelines make a difference.
Scaling requires intention.
Scaling is not the same as growth. The difference lies in the rate of revenue growth. Per Harvard Business Review, growth is increasing revenue directly to the number of resources being added to a project or team. In contrast, scaling is about increasing revenue at a rate faster than the costs that operations incur. In other words, it is a form of sustainable growth and improving key performance.
Many businesses fail to accommodate growth because they let their profits and success control them rather than creating a concrete plan. Poor management can lead to growth causing problems such as the lack of a system to handle new situations or organizational hierarchy disagreeing on adjusting in the long term.
Growth needs predictability. While different events can affect projections and KPIs — 2020 showed a major disruption to regular business activities thanks to circumstances — marketing specialists and sales experts can provide numbers. These metrics solidify business strategy and show evidence of their progress. To get predictability, they need to set an intention for scalability.
Why are you growing your business? More importantly, why are you hiring and building a sales team? The answers to these questions can lead to your onboarding and implementation strategy. It will also allow you to prevent growth from causing business operations to lose control.
Salespeople optimize the potential of products and services. They go out and see how customers directly react in order to test interactions in real time. Salespeople also find the right opportunities to sell, no matter the occasion.
Processes need to be scalable.
You need to have a system that is ready to increase its capacity. While replicating the same process for a successful product is a standard in some businesses, sometimes simple repetition does not meet a campaign’s potential.
You want a flexible, scalable and repeatable sales process. Key performance indicators will note the benchmarks that salespeople must reach during a specific time period or even during a single workday. They need to perform the following tasks: prospecting, connecting, researching, presenting and closing.
Intercom believes that a sales professional should bring to the company five times what they earn in compensation and commissions. The logic is that such revenue will allow for positive cash flow, keeping the business in the black.
Build a marketing strategy that aligns with sales operations.
Your marketing campaigns need to be versatile while the goals behind them have basic benchmarks. As 2020 proved, circumstances can change drastically. That’s why marketing analysts need to work with salespeople to see how the latest research can translate into tangible strategies.
Have specialists on hand to deal with changes, especially with your target market. Encourage salespeople to research trends and how they can relate that to suggestions on product development.
Sales activities must always benefit the whole company.
Not all of your salespeople’s activities have to relate to sales directly, but it has to contribute to the company. Everyone must support the system or people participating in it. Such activities can include researching the latest technology or business trends, organizing team-building exercises and role-playing scenarios.
For example, building trust with a customer or client is always a viable activity. Many potential prospects wish to work with a businessperson they can trust, especially when learning about a product or service.
You can build a sales team and scale it during an uncertain year. The trick is to identify priorities and team players.