Salespeople hear the word “NO” often, and that can be very demotivating. If your business depends on a sales team for growth, it’s important to ensure that the team can weather those disappointments and not lose momentum. Cold calling, in particular, is one of the most difficult aspects of sales. As an expert in cold calling, I know we will hear a lot of NOs before we hear the YES response that makes all the negative feedback worth it. In my experience, it’s critical to keep the team motivated. Here are some steps I recommend you take to keep your sales team moving towards their next win.
Develop a personal relationship. Show interest in your sales team members as individuals. Set aside time to meet with them individually, get to know them, and let them get to know you. You’ll begin to develop a deeper understanding of what motivates them.
Facilitate a “team-centered” approach. Encourage the team to share wins and losses in an environment that is non-threatening. They can learn from the successes and failures of team members, and this will make your team stronger and build trust within the team.
Be open to and seek feedback. Being on the front line, your salespeople may be the first to recognize gaps. By engaging and addressing these issues directly with your team, you demonstrate your respect for them and their important role in the business.
Set achievable goals and compensate them for what they deliver. Competitive salespeople are goal-oriented, and they will have a good sense of what is realistic versus what is not. For cold callers, the goal is to make an appointment with a qualified prospect. When that happens, they should be rewarded for it, and they should not be penalized if the appointment must be rescheduled.
Invest in your team. I’m a strong believer in ongoing training. If you value your salespeople, you should want them to have the strongest sales skills that they possibly can. This will drive excellent performance and increased sales. Investing in your salespeople with training communicates to them that you value them. This will maintain their motivation and increase their loyalty.
Cold calling is our specialty. At One of a Kind Sales, we create the plan, establish the tracking process, build the skills, and make the calls. If you need help creating an environment that supports an effective cold calling team or want to add cold calling to your sales mix, give us a call at 908.879.2911.
Recently, I had a discussion with a sales leader who told me that she believes her success – and that of her team – is primarily determined by the sales compensation plan. While this may play a strong role, in my experience, sales leaders need to engage in three critical activities beyond compensation and incentives to be effective. These include: having good goals and metrics; hiring and retaining the right sales team members; and providing ongoing coaching, training, and mentoring to the team.
Goals and Metrics
Understanding how your team is performing relative to expectations is critical to identifying where the focus needs to be placed. We’re all familiar with the acronym “SMART” when it comes to defining your goals. Goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timebound. As an example of a SMART goal, at One of a Kind Sales, we require each sales team member to make 20 calls per hour.
In addition, a good CRM is critical to tracking performance goals versus metrics. While a CRM may be an investment for your organization, being able to easily track performance gives you the opportunity to assess and make adjustments as needed.
The Right Team
Working with team members who have a passion for their work is important. As a sales leader, you need to be able to assess whether an individual demonstrates that passion and is a good fit for your team. For example, at One of a Kind Sales, we value sales training and coaching. Our team members need to love learning and have a desire to continuously improve their sales skills. We also value sharing key learnings based on experiences with prospects as well as sharing success stories. We look for that willingness to share in our candidates.
Once you have the right team, keeping the team ‘on point’ with strong sales skills is critical. By investing in ongoing sales training, you strengthen the capabilities of your sales team and improve their ability to reach and potentially exceed sales goals. If individuals are identified as underperformers, sales training and coaching may help them correct their course. If not, it’s important to determine whether or not they should be in that role. In addition, when your team sees that you are investing in their skills, it demonstrates that you are interested in their personal development and increases their commitment to the job.
At One of a Kind Sales, we love selling and we are experts at cold calling, in particular. If you would like to discuss how we can help you and your team please contact us at 908-879-2911.