Managing sales teams is a challenge, even for those who know the subject. Keeping salespeople engaged and able to achieve results is complex, especially in commerce, a sector with 3.68% of layoffs in 2020, compared to hiring in the same period. Challenges in sales management
Fluctuations in the economic scenario, changes in consumption needs and fierce competition make the game even more complex.
Furthermore, the human factor cannot be neglected, as to achieve goals it is necessary to have motivated and qualified salespeople.
This content is a guide to managing sales teams. Here, we bring precious tips to increase the performance of the commercial team.
Also, discover insights to drive processes for results. Get ready to take your salespeople to the next level!
What is sales team management
The act of managing a sales team requires some actions, such as coordinating team members, organizing processes and optimizing resources.
All with a single objective: to achieve results. In this sense, managing sales includes hitting targets, increasing profits, and keeping motivation high.
Challenges of sales teams
1-Problem or difficulty in prospecting.
14% of prospecting people indicated the difficulty in capturing the prospects’ commitment and interest Challenges in sales management
12% reported difficulty in maintaining a consistent cadence of contact across multiple channels
12% have difficulty reaching the right customer
Capturing Prospects’ Commitment and Interest: Prospectors should speak clearly and directly when in contact with clients. It’s only a few minutes the SDR has with prospects, so you have to make every moment count.
Keeping a consistent cadence: To maintain a consistent cadence, define a schedule with defined touchpoint days, with an end date as well. Within that, already outline the platforms of each of these contacts. Read more about here .
Getting to the right customer: When you shoot all over the place (multiple customer profiles) you end up missing out on good sales opportunities. Thus, the most correct thing to do is filter the customer profile you want to win. Consider the problem your product/service solves and who is willing to pay for it, and define how to approach that customer.
2.Understand customer needs
22% create value and insight during conversation with Prospect
15% Overcome Misperceptions About What Customers Need
14% explore customer issues to define the solution’s business impact
Creating Value: Ask all about your customer’s goals, plans and challenges to align expectations. If you don’t have a solution to the customer’s problem, be honest.
Customer Perception: Your customer has different perceptions of you as a salesperson, so what you need to do is practice empathy and try to look at the need the customer says they have, through their eyes. Challenges in sales management
Impact on the solution for the customer’s business: This point connects with the previous one, as it is after listening to the prospect that you will understand their real needs, with this you can know the value that your solution will deliver to that customer’s company, and present it strategically.
3. Difficulty in negotiation
17% maintain profitability
15% dealing with customers who always come back to negotiate and ask for more concessions
13% difficulties in achieving higher sales
Profitability vs. discounts: The seller in the negotiation process must keep in mind that some customers take longer than others to close a contract, so they need to have other “cards up their sleeve”, in addition to encouraging these customers to close, it is I need to maintain the correct approach, of necessity. In addition, it is important for the seller to always make it clear to the Prospect the value of the solution and not the price. If the seller cannot clearly convey what he offers differently to the prospect, it becomes a commodity war.
Achieve higher sales: To conquer higher sales, you must first define the ideal customer profile, and after that, devise strategies to reach those customers.
In addition to thinking about selling more or higher sales, you should keep in mind that your current customers may continue to buy new solutions from you. Challenges in sales management
4.Management of customer accounts
16% Become a Trusted Consultant
11%find ways to keep the relationship interesting for both parties
11% balance sales and relationship management
Building self-confidence: Knowing and trusting what you sell is the first step to being a trusted advisor.
Establish a relationship: Sales is relationship. Today no one wants to be persuaded by a seller anymore. And the best sellers don’t sell, they only lead the Lead to the best decision, but the Lead itself makes it.
Keep honesty: To improve the relationship with prospects, it is necessary to always show sincerity from the first contact with the Lead, offering value even before becoming a customer
5.Lack of sales skills
15% deliver attractive value proposition
11% understand real customer needs through strategic questions
10% match solution benefits with customer needs
9% position information that shapes customer thinking
- A good way to deliver an attractive value proposition to customers is to know a lot about the solution being sold, and tell success stories in which the seller participated. Thus, in addition to demonstrating authority on the subject, the Prospect can identify with real situations in the cases. Challenges in sales management
- For a team to have good sales skills, it needs to be trained by your company, so that all people are aligned with the goals that a company wants to achieve.
Importance of good sales team management
That the purpose of a sales team is to sell, we already know. But what is the best way to achieve this goal? The answer lies in the efficient management of teams . Salespeople need to be results oriented.
At this time, the figure of the manager or leader is decisive. Since he is the one who will direct the salespeople towards the established goals, motivating the teams and organizing the processes.
In an analogy, a sales process is like a chess game, in which each “piece” has its specific function and rules for “moving” on the board.
Managing sales teams requires dedication and a flair for analyzing the skills and abilities that salespeople must have.
In this case, the leader acts as a mediator between individual performance and the result that the company aims for.
Therefore, managing sales means developing a set of actions aimed at the commercial evolution of a company. Challenges in sales management
Thus, to achieve goals, the group applies specific techniques, always keeping an eye on the objectives and goals.
How to do good sales management
It is possible to overcome the challenges of managing a sales team and succeeding in the role. Therefore, the manager must develop a consistent strategy, focusing on the results he wants to achieve.
Here are some tips for good management.
Form a team of salespeople with different profiles
When selecting a member for the team, we are looking for a bold, experienced and goal-focused professional.
However, keeping a group with only this profile can make it difficult to mesh, as everyone is dedicated to the same goal.
In that case, there is a risk that there is not enough cohesion. And the scenario can turn into a fierce dispute to know who sells more and has more competence. As a result, the goals will take a back seat.
Therefore, when building a workgroup focused on sales, try to merge professional profiles. Also, make them complement each other in terms of experience, goals and ways of acting.
Remember that it is more profitable to have salespeople with little experience, but dedicated, than hiring an expert negotiator who cannot socialize.
Organize a sales team by competency
For the sales structure to work, it is essential to have a well-defined process. Believing that every salesperson can (or should) do it all is a mistake and becomes an exhausting practice over time.
The explanation lies in the aptitude that each one has during the process. Some like more to prospect customers, others are more effective in closing. Therefore, wasting the salesperson’s innate talent makes no sense. Challenges in sales management
Thus, when selecting or hiring members for the sales team, try to designate them to attend only one stage.
Form sales teams according to the operating segment
Allied to the previous tip, organizing a team according to business segmentation is a great strategy. So, if the company operates in the B2B and B2C markets, divide the teams based on this division.
This is an interesting strategy, as selling to the final consumer is different from selling to companies, they are different approaches and discourses.
In addition, monitoring the process and the relationship established between seller and customer is another.
To be successful in a complex process, such as sales, it is essential to have a standardized flow.
This includes the text the salesperson uses on the phone, how he presents himself during a customer meeting, and what arguments he uses during the negotiation.
In other words, standardizing the process is setting a roadmap. Each step must follow a predefined script to achieve the main objective. Challenges in sales management
plan what must be done
Arranging the day in advance is beneficial for those working in sales.
So, plan details of what to do, including signaling break times, lunch, and team meetings. If possible, include start and end times.
Also, allow time in the agenda for unforeseen and urgent matters that may arise. Planning the day’s activities is the best way to successfully complete them.
Technology is an ally in many areas, including at work. However, it can get in the way when they become the enemy of productivity.
Social networks, for example, are great tools for customer relations and promotion of offers.
The problem is when Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp or other social networks lead us to procrastination. One situation is using apps for work.
It’s quite another to stop working because you spend too much time on them.
In this sense, to avoid a drop in productivity, use must be released, but with responsibility. The ideal is to set times for checking emails and other accounts, answering questions and interacting with the social network. Challenges in sales management
Still, the phone can also be detrimental to income. In this case, cell phones are silent and use is moderate.
A valuable tip is: when you’re at an important activity and the phone rings, leave it to return later and finish whatever you’re doing.
Don’t overload the team with tasks
To manage the sales team, deadlines are essential. This means not requiring more activities than the group can handle.
Otherwise, pending tasks will create anguish and unbalance the team’s harmony if anyone feels overwhelmed.
Furthermore, it is important to avoid exhaustion and poorly distributed work. Another common mistake in sales is wanting to resolve everything in the same day.
In this field, not everything works like that. Negotiation processes require time, analysis and maturation.
An interesting strategy is to distribute the tasks of the day at the end of the previous day, putting what is most urgent for the beginning of the journey.
Next should be the less urgent issues. Finally, what requires less complexity is executed.
Organizing the routine with planning guarantees the satisfaction of starting the day with matters resolved. This behavior has positive effects on motivation and productivity.
Best practices to increase the performance of the sales team
Knowing the importance of managing salespeople well is the first step. But it’s not enough to achieve results. Therefore, we suggest good practices to qualify the performance of the sales team in your company: Challenges in sales management
- value the team’s motivation and give feedback . Learning with mistakes and successes is the best way;
- use planning as a strategy to earn more;
- know how to manage individual skills and abilities;
- encourage salespeople with training and punctual training;
- closely monitor conversations and negotiations with customers;
- invest in tools for internal and external communication;
- prioritize human contact whenever possible;
- do not neglect transparency in decisions and in the presentation of results, achieved or not;
- know how to map skills related to professional, technical and behavioral performance;
- set clear, tangible goals;
- hold regular meetings, discuss strategies, assess what is working and what needs to be reviewed;
- monitor the results, not to inspect, but to find out about obstacles and identify bottlenecks in the processes;
- lead and promote necessary changes, implementing management tools that can add to the process;
- value teamwork, exercising leadership with empathy and knowing how to listen.
How to use behavioral analysis in managing sales teams
Managers of small and medium companies are not exempt from problems common to large organizations: turnover. Yet, this is also true for businesses that are starting up.
But a management strategy, known as behavioral analysis, can significantly reduce layoffs, minimizing the costs involved in the firing and hiring processes.
It is a consensus in HR that companies admit by their curriculum, but fire by their behavior. In this sense, having more accurate and detailed information about employees can reduce the impact of turnover .
Thus, among the advantages of behavioral analysis for SMEs is the possibility of getting to know the team professionals better.
What about managing sales teams? Is it possible to rely on behavioral analysis to qualify performance? The answer is yes.
For this, Solids developed the Profiler . A tool based on the DISC methodology and seven other proven scientific methods.
The Profiler passed tests at renowned educational institutions, including the University of São Paulo (USP), achieving 97.9% assertiveness.
With the software, companies are able to analyze the behavioral profile of employees, mapping more than 50 characteristics — strengths, motivational and removal factors, leadership style, among others. Challenges in sales management
When applied in the sales sector, Profiler offers benefits, mainly for managing teams. In this way, the leader is able to segment the professionals according to the aptitude of each salesperson.
So, if the intention is to organize sales teams based on professional and technical skills, the Profiler is the ideal tool.
Another advantage of the software is the significant improvement in the organizational climate . The profile analysis allows you to know which points need improvement so that employees feel at ease in the work environment.