The way you interact with your peers at work sometimes directly correlates to the amount of success you have. Whether you act as a superior, an employee, or an equal, the synergy your sales team has can make or break a company. If tensions are running high or there is not enough proper communication, your customers will likely be able to tell that there is something wrong, which can decrease your chances of closing the sale. Here are ten tips for increasing the productivity of your sales team both inside the office among peers and outside the office among clients.
The first sign of an inefficient sales team originates from the most basic idea of a company: its goals. What are the specific goals of your company? Obviously, the basic goal is to sell and market the products the company produces, but how do you want to go about that? Figure out some precise goals for your salespeople to have, then clearly communicate that to them. A team unified under one or multiple common goals is much more likely to know how to confidently work toward those goals, which will lead to more sales.
Similarly to having a common goal, you also want to make sure that all of your salespeople use a common training program. In fact, you can incorporate what your goals are and how to achieve them into the training. If you decide to add new steps to the training program, such as using a new route planning software, make sure your existing employees get that training, not just the new employees. This will help keep current employees from falling behind, as they often do. Your training program should be thorough without being overwhelming, but most importantly, it should convey how new employees are expected to present themselves.
Many office environments do not approve of romantic employee relationships, but that is not necessarily what this point is referring to. Building both professional and friendly relationships is the single best way to increase synergy within a team. When employees who work together regularly are comfortable and friendly with one another, the bond they create can help facilitate the discussion of new ideas, new leads, and other things that could be helpful for the team in general. Whether or not these relationships extend outside of the workplace is irrelevant as long as they are improving the environment within the workplace.
If your employees or fellow workers are doing something incorrectly, it solves nothing to hide that fact from them. Be transparent about any mistakes they may be consistently making. If they are unaware of these mistakes, they have little to no hope of fixing them. If you are unsure of how to broach the subject properly, start by mentioning the error kindly, but firmly. This will keep the other person's mind at ease while still letting him or her know that something is wrong. From there, simply inform him or her of what they have done, and offer a solution.
In the same vein as building relationships, setting up regular meetings will help build relationships and bolster communication. In a sense, hosting regular meetings is the culmination of the previous four points put together. When building a team, communication is generally the most important element overall, and meetings are one of the most effective methods of communication available. Seeing one another face-to-face is more effective than written or online communication. People will remember more of the information provided and build in-person relationships that appear faster and are more resilient.
Moving on to the customer relations side of sales, the best thing you can do to prepare yourself before meeting a potential client for the first time is to research who the client is and what he or she needs. All businesses are affected by outside factors including the stock market, world events, and internal conflicts. Knowing what the potential risk factors for any business are before meeting with its representative will give you a head start in negotiations while also giving the other party the impression that you care because you took the time to research.
Your clients are likely smarter and more perceptive than you expect them to be, and they will know, or at least be suspicious when you are lying or exaggerating. Do your best to tell clients the whole truth at all times. If your product has certain drawbacks, be honest about those drawbacks while finding a way to put a positive spin on them. Your customers will appreciate honestly much more than pretending that everything about your product is perfect and will solve all of their problems. No one product does that, so do not pretend it does.
Your clients will inevitably have questions about the product or products they are purchasing, so being able to answer those questions will greatly increase your chances of success. When a salesperson frequently has to reference other material before answering a client's questions, it can instill a sense of nervousness or discomfort because it seems like the salesperson is unqualified to be speaking about the product. If you take the time to learn about what the product does and how customers can use it, your clients will feel more comfortable listening to your pitch.
Improvisation is a surprisingly important skill in the realm of sales. Much of the time, salespeople have a script or a general outline that they prefer to follow, and that is important as well. However, you always need to be ready to go off-script to answer customer questions or account for other extraneous variables. Believe it or not, these off-script moments are examples of improvisation, just like actors use. Salespeople frequently present in front of rooms of people, and sometimes something goes slightly awry, which is cause for improvisation. It can even be helpful to take a basic improvisation class.
It may seem like a basic skill, but even the most seasoned professionals need a reminder from time to time. Customers respond the best to friendly, personable salespeople who appear to have their company's best interests at heart and who present themselves confidently. The way you present yourself is both verbal and nonverbal. Being well-spoken and well-informed are not the only variables that customers will perceive, either consciously or unconsciously. Body language, posture, and dress sense also inform the customer of who they are dealing with and how much he or she can be trusted to sell a good product.
Sales is not an easy job. There are so many variables that one has to account for that it can seem impossible to be aware of all of them at once. Whether your goal is to increase the synergy between your sales team or to bolster your team's sales skills, consider using this list as the beginnings of that process. The way you go about sales has the potential to make or break a company. If you cannot effectively sell and market your products, be prepared to suffer heavy losses, and face other struggles.
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