Business Advice Blog

HOW TO BUILD A WORLD-CLASS SALES TEAM

Rock-Star Sales Team

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You may have the best product or service out there, but if you lack a high-performing sales team, chances are your business will suffer. As anyone who’s ever been in (or dealt with) sales knows, it takes a combination of locating a person with the right sales traits and skills, combined with the best approach to training and guidance, to get the desired result.

HERE ARE TIPS ON BUILDING A WORLD-CLASS SALES TEAM FOR YOUR COMPANY:

HIRE WISELY.

The hiring process is most effectively employed with a multi-phase approach. Start by identifying the specific needs your business has in the area of sales. From there, craft a succinct and compelling job description that helps weed out inappropriate candidates and narrows the range of applicants for the open position.

Focus on attracting people with a background that closely resembles your business and industry. As sales expert Laurence Bret-Stern observes, “While it is important to be open-minded about experience and background—the experience must be relevant.” A person “with five years’ manufacturing sales is unlikely to be appropriate for your property business.”

TAKE A SYSTEMATIC APPROACH TO THE INTERVIEW PROCESS.

Interviewing candidates for a sales position is a key element in choosing the right person for the job. Ask each candidate why they want to work for you. Their answers will indicate whether or not they’ve done the necessary “due diligence” on your business beforehand—a useful trait for researching and contacting potential customers on your company’s behalf.

In addition to asking the right questions about past sales experience, knowledge of sales cycles, their process for closing a deal, etc., pay close attention to the candidate’s attitude and demeanor. “The way salespeople sell themselves is the way you can expect them to sell your product or service,” notes sales and customer service expert Wendy Connick.

With the right individual in place, here are suggestions for guidance and support:

PROVIDE THE BEST SALES TECHNOLOGY RESOURCES AVAILABLE.

In today’s digital era, no business can hope to compete without a strong investment in sales performance technology. At the very least, you need a powerful CRM platform so your sales team can track important metrics and update every transaction with prospects up to and including a closed sale.

Other sales-related tasks that once had to be performed manually now require significantly less time and effort due to automation. Email software, for example, automates follow-up messages to prospects, messages that can be personalized and closely tracked for data-collection and other purposes. Whatever technology can do to reduce or eliminate process-oriented drudgery  will help your sales team focus on what’s most important—sales themselves.

STRENGTHEN YOUR TEAM WITH TRAINING AND COACHING.

Training in specific areas can enable even your best sales reps to fill in gaps in their experience. Plenty of online sales training courses are available and may be customized for your company’s unique needs. When a salesperson has the opportunity to take part in webinars, attend sales conferences or engage in other learning activities, they can collaborate and share new ideas, but also become re-energized about the entire sales process.

Just as importantly, on-the-job coaching can work wonders with motivated salespeople. Where possible, look for mentoring opportunities that partner a veteran sales team member with an up-and-coming rookie. Or let more experienced sales reps accompany newbies on a sales call and then offer helpful criticism to better achieve their goals. This type of focused interaction and collaboration helps make the entire team stronger.

Every business seeks enthusiastic, hard-working salespeople. By hiring wisely, offering top-notch technical support and coaching for success, you greatly increase the odds that your team will emerge with a deep bench of sales rock-stars for years to come.

 

How to Leverage LinkedIn to Market Your Business

LinkedIn

Use LinkedIn to market your business

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Virtually all business professionals use LinkedIn to connect with other business leaders, promote their endeavors, make new contacts, and otherwise share news about their respective industries. Increasingly, many CEOs and business owners are harnessing the power of LinkedIn to highlight and market their businesses to a broader audience.

Here are strategies related to LinkedIn that you can leverage for your overall business marketing strategies:

Start by making yourself more interesting.

Many prospective customers begin their purchasing journey by checking out your business online. This often includes a look at the CEO or business owner’s LinkedIn profile, even if that’s not directly related to their eventual transaction. That’s why giving a little extra attention to the impact of your LinkedIn profile can really pay off.

First of all, don’t be boring! Entrepreneur Lewis Howes suggests, “Add an interesting story in your summary, have a video recommendation pop up in the first few seconds, or at the least tell people who you are, who you help, and how you help them so there is some direction for people when they land on your profile.”

Be an active participant.

In any professional or social gathering, you probably find clever ways to promote your business in an appropriate manner. The same principle applies to LinkedIn, where you should be regularly posting news about your company—everything from product updates to how-to articles and brief videos of employee team-building events.

Also, seek to share industry news (blog posts, articles, images) from respected third-party sources, as long as the information can in some way benefit your followers. After just a short time, you’ll build a foundation of trust as a reliable source for accurate and helpful information, and people will regularly check in for more.

Boost the first impression of your company page.

Just as your own profile should be as compelling as possible, the look and feel of your company page should draw viewers in as well. Task some creative employees with putting together a page that combines graphics, imagery, video and absorbing text. The end-result should both reflect your company culture and promote an image of being at the forefront of your industry and a hub of excitement and innovation.

Be a content creator.

It’s great if you share news with your network, but offering original content is even better. First of all, no can match your specific knowledge of your business and industry, and prospective customers would likely benefit from your expertise. LinkedIn’s publishing platform invites articles and other contributions in all realms of business, including influencer and member posts that provide custom-tailored news and information throughout your professional network.

Explore LinkedIn’s community features.

This is a potentially significant way to build brand awareness and exchange views with like-minded people on LinkedIn. “You can create your own LinkedIn groups or join any number of groups that focus on your area of interest or expertise,” notes marketing expert Bob DeStefano. You can also grow your influence by “participating in discussions in various LinkedIn groups.”

The more you participate, the higher your profile—and, again by extension, more awareness of your business.

In our interconnected and ever-evolving business world, you never know where your next great sales lead might come from.

The allure of LinkedIn is that the credibility of your brand is strengthened with each network interaction and that there’s no telling just how far beyond your individual realm those interactions might lead. The amount of time and effort needed to stay current on LinkedIn will likely prove to be small when compared with the potential marketing benefits in the months and years to come.