As a sales manager or team leader, your top priority is to encourage the productivity and efficiency of your team both short term and for the foreseeable future. However, building the best sales team can feel daunting. Especially if you have recently hit a plateau that you are struggling to overcome.
The best way to make your sales teams more efficient is to focus on motivating and empowering them in their role. Several ways to accomplish this include improving communication, providing them with the tools necessary for their job, and creating a workplace culture that continues to motivate even when your attention is divided.
These tips will help you not only improve sales for Q4 of 2022, but they will continue to strengthen your sales performance as you head into 2023.
The environment and culture at your workplace can either build your team up or tear them down. This environment is arguably one of the most important tools for any manager or business owner, yet overlooked often. From narcissistic leadership to cliques and gossip, a toxic work environment can negatively impact the performance and efficiency of even the best employees.
Build a culture that encourages and supports your team by focusing on a people-first approach. This approach will help show team members they are valued for their actions and who they are. To do this effectively, incorporate workplace policies and guidelines that focus on encouraging a healthy work/life balance, improving the employee experience, and encouraging growth among your team members.
One way to build a positive people-first culture is to emphasize performance positively.
Rather than tracking performance focused solely on the business and the bottom line, track your project KPIs and metrics with attention to the individual wins of your team members. Identify and celebrate successes in your team, which will help increase motivation and drive increased sales performance.
To make these celebrations even more powerful, personalize your team members’ rewards for a well-done job. They’ll remember that extra care in the tougher times and will keep pressing ahead.
Assign the right tasks to the right people on your team. To do this, consider each individual’s interests, passions, and strengths. For example, you may notice one team member has a high success rate with larger corporate leads while another is more skilled in developing relationships.
By putting your team members in the best possible roles, you greatly improve their chances for success. Not only will this enhance their individual sales performance, but it will also increase your overall company sales numbers. It’s also a great way to ensure each team member feels confident and happy in their current role.
The converse is also true. When you consistently assign tasks to team members that do not fit their skill sets – or aspirations – it’s more likely they will become frustrated, and performance will suffer.
One way of improving efficiency across all industries is to categorize and batch work. Task batching, or time batching, has been gaining popularity in the corporate world for improving employee productivity and happiness.
Task batching allows your team to get into the mindset necessary to effectively complete their work to the best of their ability without needing to switch their focus between different jobs and assignments.
For example, a sales team may sit down to create their call lists and locate contact numbers first. Then, they can take a block of time to work through the list, contacting each potential lead before sitting down to do all the follow-up work necessary at the end of their day.
Batching work increases efficiency, primarily, because it helps your team members to minimize – if not eliminate – the distractions that would otherwise slow them down or cause distraction.
Many team members will point to the available tools to complete their work when asked about what holds them back in terms of efficiency.
Are you setting your team up for success, or are your outdated tools and sales processes slowing them down?
Take a moment to reassess the apps and tools they use daily. Whether that’s messy spreadsheets, dozens of abandoned docs, or that unfinished Kanban board everyone neglected to fill out.
This evaluation starts with selecting and setting up a user-friendly CRM system to track and organize their leads and prospects. It must be user-friendly and contain all the information needed to track and close sales. You can also provide your team with Facebook or LinkedIn automation tools to make their prospecting process more efficient and effective. Next, look at the working templates, sales documents, requests, and apps used to organize their daily tasks.
As a manager, it might be worthwhile to track their progress and activities separately. That way you have a transparent picture of all portfolio activity. While also ensuring that workload is balanced. And that everyone is clear on strategy.
Finally, ask your team for feedback and identify opportunities for improvement. And most importantly, actually implement the feedback you receive! There’s nothing worse than being asked for your feedback and then seeing it ignored.
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While you should be actively involved with your team, be careful not to cross the line into micromanagement. Of course, you must provide your team with the education, training, and tools necessary to complete their work. This empowerment shows your trust in their expertise and ability. But make sure they understand your door is always open if assistance is needed.
To ensure that your team is working to their full potential, you want to provide them with the knowledge and direction necessary to feel confident in their role. This certainty is grounded in delivering effective onboarding and training for new team members. As your team grows and evolves, focus on continuous personal development.
Anytime new tools or systems are implemented, ensure that your team has adequate training on their use. You may also consider including monthly training sessions, lunch and learn events, or incorporating mentorship or peer-to-peer coaching into your workplace culture.
This consistent training and evaluation is a great way to address any opportunities for improvement you identify within your team while also ensuring it’s a positive experience that motivates and uplifts.
One of the greatest tools to improve efficiency, productivity, and sales performance in your team is to prioritize open communication. As a sales manager or team leader, you should check in with each of your team members regularly to ask how they are doing, discuss any concerns they may have, and help identify solutions to any challenges they may be facing.
These check-ins are a one-on-one meeting in an office setting, a phone call, or using apps like Zoom and Slack to open an asynchronous line of communication.
These check-ins are also a great time to provide your team with actionable feedback to help improve their success rate, where applicable.
You should also focus on transparency and regular communication from the top down to share policy or procedure changes, discuss company-wide goals and initiatives, and ensure that each individual feels like they are truly part of the team.
You can do this through organized team meetings either in person or virtually.
A happy and appreciated team member is a more efficient and successful salesperson. Therefore, create a positive environment for your team, and invest in training, personal development, and tools to empower each person to do their best work.
The result is a win/win for all involved with happy team members, better sales performance, and culture.
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