1. Hire the right people for your team
Your recruitment efforts play a sizable role in your team’s performance, and getting it right can be among the most effective sales management strategies in your arsenal. Sure, you want to attract people with a proven track record, but that’s not the only thing you should be looking out for. Think about how well they will fit into the team.
If, during your interviewing process, you get a sense of combativeness in your candidates, they will probably bring that into the office with them, which is disastrous for productivity. Similarly, a quick turnover is the last thing you want as a sales manager, as it means regularly retraining staff and reassigning accounts. In collaboration with your human resources team, you can use advanced HR technology to get a detailed profile of your candidates including what they want from the job and what you can offer them so they fully invest in your project.
2. Create a good company culture
As a manager, one of the most effective sales management strategies you can work on is making your workplace an enjoyable place to be. To kick it off, you don’t need to invest anything to make a huge difference. A happy team works well together, and if they feel confident at work, they will work far more productively. To create a good company culture, start by letting people know you want to hear their input and they won’t be mocked or ignored if they try to contribute. Make sure this isn’t just lip service though, you have to follow through with concrete action.
You can also set up regular one-to-one sessions with each individual where they can raise any concerns in private and you can work on them together. You need to be approachable and receptive in these situations, so block out time on your calendar when you can pay them full attention without any distractions. Finally, set out clear policies to deal with toxic behavior, including reporting, identifying, and consequences. Although it’s not directly linked to sales itself, quickly resolving any issues between your team members is one of the most successful sales management strategies you can implement. With a feeling of security and inclusion, your team can focus on selling, and by keeping your team happy, you’ll reduce turnover.
3. Set achievable individual and team goals
Without clear targets to hit, it's very hard to measure your success. Work with executives to find an ideal — profitable but also realistic — number of sales to hit and set that as your team goal. To make goals one of the effective sales management strategies, you need to do a bit of adaptation at the individual level. You can't simply set the same targets for everyone. Some will have more experience and others may have more difficult markets to deal with.
By setting fair sales goals for every individual, you can challenge your team without demotivating them with unachievable targets. Next, you need to give them a reason to work hard, such as a commission structure, and you're ready to go!
4. Be smart about your time management
Anyone who has worked in sales knows that timing is of the essence. Whether it’s quickly replying to leads to keep them hot or setting aside enough time for reflection and analysis, tips for effective sales management strategies always include time management. Time tracking software can be your ally here. As your team gets started, you can judge how much time every task should take and plan schedules and workflows accordingly. You can use estimated times to make data-driven predictions about your targets and set agendas way in advance, having calculated the time it will take.
You can also use time tracking to spot the exact task that is slowing one of your agents down, then run a session on how to improve. And then it comes to meetings. There’s nothing worse than knowing you could be closing deals, but instead, you’re staring at a clock in a never-ending meeting. To counter this, be strict with meeting timings — no more than 30 minutes — and have a well-prepared agenda so you don’t waste valuable time. You could also schedule recurring daily stand-up meetings to keep things short and sweet, and to flag up any issues without going into granular detail.
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5. Set well-planned sales workflows
A list of effective sales management strategies wouldn't be complete without mentioning sales workflows. Put simply, your workflows are a series of tasks that take a lead from first contact to a deal and beyond. A key advantage of sales workflows is that they structure the day-to-day work of your team, so rather than having to remember each task, they have a clear roadmap of steps to take. This helps sales agents to avoid missing steps and makes your approach more uniform and professional.
You can also duplicate your sales workflows in an instant and change a few elements if you need different approaches for different kinds of customers. By lining up standardized workflows, you can also analyze your team’s performance to a much higher level. With everybody following the same steps, you can pinpoint where your strong and weaker areas are.
6. Implement automations where possible
You don't hire the top sales performers to spend time doing admin tasks, and with sales management tools as powerful as they are these days, capitalizing on technology is one of the most effective sales management strategies you can implement. Automations cover a wide range of small, repetitive tasks. For example, if you have recurring meetings, rather than creating a new event every time you get together with your team, you can schedule weekly or monthly meetings at the click of a button.
More specific to your sales efforts, you can automate your CRM to assign new leads to the right agent, or randomize them to make things fair for everybody. You can also automate your sales workflow with dependencies. Rather than your team having to constantly refer to your workflow, your automation will recognize that one task has finished and automatically assign a sales agent the following one. So when developing a sales management strategy, keep an eye out for where you can remove menial tasks and help your team focus on what they do best.
7. Identify your blockers and take action
Customer relationship management tools are another where you can implement a variety of effective sales management strategies. Aside from storing all your leads and their details on one shared platform, you can segment your database and write up different approaches for each group. But where a good CRM really comes into its own is in the reports you can pull out of them. By running regular detailed analyses, you can identify where in your sales workflow most of your leads drop off.
With the best analytical tools, you can even hone in on individual agents, or focus on a certain demographic of your customers. Once you’ve identified what’s holding up your deals, you can get to work on solving the issues. It could be a department-wide approach that isn’t quite on the mark, so do A/B testing on a few new methods and implement your best practice. Similarly, it could be a single member of the team making the same mistake over and over again. In this case, take the time to support them and help them improve performance.
8. Offering support and training to your team
As mentioned in the previous points, there will be times where you need to intervene to help your team members reach their potential. One common mistake here is to do this in front of your whole team. On the contrary, constructive criticism and personal development done in private to avoid the individual feeling alienated and even humiliated is one of the most effective sales management strategies.
But support and training doesn’t just take place on an individual level. When new technology or best practices enter the mix, you’ll want to deliver training to your entire team. This way, you can surf the wave of new innovations, rather than playing catch up. Don’t be afraid to run training sessions on your competitors either. The more you know about your market, the better, and you can add any updates to your team guidelines, which can double as an onboarding package.
9. Give senior team members the chance to mentor
Assigning mentors within your team is one of the most effective sales management strategies with a diverse range of benefits. Firstly, there’s the emotional side. New recruits can often feel daunted by their new role, so pairing them up with a friendly face who has been in their shoes gives them the confidence to get started. On the flip side, you can’t promote all your top performers, but assigning them a mentor role, perhaps with a pay review, can show your appreciation and give them a sense of value to the company.
Combining someone with a recognized level of seniority with someone who needs is also a great way of improving your weaker or newer team members with very little input from you. So take a look at people’s schedules and think about implementing a mentorship program. At the very least, it is perfect for helping your team gel together.
10. Recognize good work
Successful sales management strategies always include being consistent with praise. It is great for motivating your workers and creating an enjoyable work environment. So if someone reaches — or exceeds — their targets, give them recognition out in the open. This could be a congratulation at a team meeting, an announcement on your company intranet, or both. Don’t limit it to your praise to individuals though. One way of helping your team fight for each other is to look at your team targets and reward the group as a whole. This can help everybody keep their eyes on the prize and be less likely to bump their own numbers up at someone else’s expense.
But good work isn't only about numbers. If someone has put in effort to push your team forward, it's crucial to make them feel valued for their efforts, even if they didn't directly lead to more sales. Failure to recognize this kind of contribution often leads to a feeling of unfairness and can cause bitterness in your team. On the other hand, handing out praise where it is deserved can inspire your team to keep working hard. So many of our 10 effective sales management strategies focus on the need for technology to help your team work more efficiently and more accurately.
As an all-in-one business platform, Bitrix24 gives you every tool you need, all in one handy place. Rather than switching from your communications app to your CRM, and opening a new tab for your project management software, your sales team can focus on their tasks with far fewer distractions. You might think that such a powerful, wide-reaching tool is going to break the bank, but in fact, you can sign up to Bitrix24 for free!
So what are you waiting for? Dive in and see how you can improve your sales management strategy process and practice today.
What are the main sales strategies?
Some of the most common strategies for sales management include:
- Choosing the right team.
- Controlling timings and deadlines.
- Understanding your product and the market.
- Setting challenging, achievable goals.
- Analyzing your performance.
How do you succeed in sales management?
When developing a sales management strategy, you don’t need to be the best salesperson in the world. Here are our top tips:
- Create an enjoyable atmosphere to work in
- Cut out toxic behavior
- Set clear expectations
- Praise good work
- Provide extra training where necessary