Your business is constantly changing–growing, adapting, and shifting to fit the needs of the market. Unfortunately, all too many enterprise sales teams struggle with the ability to effectively scale their performance to meet the changing needs of their brand. It’s not just a matter of taking what you’re already doing and growing it. Instead, make sure you’re utilizing these tips to help scale your enterprise sales team.
1. Create a team mentality.
As a sales team, you should focus on being exactly that: a team. A sales team should not look like several people operating independently of one another or competing to see who can get the highest sales (or who can steal a sale away from someone else). Instead, create an environment where you work effectively together as a team. Try some of these tips:
- Establish clear targets that each member of the team can meet. Work together to meet them. Keep in mind that targets may vary based on the number of hours a specific individual works per week, their role on the team, and how they interact with one another.
- Open the lines of communication, and keep them open. As a sales team, you need to be able to share information with one another, whether it’s advice about selling the latest product or information about a specific customer’s preferences.
- Make sure that each member of the sales team has the support they need to succeed. This could include regular feedback sessions, whether than waiting for one big annual session, or simply having management on hand to help answer questions or deal with problems as they crop up, especially for new members of the team.
2. Hire well.
Take ownership over the hiring process, and make sure you’re choosing salespeople who will be great members of your team for a long time to come. While you can train many things, making the right hiring decisions can make a big difference in both the personalities and the talent you get for your business. As you’re hiring, consider these key points:
Consider asking for a demonstration as part of the hiring process. You don’t just want to hear a potential employee’s claims about what he can do. Instead, you want to see it in action! Ask for a demonstration that will give you a better idea of exactly what candidates can do and how they will sell your product.
Choose candidates who are excited about your product. You want salespeople who are going to get customers excited about the products you have to offer. Start on the right foot by choosing candidates who are already excited about the product, the industry, or your brand.
Ask candidates to think on their feet. Salespeople need to be able to problem solve, and problem solve fast. By choosing intelligent, capable candidates who already possess those skills, you put them in the ideal position to provide your customers with everything they need.
3. Be proactive, not reactive.
As you build your enterprise sales team, be proactive about dealing with potential challenges, rather than just reacting to them as they crop up. You don’t want to constantly be a step behind! Instead, carefully consider:
What problems could stand between your sales team and a sale? Is there a particular product feature that clients want, but that you don’t offer? Have you noticed that your competitors’ prices are lower? Pay attention to potential problems and troubleshoot solutions before they become more serious.
Is there a potential problem that could arise for the sales team? Often, properly training your sales team will make a big difference for your entire business. Make sure the sales team is fully trained in how to identify good leads, how to answer customer questions, and even how to provide adequate security.
Do you foresee a potential personality conflict or difficulty arising between members of the sales team? While you can’t entirely erase potential personality conflicts, you can hire carefully to reduce the risk of problems–and you can take steps to prevent problems from developing once you start to see signs and symptoms.
4. Listen to your people.
Your sales team sits on the front lines with your customers every day. They’re the ones who interact most directly with your customers, and they have a great idea of what customers really need and want from your business. Not only that, your existing sales team already has a solid idea of what characteristics are really necessary as you add to the team. Take the time to sit down and listen to your people! What they have to say can transform your business, improve your conversion rates, and help you offer higher levels of customer satisfaction. Not only that, your sales team can also predict many potential problems long before they become more serious, helping you remain more proactive. As you make changes, ask for feedback from your employees–and listen carefully to their suggestions.
5. Make a plan.
Take a look at your priorities as a business. Evaluate your capacity for growth: many businesses find, for example, that there is a cap to how much growth they can handle within a specific period of time. Keep these things in mind:
There will be trade-offs and concessions. You can’t have it all–but most of the time, you can have the things that are most important to you.
Know how much growth you would like to see. Set out a blueprint that covers both what you expect and what you would like to see. Then, work backwards to design a plan that will help take you there.
Incorporate your existing team as much as possible. The more involved your team is, the more they will connect with your growth plans. Not only that, their involvement will let them know that you value them as members of the team and increase their engagement with the company, which can reduce turnover during this critical time period.
Scaling your enterprise sales team requires regular attention and careful forethought on your part. With these tips, however, you can increase your odds of success as your business continues to grow.