How to build a sales team for your business to sell your products and services
Look at the image of the high-performance Ferrari and you will see a carr that literally purrs along the road until you kick it into action and then in a heartbeat, it switches into “performance mode,” where it effortlessly shoots up to top speed and delivers superb performance with what feels like minimal effort.
That is how your sales team should be performing and in the article, I will give you the outline about how to build a sales team to sell your products and services — a high-performance sales team that will deliver serious profitability…and consistently.
Buil a sales team that sells…
How is your sales team performing currently?
Are they precisely where you need them to be performance-wise?
If they are then congratulations, you don’t need to read any further, but if they are in any way underperforming, then read on.
Your sales team are the engine of your business and they need to be a high-performance one, as your success in business depends on it.
A high-performing company, needs high-performing people, just like the Ferrari, needs high-performing components and in my opinion, the best way to achieve this is to go and create it!
I see it all of the time — fat, bloated companies that are failing to return the results for the owners and shareholders, employing salespeople, who simply cannot produce the results.
Why do you think there is such a huge demand for high-quality and high-performing salespeople?
Why do you think the sales training industry is such a lucrative one?
Because the market allows for such conditions and as long as people keep the status quo in the sales industry, it will not change.
I am talking here about the salespeople who travel around the country or the world, living on expense accounts, high basic salaries, with company cars/allowances who are simply not hitting their quotas!
A good salesperson
A good salesperson is reliable, consistent, can be trusted to forecast and someone who is never resting on their laurels and who is continuously ambitious — they are self-motivated, natural leaders and do not require micro-management.
They will have a passion for sales and everything “selling.”
They will treat your company like their own…until inevitably they will start their own and this is an important part — recognize that nothing in life is “forever” and allow people to leave and forge their own careers.
Many people have left me and set up large, successful global entities and good luck to them!
Take a look at another article I have written “How to become a good salesman” where I go into more detail.
You need to also accept that high-performing salespeople come with their own “quirks” — they are temperamental, just like the early Ferrari’s and that should not phase you as a business owner, sales director or sales manager.
Unfortunately, many managers, leaders, and owners do not recognize this and their egos can get in the way of allowing these top-flight salespeople to do their jobs, just like I did in my early career as a sales manager.
You have to learn to get out of the way and let these people perform.
How to build a high-performance sales team
I am going to assume that you have an existing sales team for this part and if you don’t then you will need to find salespeople to build a team and my advice here, is to select and train them.
I go into much more detail in my article “Recruitment sales training — how to build a high-performance sales team” and although it is for the recruiting industry, the principles are the same for any.
The first thing to do is to conduct an audit of your existing team and do this in two stages:
- Use the numbers as math doesn’t lie — get the latest current and projected sales performance figures for the last twelve months for the entire team, if you have them.
- Now re-interview everyone for their current job,
The numbers will give you a picture of exactly where you are versus where you should or need to be and the forecast will tell you where you want to be.
You need to make sure that you use a + or – discrepancy value — i.e are you ahead or behind the target and by how much.
Next, you can start to look at the people behind the numbers and re-evaluate them into the qualities I have already talked about.
The re-evaluation of “interviewing” part should be done quietly and simply to give you a “refreshed” view of where you are and who you have got to work with.
Now perform an activity evaluation:
- What are your company metrics to deliver a sale in terms of activity — in the early days of recruiting, for example, we would need to have a candidate on 5 interviews to deliver one billable deal and that was broken down further to the number of telephone calls a salesperson needed to make to get those interviews. I would expect a minimum of one deal per week for each salesperson. In my software company, the deals would take up to two years, but we would still break the process down.
- Where is each person within those metrics?
From here, you can really drill down into the activity of each individual salesperson and please be prepared to be shocked at the results!
Next, you can look at the customer contact history and also at what levels you are talking to your customer.
Many companies work at what I call the “sales delivery layer” of their customers — the actual people who routinely give out the orders and therefore the cash and it would seem logical!
But when I look at the sales strategies of many of the salespeople I have seen/coached and companies who need to overhaul their sales systems, I find that almost none of them are engaged at the C-suite/Executive Leadership level.
You absolutely must be connected to the top of your client companies and no matter how large they are.
The routine orders may well be delivered from the people below, but the strategy, decision-making and financial approval will always come from above and in today’s uncertain, volatile and hypercompetitive market it is now a fact of sales life.
I know where I would want to be connected.
Lastly, you have to remember to play the long game — let the other companies chase the deals of today and do your research to gain as much information as possible and then turn that information into intelligence which in turn, becomes cash!
Deep and consistent research is the real secret to sales success and that is what will separate you from your competition.
- You want to create or re-create a high-performance sales team to sell your products and services
- You will be dependent on this for the overall financial performance and value of your company
- You need to establish the status quo in terms of hard numbers and the people behind those numbers
- Now look at the activity levels of your team and break down the component parts or “route” to the sale
- Take a look at “who” you are engaging with regarding your customers — you must be connected at the highest levels
- Play the long game — gain information and turn it into intelligence to make serious profits
I hope you have a basic idea of how to build a sales team for your business and if you want me to personally help you build such a team, then get in touch with me at neiljcfranklin.com/contact and I will tell you exactly how I can help.