6 Things to Think About When Scaling Your Sales Team
If your business is growing and you need to bring in more salespeople, focusing on these areas can help you build the best team.
- Scaling a sales team is easy, but building the right sales team takes work.
- This process involves:
- Evaluating the strengths and weakness of the current team
- Hiring smartly by looking at both skills and cultural fit
- Putting a comprehensive and continual training program in place
- Creating an environment that encourage collaboration
- Doing things to keep everybody interested and engaged
- Keeping the prospect pipeline primed
Your sales team has to be on top of its game. They need to pounce (in a non-pushy way, of course) when somebody shows interest in your business. New businesses especially can’t afford to pass up any leads. If potential customers are falling through the cracks because your salespeople are overwhelmed, though, it’s time to bring in some reinforcements.
This guide aims to help you understand how to grow your business by scaling a sales team, maximize their potential, and make sure they stick around for a while.
Start with an evaluation
The first step is to take a close look at your current team. If it consists of you and, well, just you, clearly you need to make some hires. If you do have salespeople, identify the strengths of the team and where improvement could be made. Your goal should be to bring in people who complement your current group but also fill in any gaps. Don’t be afraid to ask your salespeople what they need, including how they can better be supported and augmented, as you start the process of scaling a sales team.
Be smart about hiring
Once you’re ready to hire, the process has to be undertaken thoughtfully. Looking at the skills and experience of candidates is important, but there’s a huge factor you can’t forget about: cultural fit. If someone isn’t right for your company’s culture, it doesn’t matter how glowing their resume might be. The right hire will help teams grow and succeed, but the wrong hire can completely upset everything you’ve worked so hard to build.
Another factor to keep in mind: If you have a couple of rockstar salespeople, your first thought may be to just try to find carbon copies. This is not necessarily a mistake, but this mindset could hold your company back. This is because a more diverse team is generally a more productive and profitable team.
Train, and train some more
First you must make sure you have the right people in place, but after that it’s time for the real work to begin. The key to creating a strong sales team is training. Everybody needs to be on the same page and have the right information about your products or services, target market, and ideal customers. But, all too often, companies think of training as a one-time endeavor. It often involves little more than just pointing new hires to some online materials, too. Training has to be comprehensive and it has to be continual. This allows salespeople to continue to improve their current skills and learn new ones.
Foster a collaborative atmosphere
While your salespeople may work alone, they should never feel alone. It’s very important to emphasize that they are on a team and that everybody is meant to help and support one another. Creating a mentorship program could be an excellent idea, as this lets more experienced salespeople offer guidance to newer employees. Studies have found that mentored employees are more engaged and much more likely to stay at a company for longer periods of time.
Keep your team’s engagement level up
Speaking of engagement, you need to make sure your team is always interested in what they’re doing. Around the time things become boring or humdrum is often when folks start thinking about leaving. One very effective way of keeping engagement high is with gamification techniques. You’ll be amazed at how motivated this will make salespeople as they compete against each other – or even just themselves. Creating a healthy competitive environment will boost productivity and make things more fun. This can also make them better salespeople as you are scaling a sales team.
Think about the future
When your sales team is running like a well-oiled machine, everybody is engaged. As a leader, looking at the sales numbers makes you smile, and you may even be tempted to just sit back and relax. This was the whole point, right? Well, yes, but you can’t get complacent.
It’s vital to keep your eye on the future and what it may bring. For example, if you’re planning to launch a new product, you may again have to bring in new salespeople. If a team member isn’t performing as well as you hoped, they might need to be replaced. Conversely, what if your top performer leaves for another company? You should always have the salesperson pipeline primed and ready to be tapped. Your sales team should always be thought of as a work in progress, never a completely finished product.
Get help from the experts
Businesses tend to hire hastily when they’re in dire need of salespeople, but this almost always ends up being detrimental down the road. At MetaGrowth Ventures, we have developed a proven formula for finding the best people for a company and setting them up for success. We help you find and hire the right sales candidates, train them to meet and exceed your standards, and then have coaches to help them improve and maintain their performance.
To learn what we can offer your business, contact us.