Reflecting on the major business challenges of prospects and clients in the past year, two problems consistently needed attention in their businesses.
The first one being a consistent level of sales, and the second was how to create a predictable positive cashflow in the business.
Apart from the fact that any business needs good financial policies and application there-of, deliberately developing a high-performance sales team is key to the success of any business, and will deliver a consistent cashflow stream of income.
Getting clarity on the outcomes expected.
Understanding the KPA's (Key Performance Areas) of the sales team will certainly go a long way to helping you build a team of driven sales professionals for your business.
Here are 6 Points to consider:
The KPA's of the Sales Director/Manager would typically include:
- Ensuring existing Client Engagement - developing life time value of clients
- Drive and improve the Client Acquisition Rate - consistency in signing on new clients – daily & weekly targets, opportunities
- Manage the Sales Team – as well as employee satisfaction and results
- Execute contract management and sales administration – including the flow of orders to invoicing
- Manage Sales Reporting on margins - percentage and money against budgeted targets
- Develop and maintain a Customer Relationship Management system (CRM) that works and is an integral part of the sales process in getting and keeping clients
So, is that what you would expect from your head of sales? Take some time out and add to this list of KPA's if need be.
Once you've done that …
- What are the qualities that you would expect of your sales representatives that will help drive these KPA's?
- What process do you need to quickly and effectively employ the right sales staff for your business?
- Develop a clear and concise position specification
Create a shortlist of candidates for your panel interview.
It's occurred to me that quite a few of my clients like employing from a candidate pool of 1. Yes, they quite often employ some-one they know or who they met as "walk-in" applicant or at a family social event they attended. They do this without comparing them with a few other candidates. I guess some of this is because we like helping the jobless family member or son or daughter of a close friend or relative.
I believe that most of the time the person we want and that we should end up employing, must have a real passion for life and our business. It reminds me of a real example where the female sales coordinator for an aggregate and earth moving business, believe it or not, has a real passion for large yellow metal equipment. She loves seeing them and being around them.
Your sales team must develop the know-like and trust of your clients and prospects in your business. They must deeply connect with your prospects and existing customers on the products and services that you sell.
Creating awesome sales teams is all about being clear on what we want from a new team member, what level of sales skills we require (yes there are tools to measure this) and what their level of ownership, accountability and responsibility will be.
All of this is only possible if you follow an agreed recruitment process, … your recruitment process. Creating a structure and following the recruitment system will give you comparable results and a baseline to measure from.
I am sure you are getting the sales person you deserve from either following your recruitment process; or …the absence thereof.
Remember, you should be slow in recruiting and consistent with your performance appraisals.
Would you like to exchange thoughts on this topic? Would you like more information on how to conduct a panel interview?
Contact me or drop me an email and we can connect! I'd really like to hear from you and what your experience is!
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