Resilient Sales Teams

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Bounce back stronger.

Resilience, the ability to recover from setbacks, is a key trait in any successful sales team in the current economic environment. The question for any sales director or business owner is how to build more resilient teams.

Resilience is vital to support employee health and well-being and underpins continued growth and high performance. There are some simple steps that you can take to help create a more resilient team.

It is important to embed positively and flexibility into the workplace culture. Teams respond well to clear goals and responsibilities but often need to know that they are supported in achieving their objectives, even when the going gets tough and there are knock-backs.

Training is essential to give teams the emotional tools and skills they need to better adapt to challenging times. It can reinforce the culture, and team building will engender teamwork and a sense of belonging.

Too often, training is based on learning specific skills rather than helping employees thrive in a positive workplace. The Quota training model offers gamified-based learning to help sales teams become more productive in a fun and interactive way. The competitive experience enhances to learning on sales processes and key sales and personal organisation competencies. Perhaps most importantly, it builds closer relationships within teams and across the organisation if others get involved eg. marketing.

The right tools for the job.

Giving your sales team the right tools for the job is also essential. It will help to drive productivity and efficacy while taking the legwork out of detailed reporting, which in the middle of a pandemic and recession, has never been more important.

Data from the experts at sales consultancy, Saleslevers shows businesses need to get better at growing their biggest customers with 49% of their income coming from the top 10% of their customers.

Help is available to map out how to increase sales from existing customers with Commercial Reconnaissance, which identifies growth strategies that also support customers. With a clear plan, senior teams can focus on strategic account management and support growth.

With a clear plan in place, sales teams can engage customers and prospects in a structured way. Performance can be supported and managed with data analytics, and i-snapshot empowers teams to improve.

An app puts information in the hands of salespeople at the point they need it - just before and after a visit. The reporting tools provide sales managers with real-time visibility of sales team activity and the concentration of effort and effectiveness.

A changing sales environment.

Covid19 has driven sales to change even faster and moved the ‘important but not urgent’ box to the ‘both important and urgent’ box.

Many companies are managing the shift from field-based sales to inside sales relatively smoothly, and we hear of significant projects being won without a single face-to-face meeting.

Given that the typical sales visit in the UK costs between £80 and £140 (according to SalesLevers cost of call calculator and i-snapshot data) a team of 10 who made 10 sales visits per month preCovid are probably saving the business over £45,000 a month.

Imagine if in the future, sales teams conduct half their calls remotely as now and half their calls in person as before. There is a likely saving of £250,000 a year. It creates an opportunity to redraw the roles and responsibilities of sales professionals, look again at targets and give them the skills, tools and culture to thrive.

Salespeople who can adapt quickly in a changing market from segment to segment, product to product, channel to channel will be increasingly valuable. It requires two sets of capabilities and forms of development. The flexible and resilient sales force needs to have strongly embedded selling skills that can be applied whatever the situation.

A new approach to leadership.

Leadership too will need to change. Recent months have seen the best sales leaders adapt to remote management and coaching. Frequency of contact has increased not decreased. There has been a new focus on the individual’s well-being and motivation. Coaching becomes increasingly important and is being underpinned by some remarkable AI coaching tools and by a greater application of data.

While some CRMs have proved their worth, others have required a shift to different ways of understanding and interpreting customer contact data. Where these approaches have been applied well, there has been a positive impact on employee engagement and the sales result. These trends will continue into the new environment. Sales leaders and organisations who master them will reap the benefits.