Building a Strong Sales Team and Retaining Professionals

Having a strong sales team, along with the ability to retain it, is a major condition of revenue growth for every business. It does not matter if your team is large or only has you and your business partner, the rules of the game are the same: your sales team is the blood system of your business, and your success in sales depends on the professionalism and the dynamics of your sales people’s work.

But how can you build a winning sales team? And how can you keep the desired dynamics of their work? In this article, we will try to answer these questions.

The first thing to do for a manager who is about to build a strong sales team is to make decision about the sellers’ competences that he/she needs for the business.

As a manager you need to know what scope of activities your sales people are going to cover;

Secondly, it is necessary to outline the skills required for every sales person you already have and for everyone you are planning to hire. Creating an outline of each role in your sales team would be a useful thing, and of course, you need to collect and analyze regular updates of the results of your sales team’s work: How many new clients have they attracted in a month? Why that many? How much income have they made for the business? What product/service seemed to sell better (worse) last month? Why so? It might be helpful to create a table of such questions and fill it with results of analysis every month. In a year, you can collect valuable information about the work of your sales department. Keeping track of the sales team’s work and doing regular analysis of the results will let you create a rational plan for the next year’s needs of the business in sales people

Now, when you know where you are going and when you have set up the rhythm of your sales, you have to think about keeping that rhythm stable and retaining your sales people in the team. Here are a few basic and “classical” measures that can help you accomplish this task.

  1. Engage every team member into the life of your business, let them sense its rhythm and dynamics and feel that they are a part of it.
  2. Create specific, measurable goals for each team member and set up regular team meetings to let your sales team see how their individual contributions flow into the “pool” of the whole business.
  3. Make sure that the goals you set are monitored, engineered and broken down into activities that a salesperson can control.
  4. Creating a backlog of engagement activities would be a good idea; it helps keep your team working with the same pace and following the right direction.
  5. Set the dynamics of each salesperson’s work. This means that you need to support the development of each salesperson’s skills to achieve their long-term professional development.
  6. Take steps to create retention and promotion opportunities for your sales people. Every worker will appreciate knowing that your company has a thought-through system and a set of traditions for retaining/promoting sales people.
  7. Organize frequent coaching for all team members, let them exchange experiences; make sure that they obtain trainings from experienced sales people representing other businesses.
  8. Also, certification is a powerful tool to ensure success of your sales people.

The one thing you certainly don’t want to happen is to lose your sales worker after you have invested a lot of time and resources into their professional growth. There is always some risk that a sales person who has left your business may join your competition some day; this means double trouble for you.

So, whenever you take new sales people into your team and make a commitment to train them, make sure to do this well. They will remain with your business and contribute into it for years if they feel satisfaction and see promotion opportunities in proportion to their professional growth.

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