After going through a difficult period due to the Covid-19 pandemic and social distancing, some segments are slowly returning to “normal” and many companies are finally starting to resume sales.
However, after a season of cost containment and even a reduction in the workforce, it is now necessary to prepare for an increase in demand from the sales team — which will be inevitable during this recovery.
Given this new growth, it is a fact that the team will have to be more productive and work at high performance. Managers must, therefore, devise strategies to face this new challenge and make it possible.
Sales spreadsheet kit to plan, motivate your team and not lose information
3 types of spreadsheet with ready-made formulas to put your business routine in order without much effort.
In addition, planning is important to predict the right time to hire new salespeople, who must also be trained quickly and efficiently. In this article, we’ll talk about these and other measures to optimize the process of preparing for the expansion of the sales team’s demand. Follow up!
Preparation tips for increasing the demand of the sales team
The circumstances we are experiencing this year were certainly not foreseen by any company. The pandemic brought several sectors to a standstill and a significant drop in sales for many businesses.
The impacts of these events are still expected to echo for some time and we will only really have some stability after the virus ceases to be a threat to the population. On the other hand, after months of uncertainty, many companies are slowly returning to activities and, if they were previously forced to apply the brakes, now they need to accelerate again.
Unfortunately, with the need to cut costs to survive, many organizations had to reduce their headcount, as did many sales teams. That’s why, now that they are starting to experiment with new growth, they will have to deal with the expansion of demand from the sales team.
In this context, avoiding mistakes and adopting strategic measures will make all the difference in the results. So, our idea here is to list practices so as not to be caught by surprise again and prepare for this scenario that will require everyone’s effort.
Focus on performance
If improving sales force productivity was already a constant concern, now is the time to make it a top priority. With a possible increase in the demand of the sales team, now reduced, the performance of each salesperson takes on greater weight and, therefore, becomes even more important.
Many actions can be taken to improve the activity of the sales team, starting with planning with this particular focus. This will be the time to review definitions, such as the ICP (Ideal Customer Profile), and correct possible misdirection. Furthermore, the time is right to adopt new standard procedures for contacting customers, for example.
Effective sales training
We already understand that the performance of salespeople does not depend only on talent and that it is necessary to develop the aptitude of their employees. So, given the expected increase in demand from the sales team, offering sales training may now be really opportune.
However, it should be made clear that we are not talking about just any training, which only brings repeated information and without practical applications in everyday life. To actually improve the team’s productivity, the tip is to invest in really effective training and focused on the topic in question: boosting the team’s performance.
In this sense, the most recommended training for the moment may be those focused on changing behaviors and consolidating resources and tools, especially if salespeople are in the home office. Thus, it will be possible to impact sales productivity and team motivation.
In addition to providing useful tools for the sales approach and preparing them for the challenging time ahead, offering well-structured training is also a way to engage employees and stimulate their search for results more intensely.
Setting concrete goals
Speaking of motivating the sales team, we cannot fail to mention that one of the best strategies for this is the definition of goals to be achieved. When working with a concrete, personal scope in mind, salespeople’s dedication tends to increase.
This means that this time is the ideal opportunity for you to get serious about goal setting if you don’t already work that way. There are several methods for this, one of them, the Sales Dream Funnel, was developed by the Agent.
With it, you determine a goal to be achieved and how much the seller needs to sell to achieve it, taking into account your commission. In this other article, you will find all the details about the tool.
In short, the aim is for the team to have access to the volume of activities necessary to achieve its goals, as this is a strong incentive to improve performance and cope with a greater demand from the sales team.
Performance monitoring and data analysis
Once the goals are set, the ideal is for the manager to create a routine to monitor the performance of sales professionals. To do so, it will be necessary to have access to all information about the team’s activities. It is interesting to have adequate metrics to monitor both each individual seller and the group as a whole.
Monitoring is the only way to assess whether the measures taken to improve productivity in the face of increased demand are having the expected effects. In addition, this way, it will also be possible to identify what is working and the possible flaws that need to be corrected.
Correct team sizing
As we are talking about the sales team and productivity, it is essential to also address the issue of the ideal size of a sales team. First, because this is a common question among managers, but also because correctly sizing is not such a simple task — and you need to know when it’s time to hire another sales professional.
To arrive at a conclusive number, several factors must be analyzed, starting with the sales targets that have been determined. Studying the market and knowing how many employees your competitors have can also help with this.
Another relevant point here is to estimate a progressive growth so as not to increase the team at once, as this is not considered a good strategy. Finally, it is necessary to analyze the performance of your salespeople and question whether or not there is a possibility for productivity to increase even further.
Creating an onboarding of sellers
As it is very likely that, in view of an ever-increasing demand from the sales team, it will be necessary to hire other professionals, it is also worth mentioning the importance of onboarding salespeople.
This type of onboarding program for new employees is often a great ally in accelerating sales. Its objective is, basically, to clarify how the company and the commercial area work, what their practices are and what kind of behavior is expected from a new member.
Creating an effective onboarding, therefore, makes it quicker to arrive and adapt, both in relation to the organization’s policies and the processes adopted by the company and by the sales team.
Nowadays, to create this tool it is possible to apply agile methodologies and create what is called agile onboarding. It was designed to achieve results quickly and with quality, that is, everything you need to successfully integrate sales professionals.
Having an efficient CRM system is one of the main requirements for an organization to achieve the expected results from the management of its customer base. At a time of increasing demand from the sales team, this tool becomes even more indispensable.
Focusing on customer relationship management and using data related to conversion and productivity will be essential to fulfilling all the other points we’ve listed here in the article – from hiring to managing the team.
Prepare for the worst, but also be ready for the best scenario
Although we are still living in a moment of extreme uncertainty, in which we do need to prepare for even more negative impacts on our economy, working with the positive scenario is also fundamental.
In fact, this is the main point: even though your company does not yet see an increase in sales, when they happen, opportunities cannot be missed. Therefore, our recommendation is that you, as sales manager, be prepared for different scenarios, focusing on commercial efficiency, cash flow optimization and salesperson engagement. This is how we will be able to get the best result from what the next few months present to us.