If I can get a penny for each time I was asked what my opinion is on what makes a sales team really perform – I would be a millionaire. My experience over many years has taught me that there are 3 main building blocks for a High Performing Sales Team:
• You need a proper sales strategy
• You need a strong sales manager that can implement the strategy
• You need an incentive scheme that are aligned to your sales goals

Let me explain…

Sales Strategy:
A clearly defined Sales Strategy is critical for the sales team. It should be as simple for the sales people to implement as using a recipe to bake a cake.

Step 1 – determine the markets they need to focus on
Step 2 – determine the customers they will focus on. Segment each client base and categorise each client into a priority and strategy segment
Step 3 – decide what the activities targets for each segment should be
Step 4 – implement a program to really get to know the clients well from a business and personal point of view
Step 5 – Make sure your sales people add value with each visit to the clients – business and personal.
I would suggest that this recipe is documented and used a as a guideline to achieve your sales target.

Sales Manager:
The Sales Manager has the most important role for a successful sales strategy and high performing team. He is the implementer and also the coach.
Skill 1: Set a realistic sales target for each member of your team
Skill 2: Have regular sales meetings and one-on-one meetings to implement each sales person’s sales strategy
Skill 3: Measure the implementation performance of each sales person, client categorisation, activity frequencies, etc
Skill 4: Coach your sales people in the field – develop them all the time
Skill 5: Be the filter between your sales people and Senior management – both ways

It is critical that the Sales Manager spends 100% of his or her time on managing and coaching the sales team.

Incentive Scheme:
The best incentive schemes are the ones where the carrot has been directly aligned with your targets.

Check 1: What do I want to achieve? Sales turnover, profit or something else?
Check 2: Have I positioned the incentive in such a way that it will pull my sales people to give me exactly what I want? Sales turnover, profit or something else.
Check 3: Is the incentive attractive enough to entice the sales people to want to work for it?
Check 4: Have I considered a team incentive and/or a non-remuneration incentive?
Check 5: Do you have a plan to regularly remind the sales people of the sales target and the incentive?

Good incentives will get sales people to move – make sure it will make them move in the right direction!
Your comments are welcome.

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