By: Tina Samuels
Sometimes sales can slow down or even come to a standstill.
Perhaps sales have slowed to a trickle and you're not quite sure what to do. Should you fire your entire team and start over? Offer more rewards? Possibly downsize?
While those are tactics used by some businesses, the savvy CEO knows the sales team is an asset, not an expense.
What can you do to help your assets improve?
Training and More Training
The dynamic of making a sale changes.
This change can be due to a change in demographic – new products, new services, or to the way people are buying things in general. Change can happen very quickly, possibly from day to day. Consumers are fickle – which is why sales can change so quickly.
This is why it is important to have ongoing training for sales staff. Veteran sales team members can train new staff and should hold weekly meetings with the sales team. These meeting can offer insight on how sales are moving.
Weekly sales training sessions should take place at the same time every week.
When a sales team understands you are serious about them and sales, they're more likely to take meetings seriously.
During the meetings leave a time slot open for brainstorming. All members should contribute with ideas of how to increase sales or training ideas.
Consistency is important with sales training, as in all parts of your company. If you reward employees, reward all of them on an equal basis. Don't change the reward system each week. This can leave some staff feeling as if they'll never get ahead. Have a reward for small, medium, and large sales goals.
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If you're giving your sales team a refresher, give them real working ideas.
Don't come up with theories and then walk away hoping for the best. The most that will happen is your team will be confused and frustrated. Reinforce what you're teaching. Your staff will forget what you've taught if you don't talk about learning points more than once. Someone else's theorized sales pitch isn't likely to work for your team as is.
You and your team should tailor a pitch to work for your company or per individual. A one time run through isn't likely to get results, nor will tossing a form to team members and saying “Here's our strategy.”
Not only is this frustrating, weak leadership can cause you to lose sales, staff, and eventually your company. It takes a smart, strong leader to run a loyal sales team into the future.
Take responsibility for the team, train it well, and constantly evolve sale techniques. This is protecting your investment – both your company and your sales department.
Remember, your team is an investment. Putting money into training, not to mention time, is one of the largest investments you will make as a business owner. Don't squander this investment by abandoning your sales team when sales seem slow.
Work together to design a strategy that will increase sales and move your company forward.
When it comes to your business, how do you make sure your sales team is on top of their game?
About the Author: Tina Samuels writes for businesses on the topics of marketing, social media, and how to send invoices online.