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VOL. 40 | NO. 28 | Friday, July 8, 2016

Create an organized environment for your sales team

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It’s no secret that quality of life among team members leads to higher retention and satisfaction. Sales rep satisfaction is directly linked to customer satisfaction, and both impact your bottom line.

When your sales staff is out in the field, you want them to reflect your company’s culture and competitive advantages.

Here are a few ways to create an organized environment for your sales team, with the goal of increasing their productivity and financial performance:

Forecasting

Companies are measured by their sales growth, so it makes sense that a sales forecast is the backbone of any growth-focused business plan.

Every business owner and sales rep should be qualified to forecast sales. “What you need is common sense, research of the factors and motivation to make an educated guess,” says business planner and angel investor Tim Berry in Entrepreneur magazine.

Sales forecasts for 12 months ahead and the three to five years ahead give your sales reps – who are competitive by nature – something to win. Make sure you communicate the forecast regularly.

Planning

Make it a company practice to schedule planning time to ensure your sales reps are preparing for a productive upcoming workweek.

Ask them to list their sales activities for the week and plan them by day. At the end of each day, take about 15 minutes to plan the next day.

Prioritize sales calls for the following day by tackling the biggest or hardest tasks first. Having this roadmap prepared for each upcoming day will encourage your sales reps to stay on target throughout their week, month and year.

Measuring

You’ve set your sales targets, now how do you help each sales rep achieve them? Coaching, as opposed to micromanaging, is an approach to guide a sales rep’s strategy, to help troubleshoot issues affecting their metrics and to create a performance plan when targets are not met.

When you’ve hired the right sales reps and provided effective training, they shouldn’t need hand-holding.

On the other hand, micromanaging is counterproductive to why you hired a team in the first place. In fact, micromanaging your sales team is an indication that certain metrics could be affecting your bottom line, such as a declining sales trend.

The first step is to identify and understand each metric that has brought you back so deeply into the weeds, and then coach your team out of these negative trends.

Socializing

Encourage your sales reps to enjoy non-work-related activities with each other. A Gallup poll found that close work friendships boost employee satisfaction by 50 percent.

People with a best friend at work are seven times more likely to engage fully in their work.

A sales team that feels committed to each other is a productive, higher-performing team.

Myron Mays in an account strategist at RedRover Sales & Marketing Strategy.

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