The Secret To Building A Robust Sales Team Jeanna Barrett You might have a great marketing plan for your small business that is driving new traffic and leads to your business, but are assisting those leads in becoming customers? If not, you’re missing out on an opportunity to make more money this year. The businesses succeeding with inbound marketing have stellar sales and marketing teams that are humming along together to drive new leads and close deals. This is what this looks like: your marketing department creates a great piece of content or sends out an email drip campaign to leads. Then your sales department has additional touch points with those leads in the form of emails and phone calls to answer questions and finalize a sale. The quicker you have your sales team reach out to “hot” leads who are ready to purchase, the better. But if you don’t yet have a sales team member or sales team set up for your business, that’s where you need to start. Who You Need Director of Sales This is the person who will set the strategy and training for your sales team. They’ll likely choose the best platform to manage sales conversations with customers if you don’t already have one. They’ll also teach the team the best scripts to use when calling, how to appropriately tag and close deals in your customer relationship management (CRM) platform, and the best way to close a deal. The Director of Sales should also set sales goals for each team member and incentives for the team to get there. They should have a can-do attitude and be able to motivate people to do their best. Additionally, it is very important this person is knowledgeable about marketing and is constantly the liaison between the marketing and sales department, ensuring everyone is aligned and offering reports to improve the process. Sales Associates These are the people who are going to close the sales. They’ll be talking regularly with customers on a daily basis. Your sales associate should be comfortable talking on the phone, and they should also demonstrate a deep understanding of your product and industry. Additionally, they should be able to sell you the most mundane item in their interview. Go ahead and ask them to sell you a pen or a bottle of water. Finally, make sure your salespeople are comfortable with feedback and ongoing training. If they have an egotistical attitude like they already know it all, thank them for their time and move on to the next. It’s also best to avoid top-sellers at their previous company if they demonstrate a Top Dog mentality. These people might be great at selling, but they’re often not team players and give sales teams a negative dynamic. How to Find Them Ask for help Spend some time reaching out or calling up your colleagues with sales teams. Ask them how they manage their team, where they found their best associates, and the types of personalities or recruiting tactics that did and did not work. If someone already made a mistake, it’s best you learn from theirs instead of making your own. Do Your Own Research If you’ve never hired a sales team before, get some advice from the experts on how to build the best sales teams. You’re reading this article, so you’re already halfway there in your research if you’re searching online for help. You can also search on Amazon for top-rated books on sales — Aaron Ross’ book, Predictable Revenue, is a great option. Also, check out sales podcasts. The Advanced Selling Podcast is created by Bill Caskey and Bryan Neal — two B2B sales trainers with 20 years experience. They offer sales strategies, frameworks, tips and tricks that will help you understand the type of people you should hire. Offer a Base Salary and Incentives Salespeople are generally motivated by incentives and money. If you offer a base salary, then salespeople you hire are going to feel more stable and less risky about their decision to work for you full time. If you offer great incentives and bonuses for sales goals that are reached, they’re going to feel excited about the possibility of what they could do for you and will be eager to perform to their best ability. Poach from LinkedIn Spend some time searching LinkedIn for the ideal candidate you want. Use keyword searches to find profiles that match what you’re looking for, or you can even look at your competitive companies salespeople. Upgrade your LinkedIn account to Premium, so you can “cold” email candidates. If you find enough people you’d like to hire, usually 1-3 good candidates are interested in leaving for the right price and incentive program and will answer your InMail. Once you have your sales team in place, don’t think your job stops there. Make sure a training program is consistent and top-notch. And consistently motivate your sales team, so they’re always pumped about being part of growing your business.