Business is good. Accounts keep coming in. Our team doesn't have any drama, and everyone works together well. The only problem is... I feel like opportunities are being missed because of my lack of organization. How do I get my sales team organized?
Can you relate to the above thoughts? Many SMB owners who run successful companies have to face the "organization dilemma" at some point in their journey. Maybe it was easy to handle the day-to-day of sales when you were just starting out — but now you have an entire sales team to manage, and dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of accounts to maintain.
Are you giving your reps the direction they need to succeed? Are you giving them guidelines and boundaries that will keep them focused? Has your sales process been broken up into defined stages or steps?
Your business may be doing great. With a more organized approach in place, it could do even better. So we go back to the original question: Where should you start?
Here are three practical tips that can help you keep your sales team organized, focused, and effective:
1. Get Intentional
The first thing you need to realize as an owner is that unless your company has a designated sales leader... you are the sales leader. You're the one your reps will look to for clarity, structure, and support. You're the one who can either empower your team to exceed expectations... or hinder them from reaching their full potential.
Bottom line? It starts and ends with you. And that's why it's so crucial to get intentional with your sales process.
Being intentional means starting with the end in mind. In other words, you need to develop a clear "game plan" for your sales team. What exactly is their role in the overall process? For example:
It's important to define your main objectives, and then work out the details that go into each one. This is where the concept of "co-creation" can really generate a positive impact on your process. Communicate with your sales team. Lay out your vision for them to see, and then work with them on how best to make the vision a reality. If you can come out of those meetings with a process your team can get behind 100%, it's a win-win, hands down.
2. Ensure You Have the Right Tech Stack
Let's say you've already defined your primary objectives, and have given structure to the overall sales process. All the documentation is set, and your team is onboard with your game plan. Now the challenge is to make sure that your tech stack supports your vision.
The size, scope, and nature of your business should inform the kind of tech stack you have — as should the makeup of your sales team, and your recently defined goals. Companies in the SMB space often use CRM platforms like Salesforce, HubSpot, or Pipedrive (to name a few). The exact features and subscription plan(s) you'll need will depend on the intricacy of your sales process.
Just as an example, imagine that you want your sales team to manage automated drip campaigns as part of their lead nurturing duties. You'd need to make sure that your CRM system offers email templates, the ability to set up automated email sequences, and a way to effectively segment prospects according to shared characteristics like funnel stage, company size, geographical location, and so on.
Along with a robust CRM platform that meets all of your sales team's needs, you also want strong reporting built into the process. KPIs and other metrics can provide you with a helpful "snapshot" of your sales process' current status. Reports can also help you to identify bottlenecks in the pipeline, and even determine which reps could use some extra training.
3. Work, Review, Discuss, Iterate
Okay, you have your process in place. You have the right tech stack to support your goals. What's the next step? Simple: it's time to work the plan.
Working the plan is often that secret ingredient that separates a good sales team from a great one. Just stop for a moment and think about all the ways that a cohesive plan will enhance the effectiveness of your reps:
Of course, as you and your team work the plan, you'll inevitably identify opportunities for growth. So make sure to periodically examine the data you receive. Hold intentional meetings where you ask your reps for their feedback, and then discuss possible solutions. Don't be afraid to iterate your sales process — the next version may be at least a little better than the current one!
True, it will take time and effort to develop and implement a more organized approach. But if you follow the three tips discussed above, your team will be more scalable, more focused, and ultimately more successful.
If you'd like more insights on how you can improve your sales leadership, contact us. Or sign up for our newsletter for more valuable resources.