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Let’s Talk: How do you manage salespeople?

Sales are the heartbeat of every business, and as an owner, you need to understand how to motivate, support and lead your sales team. 

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are I empowering my rock stars without demotivating my solid performers?
  • Am I setting realistic targets and providing training to help my team achieve them?
  • Do I offer the right incentives because sometimes it’s not about money?
  • Do I have the right technology and systems in place?

Let’s Talk…

Chad Hoy Poy, National Lending Manager, WLTH

“Salespeople are uniquely critical to the success of any business, especially when it comes to boosting your bottom line. A strong sales team can unlock huge returns that impact the business’s revenue and growth.

The best way to manage your salespeople is by implementing sales management processes, strategies, and objectives. Here are three sales management strategies that will assist you in growing your representation, feeling motivated, supported and driven, with the end goal closing more goals. 

Results driven 

At WLTH, we have worked hard to hire a sales team that is determined and driven by our business goals. It is essential to communicate what we are aiming for to prevent people from confusing activity with productivity. Combining transparency and grit, a team of talented sales professionals can drive an entire business up.

Manage expectations

It is essential to get the team excited about where the business is going. At WLTH, we ensure that our employees have everything they need to work well. In doing so, we feel comfortable managing our salespeople’s expectations of the level they need to perform to keep the business progressing to a common goal. 

Volume vs. Value Ratio

With the high workload of working in sales, it is essential to share tasks among the team according to their skill level. For example, your highest value employees (and usually the most expensive) should be spending the lowest volume task (with the highest importance). As for your employees lower down on the scale, their focus should be on high volume activities.”

Gordon Starkey, COO, ELMO Software

“Top salespeople are competitive, motivated, ambitious and, most importantly, collaborative. It’s up to a leader to bring out these qualities across a team instead of just in the individual.

“It’s crucial that leaders of salespeople instil a culture where winning isn’t just closing the deal but is about working together as a team to identify the best solution to a customer’s problem. 

“As a leader, it’s important to understand how you motivate your people and what sort of culture that will foster. Focusing solely on commissions and bonuses might drive people to close deals but it won’t help create the type of collaboration that drives sustainable success. 

“Leaders need to ensure a balance of individual reward and recognition while ensuring everyone understands that it takes a team to get a deal across the line.” 

Asanga Wanigatunga, Regional Vice President ANZ, Snyk

“Every salesperson is different, and I am a big believer that in today’s business landscape, equipping team members with the flexibility and autonomy they need will keep them engaged and motivated. This is an important factor when it comes to building a team that is focused on delivering strong outcomes for customers. 

“At Snyk we are focused on creating a flexible, inclusive environment. As staff and sales teams continue to work remotely and conduct work around the demands of their personal lives, including appointments and home schooling, it’s important to create honest lines of communication across the board. Regular team meetings, town halls with leadership, and open communication platforms should be established as a way for salespeople to transparently celebrate wins, share challenges, and give advice. This is vital to developing a team that are experts in their feed and that deliver a premium offering to customers.”

Daniel Stoten, Executive Chairman, Localsearch

“Managing a sales team will look different to every business. What may work for a business with only a handful of salespeople in an office versus having hundreds around the country will greatly differ. 

“However, what I believe does not change is ensuring salespeople are not treated as a number and feel heard and supported. For a smaller business, having a directly line with the owner of a business is highly respected and creates an incredible bond. I personally give my number to our 70+ digital marketing specialists throughout Australia if they so need to use it. 

“However, for large corporations it could be ensuring there is a good line of management who can manage areas of people and be a direct line of support. Whatever format you use, you need to ensure concerns are addressed and your frontline feel supported and heard.”

Gavin Hockey, Division Vice President of Sales – Asia Pacific, ADP

“Managing a sales team can be challenging in a constantly changing environment – and that’s tough on managers and salespeople. Businesses often rely heavily on their salespeople to grow so it’s essential to provide the faces of your business with everything they need to perform – when sales win, your business wins.

My top three tips:

  1. Drive, drive, drive expectations – be clear on what ‘good looks like’. Inspect what you expect, communicate the message regularly and make individuals accountable.
  2. Technology to thrive – use technology to help sales people stay on the road visiting clients.  Sellers are not administrators, so technology is key to streamlining processes to engage clients, close business and keep managers informed. 
  3. Continuous training – investing in sales training is an investment in the individual and will drive sustainable business growth. Mix the traditional sales training with product deep dives, social selling, effective copywriting. Use training to provide the sales team with a competitive edge.”

Read more: Let’s Talk – How has COVID-19 changed the sales process?

Read more: Let’s Talk: How can you entice existing customers to spend more?


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Clare Loewenthal

Clare Loewenthal

Clare is an author, business commentator and passionate contributor to Dynamic Business. She was the Founder and Publisher of Dynamic Small Business magazine, which became Australia’s largest small business publication.

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