3 Quick Steps to Scalable Sales Growth
The growth of your start-up is serious business - but for those who are offering innovative, complex products or services, the limitations of your sales team can seriously restrict your headway.
The process of hiring, training, and onboarding new sales reps can be daunting – especially in new and unchartered industries, or those where an exacting attention to detail is critical to success. Here are my top three suggestions for developing a strong and scalable team – as quickly as possible!
- Reinvent your management roles. Today's smart businesses are already redefining their approach to sales management, in order to keep pace with the changing sales cycle. The sales manager of the past was usually a former sales rep, rising from the trenches to set an example for the whole team. Today, it is far more important that your sales manager be a savvy coach, capable of deftly monitoring the performance and needs of your sales professionals.Your sales manager should be equally capable of analyzing sales and performance data to hone in on areas of improvement, and coaching their team to greater success. Their role should involve the application of measurable benchmarks, assessment and analysis of vital sales statistics and performance metrics, and the skillful translation of this information into actionable insight which improves the effectiveness of the entire sales team.The sales manager should be your single point of contact for identification and definition of the sales strategies, education, and training which boost your business's productivity, efficiency, and revenues – and support your speedy growth.
- Hire eagerness (not experience). Established sales professionals will come to the table with some previously developed skills, but their knowledge and experience may not be relevant or applicable to your business – and it may also be accompanied by outdated habits and behaviors.
While it may seem counterintuitive, hiring new sales associates may be more productive if your goal is fast, scalable growth. Fresh talent tend to be more eager to learn and develop new skills and strategies than their more seasoned peers – a valuable asset when considering a complex sales process (especially if it involves the integration of new technology). And, new recruits may also be more familiar with the nuances of social selling – an absolute must in today's sales environment.
Hiring a team of seasoned sales professionals will also require a much larger payroll commitment – an upfront cost which can be daunting for small businesses and start-ups. Recruiting untrained talent will leave you with a larger budget to invest in upfront training and coaching, and allow you to instill and reinforce your preferred strategies, skills, and sales habits, from the start.
- Leverage technology to improve your sales process. We all know how the availability of big data can help businesses gain insight into customer behavior, honing and targeting communications. Still, according to recent research, most sales agents spend less than 35% of their time at work actually selling. Effective use of CRM can help streamline the sales process significantly, reducing time spent on administrative tasks and account management – but don't stop there!
Businesses with a complex or detail-critical sales process can benefit significantly from the use of new CPQ tools. CPQ (short for Configure, Proposal, Quote) solutions, can help eliminate the lengthy learning curve required for even the most complex of sales processes, ensuring accurate and consistent proposals and configurations, every time. Today's cloud-based solutions are flexible, affordable, and easily implemented – providing the maximum versatility and scalability your business needs to grow.
By effectively harnessing the power of technology, you'll improve the accuracy and efficiency of your sales team, reduce the need for extensive training and onboarding, and accelerate the customer journey – improving your sales process, and boosting your revenue-generating capabilities. What's not to love?
Follow these tips, and you'll find yourself capable of building and maintaining a strong, scalable, and successful sales team.