14 Simple Rules of Effective Sales Department

Katya Chubuk
31.01.20182,199 views Write the first comment
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Meet Sergiy, the Head of the Sales Department at our company. Within the sacred halls of Ringostat, we call him Futura. He chose this nickname because since his early teens he was interested in graffiti. Artist Futura 2000 had a great impact on him.  

Now, Sergiy accomplishes lots of tasks: educates newbies and trains sales managers, helps them achieve results, performs on the conferences, radio, and TV. We even don’t know how he can have the time to sleep with such busy schedule.

Futura

Sergiy built an efficient sales department in our company. Two years ago we didn’t have a structured and established sales process.

However, now, our Sales Department consists of 11 managers in two cities. The workflow is automated and the team over-fulfills a monthly plan regularly.  

Sergiy will personally share with you 14 simple rules which helped him achieve great results. 

1. Measure

First of all, I had to measure the effectiveness of our sales department and determine the ways to better its performance.

We started with the evaluation of KPI for the entire department and each manager. We begin to calculate profit generated by each sales rep, the number of sales and conversion rate.

Now, we observe how prospects move from one stage to another within sales funnel. It allows up to identify where we face problems.

Moreover, dashboard with this data is open to all sales reps. I think it promotes the healthy competition at the company and makes each rep want to surpass others.

After set up of the basic metrics, we decided to differently work with our clients and partners (digital marketing agencies). So we divided our process into two directions and separately measured KPI of each of them.

2. Divide and rule

Later, we formed 3 departments with different sales funnels:

  • Outbound Sales Department helps marketers generate more leads. Put it simply, every month marketing department must attract a certain number of leads for successful sales plan execution. If marketing didn’t generate enough leads, outbound sales can be a lifesaver  This department helps to attract a missing number of leads by using cold calling and processing сustomer bases from events and webinars. However, sometimes we use outbound sales to invite people to the events or webinars.
  • Partnership Development Department was created when we found out that partners can be a good source of new clients. Actually, to build this department was one of our most successful decisions. Now, they help us to attract us leads with minimum investments. It’s our most efficient and self-sufficient department which consists of 5 managers. Partnership Development Department is constantly improving. When reducing the incoming leads, Partnership Development Managers give stable results.
  • Inbound Sales Department processes incoming leads that come from marketing campaigns, blog, social media, events, webinars. The process in this department is quite established, so we just need to automate the workflow for further results. 

3. Standardize sales process

We described sales process step-by-step. Actually, we don’t convince managers to stick with standard sales templates but there are some actions they must do.

These actions are aimed to avoid objections, remedy gaps and maintain the certain standard of sales reps work.  

Every manager knows his goals for each stage of sales funnel:

  • to learn more about the client and his business, take the email during the first contact;
  • identify client’s tasks and problems during the first demo presentation;
  • send the offer, discuss it, ask certain questions.

It’s crucial to be customer-oriented and find the approach to every client. 

4. Give product demos

Some say, seeing is believing. Previously we used to sell by telling about call tracking benefits. Later, we found out that product demos was the most effective way to show customers how call tracking works.

Furthermore, right after we started with product demos, our competitors followed our example.

In the past, maximum sales to lead conversion rate was 16% and the average was approximately 10-12%. After 2 months of giving product demos, it has risen to 20%.  

Here’s how our sales funnel looked before implementing product demos.

imgonline-com-ua-Resize-ny4Tec85Aa0NdvY

Our new sales funnel looks like this.

imgonline-com-ua-Resize-1oNZzsa1UgGyTL4

5. Train sales reps

Usually, clients make phone calls to ask a question or resolve the problem regarding service use. Clients who are not well-informed about web analytics and call tracking want to communicate with a true expert who can easily explain how our product helps to solve certain issues.

That’s why we provide newbies with the training course. The best graduates become our sales reps.

Furthermore, we have the mandatory rule —  all sales reps need to read our company blog. Once a week they get the automatic task to comment what they learned about our updates or other posts. Also, I choose the best case studies and posts to send to our working channel in Telegram Messenger. Sales reps have to read it in order to grow and improve themselves. 

6. Educate 

We released Sales Club which includes regular educational events for sales reps. 2-3 times a month I give trainings and tell how to apply different technics to work with customers.

Besides that, I invite different speakers (heads of Sales Departments at other companies) to share their experience with us.

The main goal of Sales Club is to empower sales reps to develop. When the manager works alone, he can stop growing. The trainings are aimed at improving sales reps’ skills and expanding their horizons. 

7. Work with objections

Over experience, we identified that our clients and partners had the same objections:

  • “Сlients remember our phone numbers, why should we make changes?”;
  • “We have short and easy-to-remember phone numbers and don’t want to change them”;
  • “Your service is expensive”.

To increase the conversion rate, we created the script to overcome the objections.

It includes most common objections and answers to them. After this, we gave practical lessons on this topic.

As result, our conversion rate grew from 13% to 16%.

8. Don’t sell to people who don’t need your product

Of course, experienced managers can sell anything to anyone. But does it make sense?

Clients who aren’t truly interested in your product will certainly churn very soon with negative impressions. And if they really need your product in future, they won’t come to your company. So it’s better to focus on long-term cooperation.

Actually, we get a lot of incoming inquiries but we don’t try to turn everyone into our client.

During product presentation, we fill brief and ask certain questions to learn more about client’s business. For example, we ask them about what is their monthly advertising budget or what is the phone calls percentage of all site conversions. It helps us understand if call tracking can be effective and profitable in this case.

9. Track sales reps

To achieve necessary results, it’s crucial to control all processes of Sales Department. I have some tasks which I execute on the regular basis:

  • listening to phone call recordings;
  • checking of how sales reps work with CRM system;
  • communication with every manager;
  • attestations of sales reps.

Thanks to these actions, sales reps remember that they are under control and struggle for good results.

10. Motivate your team 

We have different motivation systems in our department. The first one is carrier ladder (junior, middle etc).

Also, we have a few bonus categories:

  • for won deals. If the customer stays with us more than 3 months, a manager gets the bonus. We released this bonus to make sales reps focus on long-term cooperation with clients;
  • for long-term payments. The more payment period is, the more our client saves and the bigger is bonus for sales rep;
  • for over-execution of monthly sales plan;
  • for best results for the quarter. This bonus boosts the feeling of competition among managers and it makes the work similar to the game. 

11. Don’t forget to praise

Everybody likes to be praised. Actually, it’s one of the most important moments in communication between boss and sales rep. Believe us, sometimes material bonuses aren’t enough. Even if the sales rep gets a good salary but the boss doesn’t praise him, he can doubt his efforts and lose confidence. So try to tell managers more often how you appreciate their contribution. 

12. Empower managers to have impact on sales process

We are always open to sales reps’ ideas. We discuss them and even implement the savviest ones.  As our sales reps are the first who interact with clients we need to pay attention to their suggestions.

13. Teach sales reps to be independent

Good leaders don’t stuck with micromanaging tasks. Your team has to execute tasks on their own. You can give them some tips but never do all the work for them. If you notice that you always give recommendations regarding a certain issue, write manual and don’t waste your time.

14. Move ahead  

Never stop working on your department. There’s always a room for improvement. Don’t forget to communicate with your team on regular basis and ask how they feel. Sometimes you even may send them on leave. After having a vacation, your sales reps will come back full of energy and inspiration. That can improve their effectiveness and overall results.

 

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