Sales are essential for any business to survive. In order to have a business, you must be selling something. Either you’re selling a product, a service, or a combination of both. Some businesses still leverage a sales team, because, with the right training, they are very effective at helping your business gain new clients and customers. They learn the ins and outs of your service offerings, and they know how to overcome objections and work hard to get to the “yes.” As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to ensure they can be successful on the road, so here’s what you can do.
Cover Business Related Expenses
Don’t be stingy. Your sales team is giving up a lot by being on the road. Cover the cost of a hotel, meals, and even gas. All of these expenses add up and waiting on reimbursement from your employer can be stressful. Give your sales team a corporate card and even a gas card. They need to know that you understand that hotels don’t cost $30. A meal at a restaurant costs more than $5, and let’s face it, gas is not $0.99 anymore. As a business owner, if you take care of your sales team, they will take better care of your business and help you grow.
Train Them Adequately
Poor training will lead to poor results. While yes, it’s important to have salespeople who can do the job, you also need to give them training. The training can be specific to your business and products, but you also want to help them by providing extended sales training giving them new tools to help them as they go on the road. Employers often want to train and ship salespeople off as soon as possible, but the more in-depth training you can provide, the better prepared your sales team will be in their roles. To supplement the in-house training, employers may consider to hire a keynote speaker who can bring the message of successful sales to your team
Be Available for Questions
There is nothing worse than being on the road and not being able to get a hold of your boss. It’s important to have sales managers who will respond quickly to salespeople’s inquiries. They need to know you have their back. Don’t throw them under the bus when things don’t go as planned and don’t take credit for their good work. Salespeople who feel underappreciated will not work as hard, and if they feel like their managers take credit for all their hard work, you won’t have them working with you for very long.
Don’t Bother Them for Unnecessary Meetings
Too many businesses still suffer from meeting overload. When you have salespeople on the road, connections are important, but constant meetings for things you could say in an email are unnecessary. Meetings sometimes feel like a way to micromanage employees work. When it comes to salespeople, there are plenty of reports you can pull to understand how they stand. If you want a meeting to touch base once a week, that’s a great idea, but don’t force them into multiple meetings a week just because.
The old school way of handling employees is to have them always get your approval on everything. When you are in the field and looking to make sales, there needs to be a level of autonomy that salespeople are entrusted with. They need to be able to make decisions on the spot and not need to constantly wait for a thumbs up from a guy or gal sitting in an office over a thousand miles away. As a business, it’s important to empower them so that they can do their best work.
Offer Constructive Feedback
No one likes a boss who is just going to tell them how horrible they are. They need people who are willing to do the hard work of telling them that they aren’t doing their best, but who can give them tips and ways to help them do a better job. Someone who will root for them to do better, not just criticize them. You can offer constructive feedback to your sales team in a way that helps them feel like they can go out and try again.
Reward Them for Meeting Sales Goals
Rewards make the world go around when you’re doing sales. Some salespeople work solely on commission, but others receive a base salary plus commission. In addition to getting rewarded for each sale, some companies offer additional rewards and incentives when the team reaches big goals. Offering rewards can come in the form of additional gift cards, trips, cars, and more! This should not be in lieu of commissions and salaries, but in addition to.
These can create fun and healthy competition amongst your salespeople to give them some quick wins and help them reach their goals more quickly. Additionally, your other teams can get in on the rewards if you work together to reach big goals as a team.