Managing a field sales team can be an invigorating, frustrating, rewarding, and ultimately dynamic responsibility that often requires a diverse set of skills to truly master.
Even if your team consists of a single member, making sure that they are supplied with the means and the tools they need to get the job done and let the sales figures rise can be crucial in the effort to start widening those profit margins.
Although autonomy, freedom of responsibility, and trust are key issues that should be explored when managing a team, it is important to ensure you are there for them should they need it, whether that happens to be for direction, a change in circumstances or an exciting new business opportunity.
If you feel as though you want to be doing more to help your team achieve its target, here are some important points you might want to consider thinking about.
Making use of some fantastic software can be a good way to optimize performance, alter processes using quantitative data and track reps in the field. This can be a great way to gather important information that might otherwise be lost throughout the day, which is great news for anybody wishing to make use of all of the data available in order to help your team reach its maximum potential.
Practicing effective communication is vital for many businesses, regardless of the industry. It may however, be particularly important when trying to organize and successfully manage a field sales team.
This does not only mean making yourself available for communication at any given moment, but it pertains to practicing the way in which you talk to your employees. For example, remembering to praise any achievements and acknowledge their hard work is essential in keeping up morale, especially since field sales can be an extremely strenuous and daunting task at times.
Choosing the right method and the best platform for communication is also a crucial aspect of managing the team, as splitting your channels across various mediums can quickly become confusing and lead to a breakdown in clarity.
There are many options to choose from, so it is worth thinking about which interface you feel is the easiest, most functional, and efficient to use. Getting everyone on the same page is also beneficial, as this way, you can ensure that nobody is left out of the equation.
You may wish to note the importance of allowing your team the breathing room they need to carry out their assignments efficiently. Finding the right balance is useful in this regard, which can be done by promoting a working environment of openness and healthy dialogue.
If you feel as though your team is failing to regularly pull in the kind of figures that you would like, it may be down to a lack of sufficient training.
While some candidates may seemingly possess a natural talent for selling, there are so many skills that be learned, honed, and enhanced through regular, high-quality training.
If you possess some bad habits in your professional skillset, there is perhaps very little chance you can ever work on improving them if they are never pointed out in the first place. Training can also help greatly in this area while ensuring that your team utilizes fresh new sales techniques and do not start to become complacent with an insufficient skillset.
Training can take many different shapes and forms, covering practically every aspect of sales imaginable, so it may be worth thinking about which areas your team excels in and which ones they could use some extra help in.
Conducting fairly regular assessments of your team’s individual performances is a superb way of creating a sense of transparency between you and the team. This can be an imperative dynamic to strive for as a manager, as it can build trust, respect, and loyalty.
A fair and honest assessment can help you identify the areas in which your team can improve upon and which ones you should praise. Praise is important in making employees feel as though they are recognized and appreciated, but your ability to deliver concise and constructive criticism can be equally, if not more so effective.
Operating as a unified workforce to achieve a common goal can work as a great incentive for increasing productivity across the board, yet thinking about implementing individual rewards for team members hitting their targets is certainly worth doing.
For example, this might be the obvious monetary bonus, but there are plenty of other rewards that can be introduced alongside this, such as extra vacation days, parties, gifts of experience, or personalized vouchers. Going the personalized gift route can add an extra sense of individuality and let your team know you recognize them as individuals and apricate their hard work as unique and integral to the company.
As in many areas of sales, there is no one solution for developing the perfect team, so making sure that you recognize this can help you remain flexible and choose the right people for the right job.
Paying close attention to who excels at what particular area is useful in this regard, as it can allow you to build a team of specialists that can conquer any task thrown at them. It can also let you match up team members whose skills complement each other’s, ensuring that you have the best skills for the job in any given situation.
Admittedly, social events at work, or rather, organized fun, can lead to some moans and groans. When they are done right, though, and they take the team’s interests into account, they can be a wonderful way to build camaraderie, strengthen professional relationships and increase productivity.
There is a myriad of ways in which you can do this, from activity days to a simple Friday lunch in a popular bistro, whichever you choose, building a healthy competition and a sense of trust between your employees is often crucial.