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How to Close Sales Faster Than Ever Before

  
  
  

how to close faster than ever beforeIf you can learn to close sales faster, you'll make more money. It's that simple. Faster sales mean more sales and more productivity. And faster sales aren't just a benefit for you, the sales person. When you close sales faster, you don't take as much of your customers' time, and this helps them to do their own jobs better.

Ensuring that the following four things happen early on in your conversations with the prospect will help you to close sales faster.

1. Be Clear About What's In It For Them

Any time a person invests in a product or strategy or idea, they need a clear answer to the question, "What's in it for me?" It's difficult to make a decision without a clear road map of what's going to happen if they move forward. Clearly lay out the road map from your first contact to the close of the sale and beyond. If their association with you and the purchase of your products and services provides a bright ending, and they understand what will happen along the way, they'll be much more likely to close quickly.

2. Provide a Realistic Schedule

Uncertainty is one of the biggest enemies to closing sales quickly. When prospects don't know what will happen when, they drag their feet and put you off until they have a better grasp of the situation.

Be proactive in avoiding this problem by providing prospects with a comprehensive, realistic schedule of the process. A schedule is not just a calendar of events. To truly be effective, a closing schedule should be persuasive. It should include performance metrics so everyone involved can watch the progress of the transaction and see the value of the planned outcomes.

3. Explain the ‘What Ifs’

Everyone knows that life happens, and sometimes plans go awry for one reason or another. You'll be able to close sales faster if you acknowledge the fact that things go wrong and if you have off ramps available for customers if your services and products don't end up suiting them after all.

People want answers to the following questions:

  • Will there be any revisions to pricing, staffing, features, or the entire plan? What happens if there are revisions?
  • What if the products simply don't work for us?
  • What if milestones or deadlines are not met?

When you can answer these questions up front, your prospects will feel more comfortable going forward with the sale because you will have mitigated risk in their minds.

4. Offer a Map of the Landmines

Have you ever felt a little under the weather and gone online to Google your symptoms? Five web sites later, you're convinced you have cancer when really all you have is the common cold. 

This happens in sales all the time. Someone is about to make a big purchase and a small problem comes up. Already feeling a little nervous about the purchase, the buyer blows the problem way out of proportion, and pretty soon they feel doomed to professional "cancer," just knowing that everything that could go wrong will go wrong.

Your job is to be the physician here. Just as a good physician can assure you that you just have a cold and you'll get better on your own in about a week, a good sales person can assure customers that, yes, there will be a few minor bumps along the way. Here is a list of those minor bumps, along with their solutions. Together, you will get past those minor problems on your way to the bright ending you explained earlier in the transaction. 

If you manage to cover these four concerns early on in the sales process, you will be able to close sales faster and be more productive with your time. By addressing concerns early and keeping surprise out of the way, your prospects will feel more comfortable, and you'll close sales faster.

Job Search Readiness Assessment

SalesForce Search specializes exclusively in sales recruiting across North America and serves small, medium and Fortune 500 companies. SalesForce Search helps companies find qualified sales people who will have an immediate impact on their sales targets.

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Sales Compensation: Do's and Don'ts

  
  
  

sales compensation dos and dontsSales compensation can be considered one of the most important aspects of developing your sales team, but you should ask yourself some hard questions when the time comes to develop a compensation strategy. It may be tempting to let common sense be your guide as you endeavor to create a system that keeps morale high, reduces turnover, and pushes team members to their reasonable limits, but don't be fooled-common sense can be a dangerous thing in these waters. In this article, we'll discuss three Dos and three Don'ts to keep in mind as you put together your plan.

DO

Make sure you're incentivizing the right behaviors. You can't always know exactly what metrics to base your sales compensation strategies on in advance, as the 'important metrics' can vary greatly between industries, sales mediums, even between teams, but that means it's important to pay attention. Watch your metrics, watch your performance, and figure out the behaviors you need to encourage. Know that your team members WILL optimize around incentives-they won't do the right thing and hopefully score high in the proper areas, they'll do the thing that scores them highest in the metrics you measure. So think it through!

Make sales compensation personal and work-associable. You want your sales compensation to do more than one thing at a time. That means personalized compensation that your workers will always associate with the work they do. If you can, for example, give your top workers tickets and time off to see their favorite sports team play, that's the sort of compensation that turns your team up to 11. For more generic rewards, you should stick with things like special benefits, access to a VIP break room, company cars-rewards directly linked to the company, to keep the work/reward relationship alive.

Make sure your team understands and buys in to the sales compensation scheme. Many sales compensation strategies fail through simple failures to communicate. Make sure your team knows what they have to do to improve their compensation, and what they shouldn't do in pursuit of those rewards. Communicate clearly what's needed and what's expected, and if your system seems to confuse anyone, it might just be too complicated. And make sure to get the sales agents to buy in to the system, if you want it to be anything more than another drain on the budget with the best benefits going to whoever happened to do best, instead of your sales compensation becoming a booster to performance.

DO NOT

Rely much on cash for sales compensation. Cash incentives show themselves time and again to be near-useless, according to every study of the subject. Individuals will quickly disassociate their cash from the extra work that earned it. Without that reinforcement, cash bonus systems tend to cause a brief flurry of effort then a stagnation into mediocrity-while still costing you more than more efficient compensation might.

Obsess over sales compensation. Compensation shouldn't be considered the ultimate solution to your problems. Paying your workers more, or giving them more perks, won't make them happy if your team leaders are ripping them to shreds, setting unreasonable goals, and overworking them. Turnover won't drop if you never challenge your workers and never recognize their successes. Few problems can be solved by compensation alone.

Use excessive competition or the metaphorical stick. Your sales compensation strategy should focus wholly on the positive. Using it as a way to threaten underperformers, shame failure, etc., will only reduce worker morale. More than that, it fosters egocentric behaviors that have no place in generating maximum output from your team. It's a goofy cliché, but the "No I in Team" line's true all the same. Don't blow up all the good morale and teamwork you've created with good decisions with an oppressive sales compensation strategy!

How to Make Sales Compensation Work For Your Company

SalesForce Search specializes exclusively in sales recruiting across North America and serves small, medium and Fortune 500 companies. SalesForce Search helps companies find qualified sales people who will have an immediate impact on their sales targets.

3 Steps to Leaving Great Voice Mails to Get the Call Back

  
  
  

3 steps to leaving great voice mails to get the call backThe number one prospecting tool for any professional sales person is the telephone. Even with all of the electronic methods of contacting prospective buyers, the best means of communicating is through the phone. Just like any tool, you need to understand how to use the phone so that you derive the most benefit from its use. You also need to be aware that most of your calls will probably not be answered by the buyer and you will need to leave a voice mail message.  Understanding the importance of leaving a good voice mail message is paramount to receiving a call back from your prospective client.

Here are a few tips for leaving a great voice mail message that will get you a call back:

Sound like someone that the prospective buyer would want to talk to. 

Keep your voice upbeat and positive when you leave your voice mail message. Remember to smile while you speak. Numerous studies have shown that the recipient of a phone call can always tell if the person calling is smiling even on a voice mail message. You need to be personable while maintaining a professional demeanor. If you have any information about the prospective buyer, link yourself to that information. For example, if you met the buyer at an event at one time, mention it. If you were referred by another person, make sure to mention that with the referring person's name.

Always know what you want to say.

There is nothing worse than a rambling voice mail message that never seems to get to the point. You want to introduce yourself, give a small amount of information about why you are calling and leave your contact information. Never leave too much information on a voice mail message. You simply want to pique the interest of the buyer not tell them everything they need to know about your product or service. You also need to leave your phone number and repeat it. Most people tend to speak too quickly when they leave their phone number on a voice mail message and that makes it difficult for the call's recipient to write the number down. Say your phone number at a normal pace and then say it again. It is usually best not to leave any other means of contact. Do not give out the company website. You want the person to call you back to get information; you do not want them to look your information up on line.

Timing is very important.

Do not leave voice mail messages that are over 20 to 25 seconds long. If you can leave your message in 10 to 15 seconds, that is ideal. It may seem like too short a period of time to leave any real information but it is just right. Chances are that yours is not the only voice mail message that the prospect will have on their phone. Keep it short and sweet so they are not tempted to delete it before they hear the whole voice mail message. The time and day that you call is also important. Leaving a voice mail message on Friday afternoon is the worst time if you are hoping to get a call back. Monday mornings are usually reserved for important activities and review of the previous week so leaving a voice mail message first thing Monday morning is not a good time. Try to leave messages from Monday afternoon to Thursday afternoon for the best likelihood of getting a call back.

It can be frustrating to feel like you are never getting through to talk to your prospective buyer. Chances are, though, that you will have to leave a voice mail message. Knowing how to leave a great voice mail message that will get you a returned call is a skill that you need to learn in order to increase your sales success.

The B2B Sales Essentials Assessment

SalesForce Search specializes exclusively in sales recruiting across North America and serves small, medium and Fortune 500 companies. SalesForce Search helps companies find qualified sales people who will have an immediate impact on their sales targets.

How to Create More Leads for Your Sales Team

  
  
  

how to create more leads for your sales teamDo you want your business to be more profitable? Then you need to create more leads for your sales team. 

Without sales leads, you don't get a chance to explain your products and services. You don't get to establish new relationships with prospects. You don't get to close deals, and you certainly don't get paid. In short, without sales leads, your sales team is stuck.

What you need, therefore, is a plan to create more leads for your sales team. Not only will your sales team enjoy more sales and more revenue, but it will be invigorated by the boost in good-quality prospects, interesting work, and jump-started business. Generate more leads for your sales team with the following ideas.

Ramp Up Your Company Website

A professional, helpful website can go a long way toward creating leads for your sales team. With today's ever-increasing mobile usage, people are constantly looking for information online, and if they find the information they're looking for on your company's website or blog, they just might contact you about the products and services you offer.

You can encourage prospects to contact you by providing contact information on every website page. Make it as easy as possible for prospects to get in touch with you.

Create useful content that will send people to your website from search engines. Companies that regularly produce informational or educational material can establish themselves as thought leaders in their industry. Consider publishing the following kinds of content:

  • Blog posts
  • E-books
  • White papers
  • Case studies
  • Demos
  • Webinars
  • Podcasts

An informational website with easily accessible contact information can go a long way toward creating leads for your sales team.

Spread Your Ideas Through Social Media

LinkedIn and Twitter can be great places to get your name out there and make initial contacts with prospects. Join industry groups on LinkedIn, and promote your sales, products, and services on Twitter, and you'll find that your reach grows quickly and exponentially. Get involved in discussions you find on social media, and ask interesting questions to start discussions of your own. The more you contribute, the more people will see that you have something of value to offer.

Speak at Trade Shows, Conferences, and Industry Events

Some of the most powerful leads are created when you can give an event presentation and follow up with a customized letter, phone call, or email to people you met at the event. When you put yourself out there, people remember who you are. You get noticed, and you can capitalize on this moment of recognition by turning those contacts into precious leads.

Cross-Promotions and Co-Marketing

If you have a strong relationship with a noncompetitive vendor or associate, you can work together to help each other gain more leads. This can happen in a variety of ways, from referring customers to each other, recommending each other's products and services, or even posting visual advertising materials at each other's places of business. Keep your eyes open for such mutually beneficial arrangements.

These ideas can help you to generate more leads for your sales team. Once you create more leads, your sales reps will be busier answering questions, forming solutions, and closing sales. Your entire team will profit, and your sales team will be more successful than ever.

A CEO's Guide to The Future of Selling

SalesForce Search specializes exclusively in sales recruiting across North America and serves small, medium and Fortune 500 companies. SalesForce Search helps companies find qualified sales people who will have an immediate impact on their sales targets.

How to Find a Great Sales Job Through LinkedIn

  
  
  

how to find a great sales job through linkedinOne of the best professional networking sites available is LinkedIn.  For over a decade, LinkedIn has offered a way for professionals to connect whether it is for learning about products and services or looking for potential employees or a new job. LinkedIn has over 300 million members and continues to grow every day. LinkedIn can be a good means of finding the great sales job that you are looking for.

Here are some ways to use LinkedIn to find a great sales job.

Create a really good profile on LinkedIn.

  • You want to keep your profile professional and career focused. Do not include personal information that is not relevant to your professional goals.
  • Include a picture in your profile. LinkedIn profiles with no picture tend to get overlooked and do not look complete. Use a professional picture rather than one that you would more likely share on Facebook or a more social than professional networking site.
  • Make sure your profile is complete. Fill in all of the relevant information. If you leave out pertinent information, it will come across as incomplete and unprofessional. Many companies look through these profiles to seek out prospective employees. You want your LinkedIn profile to offer as much information as possible.
  • Make your information interesting so that you stand out from the crowd. Many people use LinkedIn to search for jobs and to search for employees. Put yourself ahead of the crowd by focusing on your professional accomplishments. You can add videos to talk about your accomplishments which will make your profile stand out even more.
  • Update your LinkedIn profile on a regular basis. This is especially true if you are currently seeking new employment. Check and update your profile at least a few times each week to make sure that it is up to date.

Follow companies that you are interested in.

Keep checking the LinkedIn information for the companies that you think would offer you the best opportunities. You can comment on the company postings and you can request a connect with the company LinkedIn page.  You can search jobs by using the "jobs filter" to look for that great sales position that you want and are qualified for.

Try to link with as many people as possible.

Millions of people are on LinkedIn. Look for friends, colleagues, old coworkers, old classmates and anyone else you can think of. Networking continues to be one of the best ways to land a great sales job. LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to connect with many more people than you possibly could in person. Take advantage of this.

Use the "Jobs" tab to expand your job search.

The jobs tab will show you places that have positions that you may be interested in.  You can also set up preferences by location, company size and industry. LinkedIn also allow you to "Save jobs" that you are interested in as well as saving searches and jobs that you have applied for.

If you are looking for a job in another city, you can enter the geographic information and LinkedIn will provide you with the names of companies in that area that are hiring. You can further screen these companies by indicating how large a company you want to work for and the industry that you are interested in.

LinkedIn is a great tool for any professional sales person looking for that great sales job. With so many people and companies using LinkedIn as a job search and recruitment tool, you are sure to find the job of your dreams.

Find Sales Jobs

SalesForce Search specializes exclusively in sales recruiting across North America and serves small, medium and Fortune 500 companies. SalesForce Search helps companies find qualified sales people who will have an immediate impact on their sales targets.

3 Steps to Dealing With Sales Rejection

  
  
  

3 steps to dealing with sales rejectionSales rejection is a sales reality. If you are in sales, no matter what kind of product or service you are selling, you have been rejected. From an initial "no thanks, not interested" to "we have decided to go a different direction" sales people face sales rejection fairly often. For many people, sales rejection is a devastating event that can throw them off track for quite a while. For true sales professionals, you know that sales rejection is a part of the process and you know how to deal with it. If you are new to the game, and the sales rejection hits you like a punch, talk to your team mates and other sales professionals and ask them how they have dealt with sales rejection in the past. You can be sure that sales people will have plenty of tales to tell you about times that they faced sales rejection and you are sure to learn a great deal. Here are some tips to remember: 

It happens, expect it. 

There could be any number of reasons that your product or service was rejected. Perhaps it was not exactly what the buyer was looking for. It could be that they simply did not have the money to pay for what you are selling. The reasons that a buyer does not purchase your product or service are far too many to mention, and frankly, most of them are legitimate. You cannot make every single sale. It simply won't happen and if you allow yourself to think that you should make every sale, you are at best fooling yourself and at worst, driving yourself crazy.

Always maintain your professionalism. 

The worst thing you can do when you face sales rejection is lose your professional demeanor. You cannot be sad or angry or sullen. You should never take it personally. When the buyer tells you no, remain polite and professional. You can certainly ask why, and if there is a misunderstanding between what you have said and what the buyer understands, you should certainly make an attempt to clarify. You can even offer to redo the proposal to correct any misconceptions or issues that may have been overlooked, but don't fight and don't get upset if the answer remains no. It is very possible that at some point in the future this buyer will need your product or service. By responding to the sales rejection in a professional manner, you are leaving the buyer with the knowledge that you are a true professional and that is a trait that is respected and builds trust for the future. 

Think of sales rejection as a part of the process. 

There are a lot of "no's" in sales. This is particularly true when you engage in cold calling. The no you get initially is actually a good thing. You do not want to waste your time on a buyer that has absolutely no need for your product or service. Always stick to your sales routine. You will come to learn the difference between a real no and a no that indicates the buyer doesn't seem to understand what you have to offer. You need to be persistent. When you make those calls where you end up with sales rejection, make sure you continue to ask additional questions. Why is the answer no? Do they think there may be a need for your product or service in the future? Would it be okay if you checked in with the buyer in a few weeks or months from now? The sales process has the rejection part of sales built in and you need to move on when necessary.

Sales rejection is going to happen. You need to stay positive and never let the rejections get you down. Persevere and follow these steps and you will learn how to deal with sales rejection like a professional.

Top 5 Traits of Successful Sales People Download

SalesForce Search specializes exclusively in sales recruiting across North America and serves small, medium and Fortune 500 companies. SalesForce Search helps companies find qualified sales people who will have an immediate impact on their sales targets.

How to Build a Successful Sales Routine

  
  
  

how to build a successful sales routineThe routines and superstitions of a star athlete before a big game should not look unfamiliar to the would-be star sales agent. A sales routine that helps you focus, helps you put your mind 'in the game', can be as important as everything else you do to secure a sale. A sales routine should be a tool in every belt, not as a superstitious ritual to ward off bad leads and miscommunication, but as a method to quickly and consistently put yourself in your best possible working mindset. In this article, we'll discuss what goes in to a successful sales routine, starting with just what counts as 'routine' and what does not.

Difference from Process. 

It's important to maintain a distinction between your sales routine and your sales process, even though sometimes, you'll see sales routine and sales process utilized as interchangeable terms. For this article we'll define the difference between the two thus: Your sales process is how you move from lead to sale to follow up (to sale again, if you do it right). Your sales routine, on the other hand, is how you prepare yourself to follow your sales process, the extra steps you take to make sure you're getting the most from your process.

Getting a cup of coffee before you sit down is sales routine, pushing for early buy-in is process. There are a few things that might count as both, which we'll get to in a moment.

Emphasize getting in the zone. 

The core goal of your rituals and sales routines should be 'getting in the zone', as it's known. If you've ever achieved it, you know the feeling-you don't fumble for words. You don't find yourself at a loss. You handle everything at peak performance, without any of the strain that you'd associate with that level of focus. It just becomes natural to sell, like breathing or walking. That's what you should use your sales routine for.

The trick lay in training your body and mind with simple stimulus. You establish certain habits, which are always followed immediately by focusing and working hard. For example, maybe you drink your coffee sweet with creamer way most of the time, but occasionally drink it black. IF you start drinking your coffee black only when you're sitting down to work hard, black coffee will become a shortcut for focus. Our minds and bodies are silly things, when you get down to it, but it's something we can use to our advantage.

Implement sales routine into your sales process. 

The absolute best sales routine incorporates some degree of multitasking-you make some trivial task from your sales process into a part of your routine. If you start every work session by sorting through leads, that can become equal parts process and sales routine. This will typically be more effective AND efficient than having wholly separate process steps and routine steps. Just remember that a routine needs consistency above all else, whereas process is focused on outcomes, so stick to overlapping things that don't need variation to give best results.

Resetting your mind. 

Your sales routine should also include some method of 'resetting' when calls go downhill, when you can't shake a big, big client from your mind, when your home life is impacting your work. Like a chef deglazing a pan before starting the next course, you need to clear your mind back to its neutral high-performance state. What this means will vary greatly from individual to individual. Maybe you need to go for a short walk, or go hunt down a snack. Maybe you need a quick nap (if you can get away with one at work), or to play a quick round of Solitaire. Experiment and find your route back to neutral. Once you're there, the other parts of your sales routine can work their magic and push you back to peak performance.

The B2B Sales Essentials Assessment

SalesForce Search specializes exclusively in sales recruiting across North America and serves small, medium and Fortune 500 companies. SalesForce Search helps companies find qualified sales people who will have an immediate impact on their sales targets.

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3 Benefits of Having a Great Website Your Sales Team can Use

  
  
  

3 benefits of having a website your sales team can useYour sales team works hard to find new prospects, develop relationships, teach people about your services and products, and ultimately, to close sales. As their leader, you support them with training, materials, one-on-one meetings, goals and follow-up, and more. But are you providing your sales team with the one asset that can make a huge difference in their success? That asset is a great website, and it can do incredible things for your sales team.

Before we get to the biggest three benefits of having a great website your sales team can use, let's look at the top three excuses for not having a great website:

  • Our customers don't look for us online. 
  • We can't sell our products and services on the Internet. 
  • We don't have the people or resources to update content

First of all, most people look for product information online before they ever pick up the phone to ask for recommendations from colleagues or to call a company and ask for prices. If they don't find you online, they might not find you at all.

Even if you don't sell your products and services over the Internet, a great website with a frequently updated blog can educate, inform, and persuade prospects to put their trust in you and your products.

Finally, it doesn't take a new full-time person or lots of extra work on your part to keep content updated on your website. With a good system and a reliable schedule, you can keep your website up-to-date and informative.

As you can see, these excuses don't seem valid enough to miss out on the fantastic benefits of having a professional, useful website that your sales team can use to generate leads, teach prospects, and make sales. Still unconvinced? Check out these benefits:

Generate More Leads

As you know, leads are the bread and butter of your company and the most-needed resource for your sales team. With a stellar website, you can generate more leads than ever before. What makes a stellar website that has the ability to attract interested customers?

  • Strong SEO that will boost your website to the top of search engine results
  • Contact information or interest forms on every single page
  • Up-to-date industry news that helps others to see you as industry experts
  • Regular, informative content that provides helpful information 

Spread Your Influence Through Social Media

Without a great website, you miss out on the incredible possibilities of social media. Just think a moment about the power of social media. If each of your sales team members shares your latest blog post on social media, you've reached a potentially huge audience. But it doesn't end there. If your blog post is interesting to some of those people who learn about it through your sales team members, it will get forwarded and posted again, sending it on to people you don't know and have never met. Who knows how far your influence can go?

With a powerful website, social media can spread your influence, and this influence can help you with recruiting, branding, prospecting, and an increase in sales.

Improve Your Reputation

Like it or not, your website makes a big first impression. What kind of impression will it offer? Does it say that you're disorganized (Website Currently Under Construction), behind schedule (last blog entry dated three years ago), or operating on a tight budget (poor web design)?

A professional, up-to-date website can do a lot for your image and reputation as a company. Pay attention to the following details to improve your website, and therefore, to improve your image:

  • Proofread everything
  • Use consistent styling
  • Include fresh, modern images
  • Address interesting, timely topics
  • Provide accurate contact information
  • Respond to comments

A great website has the power to generate more leads, spread your influence through social media, and improve your reputation. Each of these benefits can be huge assets to your sales team.

A CEO's Guide to The Future of Selling

SalesForce Search specializes exclusively in sales recruiting across North America and serves small, medium and Fortune 500 companies. SalesForce Search helps companies find qualified sales people who will have an immediate impact on their sales targets.

A Guide to Setting Up Your Sales Compensation Plan Today

  
  
  

a guide to setting up your sales compensation plan todaySales compensation is key to your company's success. Your sales compensation plan can either be a powerful, motivational tool or it can be a cause of conflict and dissatisfaction. No doubt about it, you want your sales compensation plan to motivate your sales reps, encourage them to become top producers, and ultimately boost your bottom line. Let's look at how you can set up a winning sales compensation plan today.

Reward Your Top Sales Reps

The first thing you need to do is make sure your superstars are recognized. They're the ones who not only bring in the most revenue, but they also motivate and inspire your sales reps who are still learning the ropes. To make sure your top sales reps are adequately rewarded, consider boosting your commissions over a certain dollar amount. 

For example, you could offer a commission of 5% per dollar for all sales up to $100,000 and then offer 7% for sales over $150,000 per month. You could even add another tier to this formula, perhaps offering 10% for sales over $200,000 in one month. A sales compensation plan like this really rewards your top producers and inspires the others to work harder.

Include Sales Contests in Your Sales Compensation Plan

Resist the temptation to spend your entire compensation budget on commissions because periodic sales contents go a long way toward boosting the morale of your sales reps. Sales contests don't have to be very expensive, but they should give sales reps recognition and something out of the ordinary. Here are some ideas for sales contest prizes:

  • Gift certificates to favorite stores
  • Movie tickets
  • Restaurant gift cards
  • Passes to amusement parks
  • Tickets to sports events

Sales reps typically stay longer with companies that sponsor sales contests on a regular basis because they feel valued in their jobs and enthusiastic about their work.

Strike the Right Balance Between New Customer Contracts and Existing Customer Renewals

Your sales compensation plan can have a big effect on the way your sales reps spend their time. If you generously reward new customer contracts but you're stingy with existing customer renewals, they'll spend most or all of their time seeking new customers. This might be just the model your business needs, but if you count on existing customer renewals for a significant portion of your income, you'll be in trouble.

Carefully consider the balance you want between new customer contracts and existing customer renewals, and structure your sales compensation plan in a way that encourages sales reps to help you meet your goals. If you want them to focus evenly on the two categories, offer identical compensation for both. If you want them to focus more on existing customers than new customers, weight your commissions in that direction.

When your sales compensation plan rewards your top producers, includes regular sales contests, and strikes the right balance between new customer contracts and existing customer renewals, your company will thrive, and you will be able to retain your very best sales reps.

How to Make Sales Compensation Work For Your Company

SalesForce Search specializes exclusively in sales recruiting across North America and serves small, medium and Fortune 500 companies. SalesForce Search helps companies find qualified sales people who will have an immediate impact on their sales targets.

How to Build a Healthy Sales Environment

  
  
  

how to build a healthy sales environmentThe best sales teams come from the best and most healthy sales environment. Even if you have the best people, a great sales manager and a product or service that people are motivated to buy, if your people are working in a toxic environment, it will hurt your sales.

It is not difficult to build a healthy sales environment. It can be time consuming and it requires buy in. The buy in is not just from the sales department, the buy in must be company wide from top to bottom in order to build a healthy sales environment.  There are several ways to begin developing your sales team and a healthy sales environment.

Get your employees engaged and excited about the company. Employees, particularly sales people, who feel enthusiastic about the product or service they are selling will produce far more that those that feel discouraged or disconnected from the company.  Engaged employees receive the benefits of regular and fair evaluations, performance and recognition programs, and opportunities for personal and professional advancement. Engaged and enthusiastic sales people are the foundation of a healthy sales environment.

Employees that feel that they are trusted are far more likely to be dependable and reliable. You will not build a healthy sales environment by micromanaging the sales team.  Instead of public humiliation for poor performance, you are far more likely to build morale, trust and confidence in you sales team by rewarding good performance. Catch your people doing well and reward them for it.  Not all rewards need to be monetary. A simple thanks will motivate a person to continue desired behavior far more than “a talking to" will diminish or reduce unwanted behavior. Build up the morale of your sales team and you will be building a healthy sales environment.

Employees also need to feel valued. No one likes to feel like a number in an organization. Sales managers who take the time to really get to know and understand what motivates their sales team are on the right path to building a healthy sales environment. Saying thanks, providing small, non-monetary incentives in addition to a good compensation package helps the employees to feel like they are part of the team.

Employees that have a good work to life balance are far less likely to burn out on the job.  Allowing time for exercise, lunch breaks, and short distractions from work, will actually improve a worker's productivity.  A healthy sales environment includes people who are physically and emotionally healthy and who do not feel burnt out on the job.

Environmental stresses can do a great deal of damage to a healthy sales environment. Simple things like the level of noise in the office can keep people from being as productive as you need them to be. Some environment stresses that you can easily check:

  • Temperature of the work place.  Too cold and the workers become distracted and the work place feels unfriendly. Too hot and the work place causes sluggishness.
  • Too much noise can be for workers. Constant noise can be extremely stressful and will lead to a drop in productivity.
  • Adequate lighting, comfortable chairs, enough workspace to work in and breathable air all add to a healthy sales environment.

Providing a quality work place where people feel valued and trusted is a large part of building a healthy sales environment.  In addition, providing a good work to life balance that allows your sales team to maintain physical health and a healthy attitude will help you to build a healthy sales environment.  When your people feel good about their work and their work environment, productivity will improve leading to greater sales success.

5 Traits of a Great Sales Manager

SalesForce Search specializes exclusively in sales recruiting across North America and serves small, medium and Fortune 500 companies. SalesForce Search helps companies find qualified sales people who will have an immediate impact on their sales targets.

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