Building a strong sales team within your business requires the perfect combination of skills, a supportive workplace culture and software tools that make life that little bit easier.
In this article, we discuss exactly what you can do to transform sales reps into sales superstars, from the top five skills every salesperson needs to how you can motivate your sales team and empower them to succeed.
The 5 key skills that make a great media sales professional
There’s no magic potion that can turn a novice sales rep into a sales professional. Rather, the ability to sell well hinges on a combination of skills that have been masterfully honed by the individual.
The top five key skills that make a great media sales professional are:
1. Communication Skills
This includes the ability to listen actively, ask relevant questions and clearly articulate product or service benefits.
Technology like Adpoint Assistant, for example, can improve your sales teams’ communication with customers by connecting their emails to the CRM, ensuring messaging is always personalized, relevant and in-tune with the bigger picture.
By making it easier for salespeople to access key information from their inbox, the speed of emailing is also increased, allowing them to connect with customers more easily and quickly.
2. Emotional intelligence
This ability to understand and connect with customers on a personal level includes being able to read and respond to customers’ emotions, and building trust and rapport.
Proving that emotional connections drive brand loyalty is this article, which found that emotional intelligence is responsible for 58% of professional success. Similarly, this case study on the impact of emotional intelligence training on sales found that sales reps who received the training outsold the control group by an average of 12%.
3. Knowing the product
It may sound straightforward, but a good salesperson needs a deep understanding of the products or services they are selling. This includes being able to answer questions, explain complex technical features and offer solutions that meet customers’ needs.
This demonstrates authority and trustworthiness, and shows customers that they are in the best place for their current needs. Without a deep understanding of the products, services or business as a whole, customers are more likely to churn and seek out competitors.
4. Strategic thinking
The ability to think strategically is crucial for a salesperson. This includes the ability to identify and prioritize opportunities, develop and implement sales plans, and track and analyze performance.
While the norm used to be for sales reps to think transactionally, this no longer flies in today’s world, and can actually put customers off your brand. Strategic thinking, on the other hand, means salespeople can consider the customer’s entire relationship lifecycle with the brand and use that to encourage repurchases, keep interests piqued, and solve new needs.
Here, we’re talking about the ability for sales reps to adjust their approaches and strategies based on customer feedback, market changes and other factors. This requires flexibility, creativity and resilience.
These are the quintet of skills that will turn sales reps into sales superstars. But it’s equally important for sales reps to shine together as well as alone, so continue reading to learn our advice on what makes a strong sales team.
What makes a strong sales team?
Behind every high performing sales team are individuals with diverse and complementary skills, as well as a company that provides them with all the resources they need to succeed. Here are our top seven ingredients for making a strong sales team:
1. Clear goals and objectives, which provide direction and focus for individual sales representatives and the team as a whole. These keep everyone on track and motivated towards the same result.
2. Effective communication, which allows for regular, open and honest communication among team members. This helps to build trust, improve collaboration and resolve conflicts.
3. A supportive culture that encourages personal and professional growth, fosters a positive work environment and recognizes and rewards performance. This incentivizes high performance while also improving mood and behavior.
4. Skilled and motivated sales representatives must be knowledgeable about the products or services they are selling, have a strong work ethic and be driven to succeed. When combined, these values support successful, motivated teamwork.
5. Strong leadership is needed to set a positive example, provide guidance and support, and empower sales representatives to make decisions and take ownership of their sales processes.
6. Resources that set sales teams up for success, including modern software tools, professional development training, and even emotional support like motivation. Providing these resources will make your sales team work better and sell more.
7. Strong sales teams work collaboratively and value teamwork, recognizing that success depends on the collective efforts of the team. This encourages every individual to perform at their optimum level.
How to motivate a sales team
Motivating a sales team is all about making your staff feel valued, supported, and competent. There are many ways you can do this, from rewarding good performance to providing professional development opportunities to setting challenging, yet attainable goals.
Sales reps are often motivated by incentives and recognition. Offer bonuses or rewards for meeting or exceeding sales targets, and recognize sales representatives who make a significant contribution to the team’s success.
This will make your staff feel valued, and this creates an important domino effect. When staff feel valued by the company, they not only perform better, they’re also more loyal, less likely to leave and improve your bottom line. In fact, 79% of workers quit because they feel underappreciated by their leaders.
Professional development opportunities
You can also offer training and development opportunities to motivate your sales team. If they feel they are constantly learning and growing, they will feel more empowered to go beyond expectations and exceed their goals.
With this in mind, it’s important to provide regular training and development opportunities to help sales representatives improve their skills and achieve their full potential.
Allowing sales representatives to make decisions and take ownership of their sales processes is another way to increase motivation.
This includes giving them the freedom to choose their own approach and methods for closing deals. This also makes your staff feel valued, trusted and competent, increasing their belief in themselves so that they have the confidence to succeed.
Create a positive work environment
A positive work environment can help increase motivation. Encourage open communication, provide opportunities for collaboration and teamwork, and create a supportive culture that recognizes and rewards performance.
Technology can support this effort, such as the use of Adpoint Assistant, which simplifies tools that sales teams use every day and makes it easier for them to collaborate, whether it’s creating new pipeline opportunities or assigning follow-up activities.
In fact, we’ve found that around 70% of sales teams are overwhelmed by the number of tools they have to use, so simplifying this is one easy way you can improve the work environment and make their lives easier.
Set goals and give feedback
Setting achievable and realistic goals can increase motivation by giving sales representatives a clear target to work towards. Make sure that goals are challenging but attainable, and provide regular feedback on progress and performance.
Regular feedback is critical to motivating sales representatives. Provide constructive feedback that helps them improve their performance, and acknowledge and recognize their successes.