Strong field sales management can take your business further by bringing in revenue and unlocking the potential of your company’s human capital. However, first-time business owners or those who manage small companies often miss targets or struggle finding the formula that works for them. And recently, field sales have come under additional pressure due to the effects of the pandemic and subsequent lockdown. Here are some useful pointers to strengthen your results and stay ahead in uncertain times.
1) Work with an experienced business development agency
Successful sales involves a combination of efficient processes and efficient technologies, so if you rely on field sales you'll want to make the most of your team’s skills and get tangible results. At JDR we offer a range of digital marketing services to support your field sales team, bring in more qualified leads, and help SME owners achieve their business objectives. In our experience (16 years in 2020), taking a bespoke, strategic approach to sales and marketing – with the support of an agency partner – will allow you to get consistently better results from your sales team.
2) Promote healthy competition among your team
Most salespeople are naturally driven by a strong sense of competition and self-attainment. However, if this isn’t managed adequately, it can potentially evolve into a tense atmosphere between reps and end up being detrimental to sales. Instead of competing exclusively with one another using sales leader boards and other public measures, ensure each sales rep is focused on beating their previous results on an individual basis. This has a positive effect on motivation, self-esteem and professional development – as well as day-to-day sales performance. Gentle competition between team mates and gamification can still be used to increase team cohesion and encourage collaboration and knowledge sharing – especially between your marketing and sales teams. Some of the best practices in this respect are setting stretch goals and turning continuous self- improvement into your team’s motto.
3) Create a culture of recognition
Recognition can help counter unhealthy competition and create a motivating – and more productive – work environment. It’s important to distinguish between recognition as a reward (which most companies do to some extent or another) and as a culture or part of your business ethos. To achieve the latter, make sure that recognition exists among sales reps as well as between managers and their teams, and recognise big and small achievements alike. Also, ensure that recognition is meaningful to each individual, since not everyone responds equally to verbal, written, private, and public recognition. (Not all sales people are extroverts and some may be embarrassed by public recognition, as it risks drawing the jealousy of their colleagues.
4) Anticipate the obstacles
Sales professionals will always be faced with challenges, and the pandemic crisis has only made this more obvious. To minimise the impact of these challenges on your revenue, you’ll need to take a proactive approach rather than simply firefighting problems as and when they arise. Here it could be useful to classify the obstacles faced by field sales reps into skills issues, productivity issues, low morale, and poor understanding of customer needs. Always be on the lookout for signs of trouble and don’t wait until problems occur. Get your marketing and sales teams sharing insights and tap into the experience of a knowledgeable agency partner, such as JDR, to help implement a sales strategy that meets the needs of your team.
5) Invest in professional development
Disappointing sales results may be a sign that your sales team isn’t keeping up with the times, or isn’t coping well with changes in working practices. Lead by example and keep abreast of new field forces, competitors, changing customer needs, or the development of new technologies, especially remote sales and video conferencing. With this knowledge, you can coach your team so they develop their skills too and become more efficient.
Equip your sales team for success
There are other specialised techniques that will complement your efforts and drive your field sales team to perform at their best. To find out how to make this happen, get in touch with our consultants at JDR today by calling 01332 343281.
Image source: Pixabay