Use these management techniques to boost your team's performance without big cost increases.
There are many ways to increase sales without incurring additional costs. And although the approaches may vary depending on the industry and company, here are five that can be applied to any company.
1. Build Confidence for the Future
Confidence boosts productivity: When employees are confident about their future, they perform better. But in tricky economic times, people tend to be concerned--not surprisingly--about their continued employment.
You can't necessarily guarantee a person a job and probably shouldn't. But you can take steps to bolster their confidence in the company, the industry, and management's commitment to them.
2. Turn Sales Leaders Into Coaches
Identify successful leaders within the sales group and develop ways for them to act as coaches with the other sales team members. Leaders will enjoy the recognition they get from sharing their special sales techniques and best practices. And other team members should be able to use the advice to increase their sales.
Also, during this process, look for sales techniques or tips that have global application. When you find them, present them to the entire sales team--giving credit, of course, to the sales leaders.
3. Make Your Process More Efficient
Focus on increasing efficiencies of the sales process. Does the company have the proper sales strategy in place? Some of the biggest gains in increased sales will come from improving or streamlining the sales process, so make sure your policies allow sales reps to make the sale while spending the least amount of time in front of the customer.
A few best practices: Give reps pricing options, for example, so that they don’t have to wait for company approval to close sales. Create a rep hotline to get your sales reps fast answers to any sales questions. And expedite any brochures or sample orders that your reps need to make a sale.
4. Boost Morale
Morale is similar to confidence: A sales team with high morale will always outperform one with low morale, getting more work done with fewer resources and better attitude.
Strong team morale is the result of good management. Here are a few steps you can take to boost morale:
Be trustworthy; always keep your word.
Convey in words and actions a concern for the welfare of your sales team.
Demonstrate a commitment to excellence in all aspects of the business.
5. Encourage Teamwork
Individuals on a team will get more work done in less time than individuals working in a nonteam environment. Team members care about each other and the outcome of their combined performance.
To encourage teamwork, create an environment in which individuals care about each other and the group performance. Avoid favoritism and recognize teamwork. For instance: Present a teamwork award, with the winner selected by popular vote of the entire sales force--and be sure to clearly explain what the person did to gain this recognition.
Also, teamwork and morale tend to go hand in hand. The same techniques used to bolster high morale work to enhance teamwork.