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HOW TO SELL ANYTHING

3 Questions You Must Ask to Build a Great Sales Team

Tired of doing all the sales yourself? Sales Guru Jack Daly gives you the secrets to building a killer sales team.

You can't have a successful company without steadily growing sales. But so many entrepreneurs struggle with developing scalable sales beyond their own efforts. But now, master sales coach Jack Daly has finally shared his insights for building a killer sales team in his wonderful new best-selling book, Hyper Sales Growth: Street-Proven Systems & Processes.

Daly admits there are lots of passionate hardworking entrepreneurs out there who are frustrated because they are great salespeople but they can't seem to replicate their own success in building a productive team. Sales management demands effort and intentionality. Building a great sales team takes time and patience. Daly explains that many entrepreneurs are too impatient and don't invest the resources and time to cultivate great salespeople. They often get frustrated with slow results and just go and do the selling themselves instead. Then, years later, they wonder why all the sales are still dependent on them. Daly points out: "People and companies tend to underperform because they rush to the urgent at the expense of the important."

Daly says there's no sense in looking for answers to your sales issues if you aren't asking the right questions at the start. Below are the questions Daly says you must ask to identify where you're lacking, and some insights as well toward finding the answers.

1. Where is your recruiting? Daly makes clear that recruiting is an ongoing process, not an event. He believes that for every salesperson in your company, you should be courting 12 new ones at all times. You should always be on the lookout for top-flight performers, because when you bring in a star player, it raises the game of the whole team. If you're waiting until you have a vacancy, you're setting your company up for mediocrity or worse, failure. Building a great sales team is mostly a matter of weeding out the folks who aren't a fit for sales or your company, empowering those who are, and continually seeking out new talent.

Daly says, if you can only do one thing differently tomorrow, hire slowly, fire quickly.

2. Where is your playbook? You might have 2,600 salespeople working for you (like Daly did), but as he recognized, there aren't 2,600 ways to sell a product. You need to coordinate those energetic people so they work efficiently and effectively. Pick any sport at any level, and a coach wouldn't field a team without a playbook; nor should you.

Figure out the best process to sell your product or service, then institute a system that supports that process. Don't forget to integrate the operational and sales systems to manage the business accordingly.  Daly advocates: "When the players follow the systems and processes, the results manifest themselves in more wins than losses." Having a playbook helps ensure that your people are using the best practices consistently, and that everything they do is aligned with your company and its culture. Every successful company has some sort of clearly articulated, "how things are done" manual. In the best companies, the people know it by heart and execute on it daily.

Daly says, if you can only do one thing differently tomorrow, "Create a checklist of what your salespeople need to do to succeed."

3.  Where is your training? Daly likes to point out that no sports coach would put a player on the field without training and practice, but the majority of companies hand people a box of business cards and tell them to go sell. If you aren't training your people before they go out in the field, you're training them on your prospects and customers, which can cost sales and damage your reputation. You must have a thorough, consistent training program for your people and a diligent manager to execute it.

Daly is adamant: "A sales manager's job is not to grow sales. It's to grow salespeople in quantity and quality. If you do that, they in turn will grow your sales." For a proper training approach, there are two considerations: First, are your people getting the training they really need? Second, which of your people are getting the most time and attention? Most companies spend their training time on the bottom-quartile employees, the stragglers. Those are the ones who should go, so you can concentrate on training the people with the most skills and potential.

Daly says, if you can only do one thing differently tomorrow, "Start training your five best people how to be even better."

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Last updated: Apr 25, 2014

KEVIN DAUM | Columnist

An Inc. 500 entrepreneur with a more than $1 billion sales and marketing track record, Kevin Daum is the best-selling author of Video Marketing for Dummies and the executive producer of Amilya! on 77WABC New York. Sign up here and never miss out on Kevin's thoughts and humor.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



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