The sales landscape is constantly changing and evolving. Techniques that were once best practices can become obsolete in a heartbeat, and sales teams that are thriving can start struggling just as quickly. But while many businesses lose their edge, some industry giants are able to persevere and adapt. Through careful planning and flexibility, these companies employ strategies to future-proof their sales teams. In this article, we’ve compiled some of the best ways to do this for your business. Keep in mind that every organization is different, and the following best practices should only be adopted if they fit into your corporate vision.
Select Great Marketing Tools
The sales teams that outlast the competition are the ones that consistently operate efficiently. And while there may be many factors that contribute to efficiency, having the right strategic tools can maximize positive impact. For instance, tools that contain email templates, automated call scheduling, and lead tracking can minimize time wasted on routine tasks. In turn, these tools allow sales reps to focus on selling instead of spending time on administrative duties.
While many different tools exist, we recommend Salesforce for customer relationship management. By implementing Salesforce, sales teams can streamline their processes, focusing on conversion rates and delivering personalized services. Salesforce also continually updates its platform, adapting to changes in the market so sales teams can stay ahead of the game. By choosing a future-proof tool, businesses keep their sales teams efficient and productive.
Using Repeatable Processes and Templates
An important factor for remaining future-proof over a long period of time is performance consistency. One way to keep sales teams consistently thriving is to develop repeatable processes and templates that are well documented and easily usable. Ideally, both a well-seasoned veteran and a new hire should be able to execute these processes. An example of this can be a series of steps that every sales rep must take when approaching a new lead. Creating and reusing decision trees that simulate different customer outcomes can be a great practice for dealing with new customers, regardless of their identities.
Following that same thought process, reusable templates are also powerful tools that help sales teams thrive over time. A good practice is to develop several templates for the same purpose, such as an email communication, and track which ones are most effective. For example, tracking open and response rates for different welcome emails can help marketers develop better email content. By doing this over a long period of time, companies can increase their engagement by constantly tweaking communications to fit the market’s interest.
Expand Your Hiring Practices
Repeatable processes and templates are great, but you still need good employees to use them. Sales teams are built on hiring practices, and there are certain strategies that can be used to build effective teams. Many industries approach recruitment exactly as they have been for years, and this is a mistake. When trying to build a future-proof sales team, hiring managers have to think outside of the box. Expanding recruitment practices to include remote employees and even freelancers greatly increases the applicant pool. Rather than hiring qualified staff in a specific location, expand your search to simply hiring the most qualified people. These highly-qualified team members will be more likely to grow with your company and contribute best practices to scale into the future.
On that same note, hiring team members who are able to wear many hats is a great way to future-proof your sales team. For instance, it’s beneficial to have team members who can do more than simply generate leads, write emails, and interact with customers. Candidates with skills such as copywriting, graphic design, data analysis, and even event planning can bring a lot to the table. By hiring staff with a wide pool of talents, you can better prepare your sales teams for future responsibilities. Cross-training existing employees is another way to achieve this.
Show Your Employees How Much They Matter
One of the obstacles to building a future-proof sales team is employee turnover. Even with efficient processes and tools, if your employees continue to leave your company for other opportunities, you won’t be able to make the most of the infrastructure you’ve built. By keeping your team happy and engaged in company culture, you will be better equipped to grow and scale. There are many ways to do this, but the most reliable method is to ask your employees what they need.
At a very basic level, you can do this with an ongoing suggestion box. But if you’d like to be more engaging, you can solicit feedback through casual work events such as happy hours or birthday parties, when employees feel relaxed and comfortable. Make it a priority to listen to all feedback and implement changes to make your staff happier through rewards, work-life balance, and benefits initiatives. Another great way to keep employees engaged is to promote cross-training and mentorships. By giving your team ways to grow and thrive, you can build loyalty to your brand and company.
Put Your Analytics to Work
As with almost every aspect of business, careful attention to metrics and analytics can lead to success. When it comes to future-proofing your sales teams, there is no exception. You can use analytics to determine best practices, most effective sales reps, and even target demographics. By using data to isolate best practices, you can build sales strategies and repeatable processes to capitalize on this knowledge. If you’ve identified an effective sales rep, you can have them train the rest of the team to spread knowledge. And if you’ve discovered vulnerable demographics, you can design campaigns specifically targeted to sell to them. Keep in mind that for all metrics-driven strategies, it’s best to tune your practices often to stay relevant.
Contact Us for Additional Assistance
If you’d like more advice on how to future-proof your sales team, let us know! There are dozens of different strategies that we can recommend based on your industry or company history. Nobody wants to get left behind while businesses are continuously evolving and changing. Get in touch if you are interested in working with Ntegro, and we’d be happy to speak with you directly. In fact, you can reach out to us online for a free consultation.