How to Refresh Your Sales Team for 2019
This year, when the clock strikes midnight, make it your New Year’s resolution to refresh your sales team and give your organisation the best chance of success in 2019. In the sales industry, where success is based on your representatives, their capabilities and communication skills, taking a step back and assessing how you could change, adapt and improve is key to finding a lucrative future.
The first day back in the office is full of potential, with employees coming back fresh from the festive break and keen to get their professional year off to a positive start. To make the most of this get-up-and-go attitude, you need to strategise for the next 12 months. From training opportunities to office perks, keep the New Year energy flowing and make 2019 your most successful to date, with these top tips from Pareto Law .
Identify Skills Gaps in your Team
We all have strengths and weaknesses, and the New Year feels like a natural time to identify these and ask what can be done to rectify them. Look for skills gaps in your team, or seek to identify techniques where your team is less confident.
Cast your mind over the past year, focusing on those sales or negotiations which didn’t go to plan. Real examples are the best way to see which processes need to be streamlined. Encourage a collaborative approach to this review, asking your employees to submit their suggestions of what they think could be improved. There may be some which you weren’t aware of or not directly involved in.
Analyse these events and highlight any recurring trends – perhaps you’ve encountered issues with securing repeat business or have a lower than average success rate with telephone-generated leads. Maybe there are less experienced individuals who would benefit from additional help or, alternatively, it could be that working together as a team could use some work.
Rather than sweeping these less-than-perfect examples under the carpet as anomalies, use them to go into the New Year with a clear plan for how you’re going to grow. Drawing inspiration from the words of ground-breaking scientist Albert Einstein: “the only source of knowledge is experience”.
Organise Sales Training Courses
Once you’ve identified areas for improvement, create an annual training plan to hit those action points. Consider how you can introduce development opportunities on both large and small scales, perhaps incorporating both face-to-face and digital training. Diversity and continuity are key to keeping the momentum going throughout the year.
Inviting external trainers into your business is a good way to introduce new ideas to your company. Pareto Law offers an extensive range of sales courses which are tailored to developing specific techniques, such as high impact presenting and account management . We also offer bespoke courses which are shaped around your specific needs.
You could also consider introducing fresh sales techniques to boost your company’s performance in 2019. Embrace the potential of cold calling tailored to the personalised consumer age or encourage greater creativity with storytelling techniques. Pareto Law has a huge variety of sales training courses available to enhance your success.
From there, turn your focus internally and learn from the experiences of your team. Set up mentoring schemes between junior and senior members of staff, encouraging the knowledge flow and sharing of fresh ideas between the two. You could encourage team members to present bite-size training courses on an area of sales which they particularly enjoy or excel at, sharing their tips with the rest of the team in a half-hour slot. Not only does this make your sales team feel valued, it also helps encourage communication between colleagues, which is always beneficial for more cohesive team work.
Consider Sales Recruitment
New Year, new faces and new ideas. For ambitious professionals who are unhappy in their current role, time away from the office over Christmas can result in renewed considerations on where they are in their career and how they’re going to progress moving forward.
New Year’s Day is often the tipping point – owing to its connotations of resolutions and fresh starts - giving many unsatisfied workers the impetus to hand in their notice and find a new challenge. The trend is so pronounced that in 2015, Wednesday the 7 th of January was deemed ‘National Job Hunting Day’.
If you’re looking to expand your business, and have skills gaps which need filling, make sure you’re poised to catch this wave of top performing job-seeking professionals. With the help of a sales recruitment agency, you can ensure the most suitable candidates are identified and captured for the interview stage at least.
Open your mind to the possibility of recruiting an apprentice , recognising how soft skills can be used to pick out future leaders in place of hands-on experience. University graduates are another extremely lucrative pool for employers, particularly with our proven graduate recruitment process , which ensures these budding professionals are sufficiently trained and correctly placed in your business.
Focus on the People
While recruiting new talent into your ranks is an exciting opportunity to grow, don’t let this take the emphasis away from your current employees. Make 2019 the year of the people and ensure your internal satisfaction rates are sky-high to maximise team performance.
Regarding sales recruitment, you should publicise the roles internally as well as externally. Research commissioned by Middlesex University found that 74% of employees felt a lack of development opportunities at their current role was holding them back from reaching their full potential. As a result, many felt undervalued and were less proactive in their position.
Encourage your employees to put themselves forward for open roles and, if they’re not qualified enough yet, help them put together a progression plan of action points. This sends a very clear message – you’re invested in their professional growth and want to keep them on your team. The result is a mobilised workforce which is focussed, determined and productive – three big ticks for successful selling.
There are many other ways you can work to retain talent in your business . Popular ideas include training course budgets to aid personal development or flexible working hours. You could open it up to the office for discussion, encouraging email requests or creating an anonymous suggestion box or online survey, if you think people would feel more confident sharing ideas while remaining nameless.
Going forward into the New Year, use these suggestions to strengthen your sales team and your business as a whole. The average adult spends one third of their life at work, according to the World Health Organisation, so embrace this opportunity to refresh your sales team and make those office hours fulfilling for all involved1.