The sales team - how to get rid of the best ones quickly

The sales team - how to get rid of the best ones quickly

Why put in the effort to please your sales team when you can alienate and push them to work for other companies? Why work to maintain a healthy sales force when you can sabotage them at every turn, here are 12 battle-tested tips on how to get rid of your best sales people from your team within a quarter.

SALES TEAM

1. ceiling at sales commissions.

High-performing sales organisations consistently attract and retain the best sales talent, rewarding them with well-tailored incentive schemes that are better than the market average.

Commissions are the easiest and quickest way to cripple the sales force. Running a cap on commissions removes the incentive for salespeople to close sales when the cap is reached and motivates them to carry the deal over to the next billing period known as 'sandbagging'.

When it is, for example, a quarter, an organisation can suffer measurable losses due to uninvoiced customers.

Frequent changes in the sales team's compensation plan

Changing the rules of the game is the quickest way to frustrate players. Informing the Sales Department that their ripening potential sales opportunities will lead to a lower payout than expected demoralises the team.

If a correction is necessary, proper advance notice should be given to the team along with the preparation of a specific rationale behind the decision.

3. payment of commission only for the sale of certain products/services.

If a salesperson makes a sale that generates a desired profit for the company, pay them for it. Paying commissions only on sales of some products and not others, despite both sales generating profit for the company, demotivates the best employees.

Rewarding a representative for every sale that benefits the company aligns them with the company's goal.

4 Punish the sales team for poor after-sales service.

Punishing the team for after-sales service distracts from making the sale.

The best companies focus their reps on delivering sales results, constantly rewarding excellent performance. Salespeople have different approaches to the after-sales relationship with customers.

As long as sales reps make the sale and maintain a healthy relationship after so-called "delivery", no matter how committed they are, they should achieve the desired result. Perhaps the solution here is to specialise salespeople - hunters and farmers?

5. failure to provide innovative products and services.

The best salespeople need to sell great solutions. They are not content to sell "we have that too" offers. Top performing sales organisations must deliver products that solve significant customer problems.

Otherwise they risk losing salespeople to competitors who develop really good and innovative products.

6. keeping weak salespeople on the sales team.

If hiring good salespeople seems expensive, talk to any sales leader who has ever built a team of mediocre salespeople.

Unprofitable salespeople drain financial resources, strain managerial resources and damage brand reputation in the marketplace.

Filling a vacancy quickly can be tempting, but it shows other better sales people that you don't need to put in the effort, which in turn results in an overall reduction in the performance of the whole team. Is it worth it?

7. a sales manager who never leaves the office

Managers cannot manage sales from Sauron's tower. Successful managers are fully engaged with customers to discover their needs and are connected to their team. Representatives should meet with customers along with their managers. For Inside Sales managers, the rule is the same.

They should be calling in video calls or phone calls with Customers. There is nothing more frustrating than receiving feedback from a manager who is out of touch with the reality of a sales team meeting with customers without the support of that manager. The best sales leaders take the time to develop relationships with customers and employees because they build trust. They are not interested in receiving information from the field directly from the customer.

8. avoiding training and coaching.

Coaching not only impacts company revenue, it is also a retention tool that is directly linked to job satisfaction. Studies show that salespeople who have regular training and coaching are 2 x more likely to recommend their workplace to others. In other words, they are 'promoters', using the standard NPS (Net Promoter Score) measure of satisfaction.

9. taking on and taking away the best clients by the supervisor or allocating them to their favourites in the team.

Let your representatives be responsible for their own work. Chuck Blakeman, business consultant and author ofMaking Money Is Killing your Business, writes: "Ownership is the most powerful motivator in business, and the ability to make decisions is the foundation of ownership."

Reps who retain ownership of a potential customer from the nurture stage have an incentive to close them. Managers should let sales close to those salespeople who have generated their leads and lead the customer to the sales closing process.

10. focusing on working time instead of results.

Results are important. The best salespeople thrive in an environment where their performance is measured against measurable business objectives.

It can seem frustratingly irrelevant when a sales leader places too much importance on the hours a rep works, the work and time spent 'sitting around' or drinking coffee while that salesperson delivers results. Of course when we have a sales process built - our sales team should follow it.

Micromanaging your team demotivates your sales team to perform. To retain top sales talent, set clear expectations of success and focus your KPIs on those results.

11. payment of commissions with long delays.

Providing sales reps with a direct link between their positive actions and their commissions is the best way to reinforce the right sales behaviours and keep them loyal and productive.

It can be demotivating for a top BDM to deliver great sales and not receive commissions. Providing reps with a direct link between their positive actions and their commissions is the best way to reinforce the right sales behaviors and keep them loyal.According to Mark Roberge, who built the sales team at HubSpot, bonuses/commissions must be paid immediately.

12. forcing salespeople to attend too many internal meetings.

Time spent in meetings is time when representatives could be selling. Before inviting your sales team to a meeting, seriously consider whether it is absolutely necessary. If it's not necessary, don't make them sit in. If you absolutely must include them, make sure you have a clear and specific agenda.

Move through it quickly and systematically. The best thing you can do for your reps if they absolutely have to be in a meeting is to provide the maximum amount of information in the minimum amount of time. Instead, start each meeting with an agenda. It is important to stick to the agenda once it has been set.

 

 These mistakes could cost you the loss of your best performing salespeople. If you find yourself doing something on the list above, stop immediately. Use these 12 proven tips if you can.

None of this is worth risking giving up the salespeople you have recruited so hard.

 

Fast Forward Solutions specialises in recruitment and consultancy services in sales and digital marketing primarily for clients in the new technology sector. Our rigorous and proven methodology combines role profiling, executive search and candidate assessment, complemented by consultancy services.

We provide guaranteed results and fast access to the best talent available in the market, so that any organisation working with us will be able to increase sales, reduce operating costs and improve human resource efficiency, company valuation and investor confidence. Please read our privacy policy. Tomasz Bożyczko is an experienced sales leader, president and founder of FFS

 

B2B sales-5 core competences

B2B sales-5 core competences

B2B sales-finding the best B2B salesperson is becoming increasingly difficult. Recent research shows that the best salespeople-those who exceed their targets year-on-year-account for only about 20% of the total sales force.

So what gives such a small pool of sales talent a competitive advantage?

 

Here are 5 key skills that only the best B2B salespeople possess:

1. the ability to understand the B2B buyer

To exceed budgets and win new customers in today's hyper-competitive B2B marketplace, a salesperson must understand their buyer. B2B decision makers are busy and don't waste time on salespeople who don't understand the 'pain' of the organisation, goals or business.

In fact, sellers who don't understand their buyers' needs are 73% less likely to close a sale.

The best sellers check the industry, market trends, goals, customers, competitors and challenges of their prospects beforehand - they use this information to prove to the buyer that they understand these challenges.

2. ability to communicate values

 

The best salespeople have the ability to communicate the value of their products or services. Research shows that salespeople who communicate value are 35% more likely to close a sale.

To deliver the true value of their offering, the best salespeople have detailed conversations with existing customers. These are top conversations about the clients' business. Conversations about the customer's challenges, the competition, trends in the market where the customer operates. The salesperson should replace the attitude of "I have a product to sell" with "I am here to help you with your problem".

They quantify their business value with numbers, PLNs and timelines based on their clients' business results. They talk about results, link results to critical business issues and refer to their clients' success stories building 'business cases'. They search for a solution for the client sometimes knowing that their solution is not the best fit. Who do you think the customer will call next time?

3. ability to build trust

 

The best salespeople have excellent trust-building skills. This is especially important in sales because salespeople rank very low in trust, trusted by less than 10% of respondents.

Research shows that high trust equals higher closeness rates and higher profits.

Players become experts in their buyers' business, making their B2B sales legitimate in the eyes of buyers. They build relationships, demonstrate integrity and honour commitments. And here's the homework for salespeople - they need to keep learning and staying up to date with what's happening in the marketplace in which the customer operates.

4. critical thinking skills

 

In recent years, 'big data' has played an important role in the evolution of sales. Today, 65% of business leaders say they use big data to stay competitive. With the introduction of new advanced analytics tools, the sales function has become less and less a customer relationship game and more and more a "numbers game"

Top sellers have critical thinking skills that allow them to interpret data to optimise sales performance.

There are advanced applications such as Tableau or MS Power BI that can significantly help in decision making

 

5. ability to manage time effectively

The best salespeople have the skills to manage their time effectively. Because they know that time is money. Due to many external factors, the best sales reps understand that they are 100% responsible for their goals, and information regarding the sales process, but have limited control over their clients' time.

To be successful, the best salespeople plan and prioritise every day, maximising sales time and overall efficiency to reach potential customers quickly. Effective CRM, task and projectmanagement and customer service systems can help.

 

Find out if your team members or you have one or more of the 5 key competencies of top B2B salespeople.

 

Fast Forward Solutions specialises in e-commerce recruitment, sales and B2B marketing services. Our rigorous and proven methodology combines role profiling, executive search and candidate assessment, complemented by consultancy services. We provide guaranteed results, and fast access to the best talent available in the market, so that any organisation working with us will be able to increase sales, reduce operating costs and improve human resource efficiency, company valuation and investor confidence.

Tomasz Bożyczko is an experienced sales leader, CEO and founder of FFS.

 

Is your sales team ready for transformation?

Is your sales team ready for transformation?

The sales team - digital transformation

 

Is your sales team ready to transform your existing sales process into inbound sales. Why are salespeople having more and more difficulty with cold calls?

The use of disruptive innovations is often thought of in terms of how they affect industry development. The use of the Uber app has modified the way the transport sector operates. Netflix has changed the way people browse channels on their TVs. But disruptive technologies that change the way we do business are often overlooked, and their impact is not always recognised in time, when it is not too late.

Companies like Hubspot have refocused the purpose of their marketing efforts on acquiring leads through the Inbound Marketing method. Conducting marketing activities in such a way as to provide customers with the content they need when they are preparing to make a purchase has facilitated a self-directed customer journey, where a potential buyer completes 80%-90% of that journey even before speaking to a sales associate.

For this reason, the previous Prospect - Demo - Close model, which has been used by sales departments for decades, is no longer effective.

Cold phone calls or cold email marketing are most often rejected by customers who do not wish to be harassed by tiresome salespeople and prefer to find out about the product themselves. The introduction of an innovative process has shown how outdated the sales model is in companies of all sizes.

It has been replaced by a new model that consists of the following steps: Identify - Explore - Connect - Advise and situates the salesperson in uncharted territory. Once qualified marketing leads have been collected, the sales department no longer works hard to close the deal. Sales professionals are tasked with focusing on the needs of buyers, not sellers. They are expected to act as advisors to their clients, guiding them through the entire sales process until they decide to make a purchase.

This process is called inbound selling, and salespeople are required to have a different kind of skill set. Is your sales team ready to change the sales process?

 

A transformed process means updated skill sets within the sales team.

The success of inbound marketing and lead generation programmes has put control of the sales cycle from the sales team directly into the hands of buyers. This shift in control has completely changed the sales process and the skills needed within the sales team.

Assessing and hiring a sales team capable of evaluating the sales process from the buyer's perspective will keep you at the forefront of sales while setting your company up for long-term sales success. Using a predictive assessment tool to identify sales candidates who are most likely to have the traits; skills and abilities needed for inbound sales, such as Chally, will help you find the right salesperson.

Fast Forward Solutions specialises in recruitment and consultancy services in sales and digital marketing primarily for clients in the new technology sector. Our rigorous and proven methodology combines role profiling, executive search and candidate assessment, complemented by consultancy services. We provide guaranteed results and fast access to the best talent available on the market, so that any organisation working with us will be able to increase sales, reduce operating costs and improve human resource efficiency, company valuation and investor confidence. Tomasz Bożyczko is an experienced sales leader, president and founder of FFS