How I Develop Successful Sales Teams

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“Why can she go golfing in the middle of the work day?” was a common complaint during the summer months. My sales manager’s response to those who complained about my extra perks was very motivational. He always responded, “Because she made her sales for the month, if you make your sales for the month early you also can leave early”.
From that manager, I learned what positive motivation and incentives could achieve with a professional sales force. Management supported his efforts because his team always made their sales quotas early and they were motivated each month to achieve success.

The Sales Management Model

“The worker is not the problem. The problem is at the top! Management!” is a well know saying of Dr. Edward Deming the founder of Japanese business management. Through personal experience, I have found this belief to be true of most sales organizations. I have found that expecting successful sales professionals to continue to produce without continually adding additional incentives or recognitions when they meet sale quotas often leads to high staff turnovers and decreased sales.

A common mistake within most sales management models is the continued increase of sales quotas for successful sales staff without providing the motivation for them to succeed again. I have found that positive incentives and realistic sales increases keep top sales professionals continually motivated to succeed even when sales quotas are increased.

Sales are the lifeblood for any successful business and businesses should treat their most successful sales professionals as cherished employees. Sales professionals, who produce above expectations, are positive examples and require special rewards. This also motivates other sales team members to succeed. In this type of sales model, sales personnel that regularly do not meet quotas stand out and require retraining or termination.

A successful sale management model should always offer special rewards or bonuses to keep these sales professionals happy and continually motivated. Offering creative rewards such as optional end of the month time off or increased commission rates as staff surpasses certain levels of monthly quotas provides an excellent incentive to attract successful sale professionals and to keep them continually motivated.

Develop a Team

Finding sales professionals with excellent records of accomplishment is critical when creating a continuously motivated sales force. In my management of such personnel, I have discovered that hiring these successful professionals requires an active pursuit. Many of these high performance sales professionals are cherished by employers and are not seeking new employment.

Prior to recruiting sales staff, I always develop an outline of my ideal sales person. Hiring factors to consider include prior sales experience, key interpersonal skills to close sales and self-motivators who understand that rewards come with the completion of successful sales quotas.

Experience over College

In my career as a recruiter, I discovered that many human resource departments often eliminate successful sale personnel when college is a key consideration for hire. I prefer to dismiss college experience until all sales requirements are met. Certain businesses do require college educated sales professionals but a successful sale record and experience is always a first consideration.

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University of Missouri: The Deming Library

Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago: Managing/Effecting the Recruitment Process

American Staffing Association: Staffing Facts

US Department of Labor: Diversifying Your Workforce Hiring Process

US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: Business Practices

Research, Education and Economics Human Resources Division USDA: A Practical Guide for Selecting Officials

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