Are your sales feeling a little dull, or even worse, experiencing a lull? There are number of factors that can contribute to slowed sales. Industry fluctuations and seasons aside, sometimes your sales team requires someone to press “refresh” and reset their focus and tools. Often, a sales team can have the right players, but may be overwhelmed with not having enough information available or enough qualified leads with which to work. Whatever the malady, here are some tips that may be just what the doctor ordered:
- Get them “Onboard” – When building, or rebuilding, a sales team, the onboarding process is vital to their success. It can take six months or more to properly train and onboard a sales rep; that’s a major investment of your company’s time and resources. Depending on the complexity of your products or services, your team must be prepared for any question and any situation, having comprehensive knowledge of your services and options available to clients. Take the proper amount of time to set your sales reps up for success, teaching them the ins and outs of your business model, sales strategies and service and product developments.
- Keep them On Board – Once you have run your team through a solid onboarding process, it is your job to keep them on board. To keep your team engaged, maintain regular communication between the group. Weekly sales meetings, group announcements and regular check-ins are all a part of unifying a sales team that probably spends 80% of its time physically separated and in the field.
- Give them the Tools – No matter how well-trained and skilled a salesperson may be, without the proper tools, they won’t get far. In the case of home builders and contractors, new and qualified leads are the fuel to the revenue fire. By using a service like HBW, your team will have the latest information on new residential and commercial permits in their area, contacts and job details right at their fingertips. By providing easy access to new customers, you will keep your database, and team, from going stale. Along with fresh and valuable leads, make sure to keep your marketing tools updated and at the ready so that sales representatives can get the information they need to live leads quickly.
- Provide Opportunities for Learning – An educated salesperson is a one that you want on your team. By providing educational opportunities throughout the year, you can inspire and empower your sales force with new strategies and technology. With technology today, customers are able to make informed and educated decisions when choosing to build a new home or remodel an existing structure. Your sales force should be on top of industry trends, as well as given an opportunity to sharpen their sales tools. More than just attending an annual convention or meeting license requirements, consider implementing an in-house educational program. Even if just a quarterly working lunch, a little workshop or two can give a lot of perspective and inspiration to your team.
- Motivate – One of the most effective ways to motivate a team is to create a little healthy competition. If you create a supportive environment that lifts those who may be on the slower end and recognizes those who are leading, even the least competitive of spirits can be part of cooperative competition. While applauding and rewarding top producers is important, it is equally as important to have everyone in the loop on those rewards. It doesn’t have to be a large display; rather, having a shared and cloud-based dashboard for your sales team is enough for everyone to see where they stand in comparison to those on their team. Encourage veterans and rookies to share some of the larger clients on occasion so that they can work together and learn from each other.
- Keep it Professional – Sometimes, your sales force may just need a little “perking up”. Everyone can use a reminder from time to time about maintaining a professional appearance. Rather than entering the realm of awkward or personal conversation on the matter, set a clear standard for the appearance and conduct of your sales team on, and off, the clock. It can be as simple as providing a logo-adorned oxford that is a must-wear item, or including a basic dress code in your policy. Keeping up appearances isn’t limited to dress code alone. Setting clear work hours and holding employees accountable for attending meetings on time is also important for running a professional team. Be sure to hold members accountable and follow through with appropriate actions.
- Be Social – When we think of social, we think of social media. And while it is important to train and empower your team to leverage social media throughout the sales process, we are referring to a completely different type of socializing… interdepartmental socializing. Your sales force must work with other departments to gain access to everything from job schedules to marketing materials. The marketing department should be “social” and communicating regularly with your sales team. To be effective, they must work together, so it is important that you have a structure in place that facilitates communication.
From the newbie on the block to your veterans, your sales team can use a little motivation and refreshing now and again. Being at the heart of your business, it is important to keep your sales force healthy and thriving. Regular maintenance and check-ins now will pay off on the bottom line later.
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