How to Make Your Sales Team More Effective
As a business owner, these are undoubtedly pieces of the overall goal that you have for the success of your company. But they also have something else in common: they’re all determined by and driven by sales.
Lately, however, you’ve been feeling as though your sales team isn’t quite reaching its full potential. Your sales representatives have specific goals, and they have strategies that seem like they should work well, but the results that they’ve been providing just seem unsatisfying. Something is wrong, but you can’t quite put your finger on what that could be.
The Sales Problem: From Lacking to Slacking
Is your sales team having trouble identifying the right types of people as leads? Are they unsure of how to increase the number of leads that they bring in? Perhaps they appear to be finding the right people, but your representatives can’t seem to convert those leads into loyal customers.
Maybe, when the right people are within reach, your salespeople don’t quite know how to relate to these leads or how to address the obstacles or objections that these leads might be facing during the purchasing process. Maybe your company’s sales representatives seem unmotivated. They’re meeting their quotas but don’t have any incentive to go above and beyond that minimum.
Do any of these issues resonate with you? From cluelessness to lack of motivation, there could be many different indicators that your sales team isn’t reaching its full potential. Don’t worry—keep reading! Here, we’ll identify what is most likely causing your Sales problem and tell you what changes you can make within your company to make your sales team more effective.
A Closer Look
If you feel as though your sales team could be more effective in bringing in leads and converting them to loyal customers, we would encourage you to take a look at the connections between the different departments of your company.
Oftentimes when your sales team seems to be slacking, the cause lies with the relationship between your sales representatives and your marketing team. Unfortunately, this relationship is usually a contentious one—and this prevents your sales team from achieving its full potential.
Sales and Marketing: A Notorious Turf War
As you’re probably aware, sales and marketing have a notoriously negative relationship with one another. Often the association is characterized by conflict and distrust and fueled by lack of communication. Sales is interactive and focused on the short-term, while marketing is more analytical and focused on the long-term. Sales is the “push” within your company and marketing is the “pull.”
The bottom line is, it’s a turf war. You’ve probably seen it: Sales claiming that Marketing isn’t generating enough of the right leads, and Marketing asserting that Sales isn’t effectively going after the leads that they’ve provided. A study conducted by the Corporate Executive Board found that 87% of the time, Sales and Marketing see one another in a negative way.
The Sales and Marketing conflict is a very common one. Take a look at their relationship within your own company. Could this miscommunication issue be stunting the growth of your organization, as it is with so many others?
Restart, Realign, and Regrow
The alignment of your sales and marketing teams is critical to the success and growth of your company. If you feel that the relationship between these two departments in your company could be improved, there are several different approaches that you can take toward finding a solution. However, there is one surefire way to jumpstart this realigning process.
A Shared Goal
First of all, the goal of Marketing and the goal of Sales should be the same: to increase revenue for the growth of the business as a whole.
Although Marketing and Sales will each have their own additional goals and strategies, having a goal that is common to both departments (and to the entire organization) will create the type of unity that is required for positive change and cooperation.
The next thing that is important to realize is that in order to work toward this general, established goal for your organization, Marketing needs Sales and Sales needs Marketing. The focus of this alignment process should be on revenue primarily, but also on collaboration, knowledge, mutual success—and, perhaps most importantly, your buyers.
A Buyer-Based Focus…
This brings us to our most critical piece of advice for aligning Sales and Marketing: everyone—Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, and even you—should have an in-depth knowledge of your ideal buyer.
If you take a closer look at your problem, you might find that one of the main reasons for the conflict between Sales and Marketing is that they each have different understandings and definitions of who your company’s ideal buyer is. If both departments are not going after the same people, it is likely to throw off the entire trajectory of your business.
Recall what we said earlier about the tense relationship between these two sections of the company: Sales often claims that Marketing isn’t generating enough of the right leads, and Marketing asserts that Sales isn’t effectively going after the leads that they’ve provided. Well, let’s think about this for a moment. These issues and complaints would naturally—almost inevitably—arise from a misunderstanding about who your buyers are, wouldn’t they
…And a Buyer-Based Solution
So let’s make sure we’re on the same page: Your sales team is not reaching its full potential partly because of the contentious relationship between Sales and Marketing within your company. And this contentious relationship is caused by a lack of mutual, universal knowledge about who the company’s ideal buyer really is.
Now that you’ve located the root of your sales problem, how can you attack it? The answer lies with an in-depth understanding of your buyers and their needs, pain points, and goals. How can you retrieve this knowledge?
The development of a buyer persona is the solution to your worries—it’s the missing tool in your business-owner-toolbox. A buyer persona is a fictional character in your organization’s marketing story, with all of the same goals, needs, and challenges as your real-life, ideal buyer. It involves a deep understanding of how your typical buyers come to make a purchase: why they’re motivated to start thinking about buying, what they see as barriers to purchasing, and what qualifies as a successful purchase.
Buyer personas are so helpful in aligning your organization as a whole, redesigning your marketing strategy, and revamping your sales team. But they can sometimes be complicated and difficult to successfully develop on your own. Hello Marketing, an experienced and knowledgeable inbound marketing agency, is here to help you create a buyer persona for your organization. To learn more about buyer personas, how they can benefit your company, and how you can start developing your own buyer persona, take a look at our Buyer Persona Guide.