Building a sales team - 10 key steps to build successfully from scratch

By Salesken.ai on September, 21 2021

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The sales team is the heart and soul of any company. After all, business success is typically measured in revenue numbers. However, building a sales team isn’t always straightforward. 

Not only do you need to hire the right people, who have a real passion for selling, you also need to train and motivate them to be beasts in the market. 

How do you build a sales team from scratch? In this blog, we’ve drafted a comprehensive guide on building a sales team that drives better returns and broken it down into 10 steps. Read on for more!
10-key-steps-for-building-a-sales-team-successfully-from-scratch

Step 1: Define Your Sales Strategy

The kind of sales representatives you need to onboard largely depends upon your business model, the nature of products or services, target audience, and growth trajectory. You have to determine whether you need outbound sales representatives or inbound sales representatives or both. First, define your sales strategy, and then decide on the various tools and processes that will support your business growth.

Step 2: Hire the Right People

Before hiring, define what your ideal sales team looks like. An ideal team is usually one where the manager doesn’t have to micromanage their team, where top performers train the newbies, where everyone on the team is well aware of the company’s purpose and the selling culture is ‘discovery-based'.

10-steps-to-build-sales-team (3)Next, figure out the number of sales reps you need to scale up your business. Hire those who have the skills and passion to steer your business in the path of increasing growth numbers.
Look beyond educational background and go with the candidates who can be creative, can think outside the box, are thoughtful, curious, humble, coachable, and eager to learn the nitty gritties of sales.

Step 3: Draft a Sales Process

Once you have hired the individuals to take your business forward, you need to prepare a well-defined sales process for them to take a prospect along the sales funnel effectively, from researching and prospecting to closing. Learn more about this subject through our blogpost Building A B2B Sales Funnel To Win More Sales. With the inputs of your sales team, the sales funnel will enhance over time. It’s best to map out the process by yourself initially. Adhering to the sales process ensures the representative’s overall performance success.

Step 4: Determine KPIs for Measuring Success

It is important for any sales leader to define various KPIs, both qualitative and quantitative, to measure the performance of a sales team. Communicate with your sales team with regards to the KPIs, so that they are well aware of the company's expectations, both in the short and long run.

10-steps-to-build-sales-team (4)Some essential KPIs to measure include: customer acquisition cost, sales growth, customer lifetime cycle, profit margin, and conversion rate. You will also love our blogpost: 7 SMART Selling Goals for Sales Teams

 

Step 5: Train and Motivate the team

Hiring the right candidate is just half the job-- you have to train and motivate your sales team too. You can do it with the help of verbal appreciation, rewards, and incentives. 

Create a strong system for training and onboarding. While this may seem time-consuming at first, it’ll give you an exponential return in terms of your quarterly sales numbers.

It’s the company’s responsibility to train their sales reps with the latest techniques and strategies to close challenging deals If needed, invite veteran salespeople with heaps of experience to give guest lectures to your sales reps. Better training is equal to better output.  

Step 6: Sales Tools

AI in sales can help transform your sales by eliminating repetitive tasks, standardizing processes, engaging leads, personalising pitches, optimising pricing, scheduling tasks, and more!
You’ll also be able to track and improve your team’s performance. Read our blog  
9 Ways To Increase Software Sales Using AI to understand how software Sales can be improved using AI.

Step 7: Use a Robust Communication Platform

Collaboration is the core of your business and your sales team. There should be a robust collaboration platform for internal communication within the sales function and for communication with other functions in an organisation. For seamless sales conversations with clients there should be an availability of effective VoIP business phone service along with the cloud.

Step 8: Clarity Is Key

What makes a great sales team? The answer is clarity. Your team can’t perform if they don’t know why they’re doing something.

10-steps-to-build-sales-team (1)Give each individual in your sales team as much clarity as possible about everything from company objectives to individual targets and career paths. Build friendly rapport with your sales reps.

Step 9: Improve Talent Retention

Did you know it costs a lot more to hire new salespeople and train them from scratch than to retain them efficiently? With each candidate, you’ve invested heavily in terms of recruiting and training. If things aren’t going in the right direction, instead of firing someone, which hurts both parties, work to correct the situation. 

More often than not, it’s the organisation’s responsibility to improve the situation.

A culture based on fear and negative incentives is extremely toxic to employees and will ruin your business long-term. Make your employees feel comfortable and confident in every way possible, and lead with inspiration.

You can improve talent retention by providing great training, incentives and improving employee engagement. Promote the candidates internally based on their performance, which will in turn boost their morale.

Step 10: Celebrate Success

Last, but not least, celebrate every deal! It’s not always about the money (though hikes and promotions can help!) - It’s also about making people feel valued. Create systems for celebrating the wins as a team. Not just the big deals, but the smaller successes too. For instance, noting if someone has improved their numbers or became more empathetic or better at objection handling.

10-steps-to-build-sales-team (2)Celebrating success serves as a powerful incentive to motivate others to continue working hard and close tough deals. This goes a long way in building a robust, confident, and successful sales team and should be at the heart of your long-term sales team growth strategy.

Finally,

Building a sales team from scratch can be hard, with long training cycles and high attrition, but we hope the above steps help make your journey easier! Building a high-performing sales team can be made faster and easier with the right tools.

SalesKen leverages the power of AI to augment sales intelligence. Our state-of-the-art real-time cueing can help reduce training time for sales reps, helping you build your team faster. Moreover, SalesKen’s post-call data analytics can help every sales rep become a top performer!  So what are you waiting for? Book your demo now!

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