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How to equip your sales team for success in 2017

8th Feb 2017
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Whether you realize it or not, your sales department is one of the single most important extensions of your business. But are you doing anything to ensure your employees are happy and satisfied? It should be your primary goal to make life easy on them so they’re motivated to be productive.

Prioritize Happiness With These 5 Tips

If employee satisfaction – and specifically happiness among your sales team – isn’t a priority, then something needs to change. Here are some tips to get you moving in the right direction.

1. Simplify Technology

“IT in 2017 is about simplification,” says Catherine Brown of Dialpad. “Employees don’t want to be wowed with fancy gadgets and they’re tired of having to create new passwords and logins; they simply want their lives to be made easier, so they can focus on the task in hand.”

Instead of investing more money into new tools for your sales team, how about reallocating that portion of the budget towards training them on the tools you’re already using? When sales reps are comfortable with the tools they’re being asked to use, they’re able to get more out of them.

2. Cut Down on Meetings

Meetings are arguably the single biggest productivity killer in most businesses. In a day and age where we have ubiquitous communication tools that are even more efficient than face-to-face communication, there’s simply no excuse for calling dozens of meetings a week.

Eliminate useless meetings and you’ll notice that your employees have extra time to handle the things that really matter – such as reaching out to prospects and identifying new leads. Unlike meetings held to discuss snack selection in the break room, these tasks add value to the bottom line.

3. Invest in Better Training

Hiring smart people with sales experience isn’t enough to guarantee success. You need to train your employees to be fluent in how your company does things. While they may see training as a nuisance on the front end, they’ll be much better prepared in the long run. This leads to less friction and greater satisfaction.

4. Provide Flexibility

“Workers who are allowed flexible hours by their companies actually work more intensely than coworkers with rigid hours, according to a new study,” reporter Andrew Nusca notes. “Better still, it's a win-win situation: those same flex employees also report better satisfaction with their jobs, according to researchers at Cranfield University in the U.K.”

The great thing about sales roles is that it’s easy to account for flexibility. Sales reps can often work from home, take advantage of flex scheduling, and create their own schedules without hurting productivity. Hire people you trust and you shouldn’t have a problem with this.

5. Back Them Up

Your sales team wants to know that you have their back. While the popular saying claims the customer is always right, be careful of always taking the customer’s side. If there’s a situation in which a customer is in the wrong and chooses to berate your sales rep, it may be worth losing the sale and siding with your team. This establishes trust and shows your team that you truly do care for them as individuals (not just someone on the payroll).

Put Your Sales Reps First

Companies like to talk about how they put customers first, but it’s rare that you run across an organization that openly talks about putting the employees first. That’s unfortunate because happy employees are more productive and loyal.

As you develop new strategies in 2017, make sure you’re putting your sales team first. When the end of the year comes and you begin looking back at your numbers, you’ll be thankful that you did.

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