Sales teams are the backbone of a company, spreading the word about products and building business. But motivating teams can be difficult, especially with so many different personalities involved. Over time, however, sales managers learn how to manage teams in a way that breeds performance. Here are 8 tips every sales team can put in place to help them hit their monthly goals.

1. Personalize Each Presentation

Many sales teams today demonstrate their product’s benefits through software-based presentations, whether in person in a prospect’s meeting room or remotely, through a webinar. If your team uses the same stock presentation for every meeting, you’re missing a great opportunity to connect with clients directly. Instead, your team should personalize each presentation to the client who will be watching it. Incorporate screenshots from the client’s own website or add in statistics based on his specific client base. That personal touch will impress those viewing it, making them feel as though the entire presentation was put together specifically for them (which it was!).

2. Reduce Paperwork

Sales teams spend hours each week on paperwork. There are proposals, quotes, and contracts, all of which must be top quality in order to win the sale. The problem is, the more time your team spends in front of their computers, the less time they’ll have to track down leads and bring in sales. Through automation, you can improve this process while still having the documents you need.

3. Set Attainable Goals

In order to achieve your goals, you must first have them in place. Help your team break those goals down into daily achievable tasks that add up to the end result on the last day of the month. It’s important to set reachable goals initially to help team members feel empowered when they are able to check several major accomplishments off their lists each week.

4. Motivate Team Members

Keep the spirit of competition alive by challenging your team to work hard each day. Keep a leaderboard in a central location in your office or use an online gamification tool to allow your team members to easily see who’s winning. It will give team members a goal to aspire to each month. As they see others beating them on the leader board, they’ll work harder to work their way up that board to number one.

5. Protect Team Members

In a sales environment, things can easily turn ugly quickly. Clearly outline sales territories and make the rules clear up front about which sales qualify for which commissions. This will help prevent team members from stealing each other’s sales, while also helping team leaders resolve any disputes that arise. Protect team members from being undermined by other team members and you’ll earn long-term loyalty. If you let back stabbers win, you’ll find your best salespeople won’t stay around long.

6. Prospect. Don’t Blast

The most successful sales teams do their research before contacting prospects. Each piece of communication should be directly targeted to the customer being contacted, with sales pitches personalized to that specific potential client. Email blasts will waste your time and the time of all of the people receiving them. Sales CRMs like Salesforce can help you pinpoint the customers who would be interested in what your teams are selling.

7. Be a Conversationalist

Truly talented salespeople have the ability to make a connection with potential customers. This goes beyond simply discussing the product. Each of your sales team members should be able to win clients over from the time the meeting starts, including through the small talk that happens at the outset. Advise your team members to keep up with the topics each day that have everyone talking, through watching and reading the news and paying attention to social media posts. Something they see on the morning news could be a crucial part of landing a sale that afternoon.

8. Measure Your Efforts

Your team’s efforts should be regularly measured, with reports on view for everyone to see. How did team members compare against each other? How do this month’s results compare to the same month a year ago? Five years ago? By tracking these numbers each month, you’ll have ongoing insight into how your efforts are working. This will also help you find areas in which your team can improve.

Your sales team is vital to your business’s success. Through motivating team members and giving them the tools they need to exceed their goals, you’ll reach your goals as a group and grow your business more quickly than you ever imagined.

Best known as an Entrepreneur and Connector. John was recently named #2 on Top 50 Online Influencers in the World by Entrepreneur Magazine as well as a blogging expert by Forbes. He is the Founder and CEO of Due.

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