How to build a high performing sales team from the ground up during COVID-19
PUBLISHED: 15:11 05 June 2020 | UPDATED: 15:19 05 June 2020
Kieren O’Connor’s passionate approach has seen his London-based business, Growth Stream, successfully transform sales teams into high performers, earning more than £10 million in additional sales revenue for its clients.
Explaining why the coronavirus pandemic is no excuse for poor sales processes, Kieren shares his tips on how to build up your sales teams for long term peak performance.
Q: How do you create a high performing sales team?
There are some key stages to building a great sales team and it starts with having a well-defined sales process in place. The first step would be a sales audit and at Growth Stream we do this by looking at what we call the ‘4-pillars’:
1. Structure: Do you currently have a clear daily structure in place that works alongside the daily targets and goals set by the business? Are you optimising each day and are you proactively going after prospects?
2. Touchpoint process: Do you currently have a clear touchpoint process in place where the sales team handles each lead effectively to give themselves the best chance to convert them? We look at what is the current conversion rate from lead to opportunity and then the closure reasons and where improvements need to be made.
3. Follow up: We look at how your sales team currently follows up by looking at the sales pipeline and understanding how long each deal is at each stage in the pipeline, go through how they follow up and if that matches expectations. For example, the industry average in 2019 stated that it took on average 5 follow ups to close a deal.
4. Follow back: This is focused around the deals that are slower to close, from 3-6 months or 12-18 month deals or longer. A typical scenario might be you are in ‘pole position’ for a sale and everything is going right but then something happens such as; budget gets reduced, other priorities take over or people leave.
We then put together a full detailed report on the steps the sales team need to take to improve and ultimately increase sales without spending an additional penny more on marketing.
Q: In your experience, what makes a high performing sales team?
A: Me and my business partner, Costa Koizi, have been working with sales teams for more than 10 years and transformed whole sales departments using our proven ‘4-pillar approach’ as described above.
If a sales team has these ‘4-pillars’ in place and is using a well-defined sales process, the high performing sales teams should be able to successfully:
- Structure each day to maximise your time
- Have a clear understanding of the lead-handling process
- Utilise a clearly defined follow up process
- Utilise a clearly defined follow back process
- Know how to isolate the objections
- Know how to stay in pole position and win every deal
Q: How do you coach a sales team for high performance?
Unleashing the true potential of a sales team is incredibly powerful for a business. For me personally, the enjoyment comes from seeing the journey the sales directors and business owners go on with us from being quite lost and defeated to a complete change in attitude to being focused, happy and clear on the direction they’re headed.
Knowing that you’re playing a part in building businesses, creating more jobs and leaving a legacy can be just as rewarding as money.
We work with sales teams to ensure they implement the best daily habits for success but it’s also about investing in the right people, implementing an effective onboarding process and making the basics part of everyday life, such as call listening coaching and regular 1:1s with your teams.
Q: During COVID-19, what has been the biggest challenge your current clients are facing and how can Growth Stream help them?
A: The coronavirus pandemic has hit some sales teams hard. The biggest challenge we’re seeing our clients face is the reduction of budget for lead generation and marketing spend. With marketing budgets slashed, this means they need to get more revenue from the leads they are currently generating.
Growth Stream is well placed to overcome this problem for our clients through:
- Touchpoint process, making sure they have a clear touchpoint process in place to make sure each lead is being contacted efficiently enough to convert that into an opportunity.
- Look at closure reasons and why they are currently losing deals and also previously lost deals, this will give us a good indication on where we can increase conversion rate by 10-20%.
- Referral program, make sure they ask each client they work with (close) if they know someone else who would benefit (free leads) and then make it easy for them to do so.
Are you serious about getting your sales team back on track?
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