If your software sales team is built with the ideology that sales is an art rather than a science – that some people “have it,” while others don’t – you are likely making detrimental mistakes that are negatively affecting your team and your bottom line.
Why struggle with an outdated approach to sales team building?
If you desire a scalable and predictable way to build your software sales team and achieve success, you need to avoid the following four mistakes:
Not Having A Robust Hiring Process
Hiring for a software sales team is much more involved than merely looking for those mythical rock stars with some special gift for closing all the deals. This is an antiquated notion in today’s consumer-driven marketplace.
Software sales has an ideal hiring profile, and it’s important to establish your hiring criteria and score candidates against that criteria. Your sales team should be hired and trained under these guiding principles.
Before you even offer an interview (and especially a job offer), you should test candidates. This test should measure facets of your established criteria against potential salespeople.
Not Having A Sales Compensation Plan
At the end of the day, compensation is what motivates your salespeople. Recognizing good performance with fair compensation actually has a positive impact on your software company’s bottom line and future growth.
A well-balanced sales compensation plan (typically a payout formula including both base pay and commission) spurs high performance from salespeople. Their goals and performance measures are accurately aligned with the big picture of your organization.
A fair sales compensation plan also sends the message out that you reward results, which helps retain current salespeople and attract top software sales talent.
Motivating Through Fear Tactics
Another old-school sales team philosophy is to create a motivational environment based on extreme micromanagement. That’s not to say you don’t want a sales culture with discipline. However, if you want to change performance in your sales team, or a certain salesperson, you must first understand the reason for the undesired results you are seeing.
Motivating with sales metrics helps your software sales team understand where they are making a departure from the intended goal, and where manager and team must collaborate to self-diagnose areas of the sales funnel that need improvement.
When your salespeople feel like they’re part of the team instead of a failing cog in the wheel, they are contributing to positive change and staying motivated.
Lacking Continued Training And Coaching
Sales metrics also allow you to assess and develop your team’s strengths. Perhaps one person is more adept at lead generation than another who consistently closes deals.
Simply put: Play to your sales team members’ strengths, and coach on their weaknesses.
If training resources are an issue, there are sales training experts who customize their training approach for generating warm leads and closing deals to meet your specific business approach.
Whether you are hiring for new software salespeople or would like to improve the performance of your current team members, data-driven feedback (as well as a motivating sales compensation plan) is the key. When your sales team building decisions are informed by solid numbers, this creates a feedback loop that fosters continual improvement to perfect your overall sales strategy.
Ready to learn more valuable insights into building a successful software sales team?