In the early phase of a start up business, it’s common for an entrepreneur to do all the work themselves, from product research to order fulfillment, and from marketing to sales. With hard work, dedication and perseverance, the business will grow. Eventually, a company will take on sales professionals to increase revenue and generate more leads. A recent article in Entrepreneur magazine looked at how entrepreneurs should set sales goals. Here, Justin Cobb reviews the article and considers the lessons that businesses can take from it.
“Taking on the right staff in the right positions can propel your business forward, but it’s important that they’re given clear directions from the person at the top,” says marketing and sales consultant Justin Cobb. “For new entrepreneurs, this can be difficult at first, but this helpful article reveals some good ways to ensure that your sales professionals are motivated, and deliver good results.”
If a new sales force isn’t given clear instructions, and a clear indication of what they’re expected to achieve, this can lead to frustration and disappointment on both sides. That’s why it’s important to set down black and white guidelines from day one. The first thing that’s needed is a clearly defined sales cycle. This could be as follows: prospecting; talking to decision makers; appointments; product demonstrations; proposal and negotiations; closing the sale. Use this as the basis for your sales requirements, and set targets every step of the way.
Professional sales people thrive on targets, as long as they’re achievable and clearly defined. Set targets that are related to experience, and increase the goals as the sales team become more experienced and more accustomed to your product. It’s important that they realize what the expectations on them will be, but also that they will be rewarded in some way for exceeding expectations. Use software to keep track of each individual’s performance, and never allow a sales professional to consistently under-perform.
“Working with a highly motivated sales team can be invigorating, and can help to motivate you as well,” said Justin Cobb. “Sales are the most important thing that your business can achieve, so find the right people who can deliver, and keep focused on their performances at all times.”