Options on Building High-Performance Sales Teams
There have been two types of salespeople in the past: Hunters and Farmers. Once you get your customers in the door, farmers will love them and provide excellent service. Hunters will knock at doors to meet new customers and get motivated by the hunt.
Companies often hire people who are knowledgeable about products and will take care of existing customers (Farmers). They then want to introduce new customers. Farmers are more productive if they have a bonus and a wage. Hunters work better if they get a low salary with a large commission that is geared towards what you need them to do.
Increasing Farmer Sales
Here are some ways to increase the market share of your Farmers.
You can create a quarterly theme like repeat business, referrals, or new clients. Why quarterly? You can reach a sudden increase in the monthly target, and everyone else cruises. At the end of the quarter, you will be behind your targets.
Incentives that increase with success should be set. If the target is low, the team can go to the tavern for dinner. The unit can take their wives to a nice place to eat if they hit a higher target. The team will go on a weekend getaway if they hit a higher mark.
It is possible to combine individual and group targets at once. You must ensure that they are focused on the target, as quarterly is too far away for most employees. It is essential to keep them engaged and focused.
You offer Hunters different incentives than you give Farmers. Farmers are usually stable families and would prefer to receive vouchers for home improvements such as landscaping vouchers. Incentives that include their families are a good idea. It won’t be as appealing to send farmers to Bali for a party fest if they are not included in the incentive.
Companies may use the tag-team method. The Hunter enters the room and negotiates the deal. The hunter takes care of them. They must band together and work well as a team to make this work. One company I know of pays a small portion of the Farmer’s wages to the Hunter, while the company pays the rest. You can see that the Hunter is very passionate about their work together.
The Sales Manager
No matter what you do, if your goal is to have a high-performing sales team, it is crucial that you manage them. To make the formula work, the Sales Manager is essential. Your goal is to keep your sales team focused, motivated, satisfied, and able to go further than they thought possible. An average Sales Manager can make a great sales team, but they will eventually become average salespeople. Salespeople must feel valued and be able to respond when challenged. They are different kinds of an employee. They thrive on uncertainty, risk, and taking risks.
As a sales manager, I believe that it is the most challenging job in business.
Shirley McKinnon is the author of Team Play Strategies for Successful People Management. She has been a trainer for sales for more than 20 years. Her McKinnon Behavioural Profile distinguishes between active salespeople and passive customer service representatives. She specializes in Business Development training for people with technical backgrounds who don’t consider themselves to be salespeople.