Creating a Winning Sales Team

Winning TeamFor many small businesses, the main priority is getting customers in the door. Marketing your brand, your products, and building a presence in your community is no easy feat for small businesses. But what is happening once customers actually walk inside your store?

Your sales associates should provide a best-in-class experience for customers each and every time someone walks in. One of the greatest strengths of independent brick and mortar stores is their individuality and ability to build relationships with customers. Naturally, providing a great experience also leads to higher sales.

What Does an Effective Sales Team Look Like?

1. It’s Structured.

As the business leader, you should have set scripts and processes for every situation. Setting specific talking points will keep your team prepared and your brand message clear. Customers should be able to expect a consistent experience every time they come in. Set your people up for success by providing structure.  Walk them through the sales process step by step, including everything from first greeting the customer to how to end the conversation after the purchase. For the main sales pitch, provide a clear script for them to learn and follow. Provide suggested talking points and guidelines for building rapport, overcoming objections, and wrapping up the details of the sale. When you run a promotion, make sure to follow the same steps from start to finish.

2. They Work Together

Sales and customer experience are more intertwined now than ever. As the saying goes, “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.” The same applies to retail. Your team doesn’t have to be best friends outside of the job, but they need to be able to work together for the greater benefit of the customer. Great sales teams feed off of one another’s positive energy, and customers can sense that. If your team genuinely enjoys their job and their interactions with each other, customers will feel at ease and be more comfortable having conversations.

Likewise, if associates do not get along or if they are too focused on their own individual performance instead of what’s best for the customer, shoppers can sense that, too. Tense energy translates to hurried customers and not much opportunity for building a relationship or upselling.

3. They Believe in the Product

Even the most experienced salesperson won’t be an asset to your company if they aren’t passionate about your products. Just like shoppers can sense positive or negative energy, they can see right through a half-hearted salesperson. Encourage your team to try every product before it even gets on the shelf. Offer a substantial employee discount. Being able to answer questions, provide recommendations, and offer personal experience goes a long way in establishing trust and credibility with customers. If your team loves what they’re selling, your customers will too.

4. Have a Positive Attitude

Sales is one of the most difficult jobs there is. As a salesperson, you hear the word “no” much more than you hear “yes.” It takes a certain kind of person to be able to handle that much rejection without taking it personally or letting it affect their performance.

What if My Team Doesn’t Look Like That?

Ninety percent of building a great sales team comes down to making the right hires. Take a good look at your team and determine if they are capable of what we described above. Each member should be coachable, willing to take feedback, have a positive attitude, and genuinely care about your customers, products, and business. If that doesn’t sound like some of your team members, it might be time to make a change. Skills can be learned, personality traits cannot. Selling is a skill that can easily be taught to the right person. Someone with years of experience might seem like a low-maintenance, easy hire. But, will they be eager and open to feedback?

Getting the right employees to do the right things can seem like an endless trial-and-error situation. However, with some careful planning and diligent leadership, creating a winning sales team is not as impossible as it seems.