Managing an outbound sales team is fraught with challenges. If the tasks involved are not handled with care, the company’s bottom line is bound to suffer.
It already goes without saying that a strong outbound sales team will help the company grow while a weak team is likely to waste time and resources.
Do you want a productive sales team? Then it’s imperative that you take the necessary measures to ensure that outbound agents are managed in ways that can maximize their potential.
It’s not as easy as it sounds, but you can go a long way by employing the following strategies while managing your outbound sales team.
1. Focus on the results
An outbound sales organization that focuses too much on activity metrics runs the risk of losing sight of the goal: to sell products or services.
A team manager has to understand that each sales agent is unique, with his strengths and weaknesses, and therefore may develop or cultivate an approach or strategy that works best for him.
So if a sales agent is delivering great results in his pipeline, it’s probably best to encourage that employee to keep using the same approach.
As the old chestnut goes, “don’t fix what’s not broken.”
Even better, you can recommend that agent’s strategy or approach to the rest of the team to drive better productivity in the team’s sales efforts.
2. Set high goals, but keep them realistic
By setting the bar high, you’re providing sales agents goals that are worth pursuing. An employee, especially someone who loves selling, craves challenges.
That said, goals have to be realistic as well. Demanding too much from your sales agents only sets them up for failure, which will in turn foster a culture of failure. You don’t want that.
3. Understand that the one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work
As mentioned earlier, each sales agent is wired differently. Hence, each member of the team may require a different coaching and management strategy.
So take time to evaluate each agent’s performance. Eventually, you’ll determine for yourself each one’s strengths and weaknesses.
As the coach, the goal is to figure out necessary adjustments that will offset an agent’s weaknesses and come up with workarounds that can maximize his strengths.
4. Set clear goals
A common pitfall some managers fall into is that they assign too many non-sales responsibilities to their sales team.
If you’re stretching your agents too thin, chances are they are going to underperform in responsibilities that matter to them.
So don’t go asking one of your sales agents to answer customer service calls or ship paperwork. In every decision that you do, it needs to be clear to the team that selling is their primary job.
5. Foster a learning culture
If there’s a business environment that will benefit the most from a culture of continuous learning, it’s one where the primary job is to sell products and services.
In outbound sales, agents are expected to handle a myriad of scenarios, and they need to adopt a learning mindset to deliver favorable outcomes for the team.
As the manager, the onus is on you to foster an environment where sales agents are made to feel that their ideas and suggestions are always welcome.
It’s also good practice to incorporate training in weekly meetings. Encourage the team to practice together. Ask questions that may inspire reflection. Talk about the successes of each member so that the entire team can learn from each other.
The Key Takeaway
The manager of a sales outbound team plays a crucial role in delivering success in a sales campaign. It’s not easy, but you can go a long way into creating a team of winners if you follow the strategies mentioned above.