Do you believe your sales force could be performing better? Do you long for a greater degree of success? If so, examine your business environment and practices to find areas where minor adjustments could lead to major improvements. Following are six tips:
Businesses need to foster sales success from the top down. This means your upper management team should ensure that sales team goals and high-level visions and strategies are aligned. If bureaucracy interferes with the signing of sales agreements, there is a problem. For example, if you decide to increase sales by 2 percent but then slash in-house administrative staff, agents may have difficulty even maintaining let alone increasing their current level of sales.
Skilled salespeople who are personally invested in the welfare of their clients make money for themselves and the companies they represent. The best ways to attract such people are to: establish high ethical standards through your own personal behavior and your company's business practices; and bring out the best in the staff you already have by training them well and keeping their skills up to date. Training can take many forms: boot camp style basic training; apprenticeships with skilled agents; ongoing mentoring, seminars and webinars on important industry topics; training materials and relevant publications; and assistance in attending industry events.
Even the best agents benefit from encouragement. Get to know your team members. Find out what sorts of activities and materials help them. For some companies, performance-based bonuses and free training may get the juices flowing. For others it might be team-building exercises or sales contests. Find out what works best and implement effective programs.
Once you have well-trained, motivated sales team, the last thing you want is to lose any of them. They're expensive to replace, and turnover is disruptive to your business. Tell your agents how important they are to you. Keep communication lines open, encourage feedback, and offer creative compensation packages such as incentives, additional vacation time or other recognition.
Agent retention is tied directly to customer retention. And similar to sales reps, it's much less expensive to retain customers than to secure new ones. Continue prospecting while also recognizing the value of your existing clients. This is where good client-agent relationships are invaluable. Merchants are less likely to be lured away if they feel personally invested in their current business relationships. Agents must always keep in mind how important relationship building is. Help them hone their skills.
Perspectives, businesses and technology are always evolving. Therefore, sales strategies must be able to shift as needed. Your procedures need to be fluid and dynamic, so they can remain effective. Anticipate new developments, and be ready to help your sales team adapt. As a merchant services provider, some of your most valuable assets are your MLSs. Showcase them. Each agent is unique. Use their skills, talents, experience and personalities to set you apart from the competition.
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