If companies want to survive, before they have start to worry about having a nice office, best logo, etc, is about making sure to keep constant and growing sales force for revenue to support the company´s  operation expenses. Surely, if you talk with close friends and ask them if they would work in sales, perhaps many say no for several reasons. Whether they do not like to feel they are pressuring someone to make a purchase, have to convince, they might feel embarrassed or thousands of situations more. The fact is that every entrepreneur must overcome these fears and boldly take the role of a seller, because if you want to grow, you have to sell. No matter what type of business model you have, you always have to make the sales process. If you are renting a house, you have to “sell the idea” that you are offering a comfortable and safe place. If you’re a blogger and you dedicate yourself to affiliate marketing, you have to sell the content in the right way. If you’re a merchant, you have to spend time getting to know the product to sell better. And endless business models which selling is required. As an entrepreneur, with a vast number of employees, sales force is no longer resting within the owners or entrepreneurs, the activities are taken over to the sales department. Ideally the marketing and sales department should work coordinately, but sometimes this does not happen and causes some errors. That’s why sometimes if the team chooses to make their own decisions, it might have fair results for the company, but it could be better if they had a mutual support.

What is sales force?

To understand better what sales force is, the article  “Sales force determinant on business competitiveness” of León Valbuena defines it as following:
The sales force is the human capital that manages sales, who receives close customer information and listen to their proposals, allowing to meet their needs. They are a key point of any process of organizational improvement, as both the performance of the sales department and its objectives are achieved through it.

Sales force process

  1. Presale activities
  2. Location of potential clients
  3. Approach to individual candidates
  4. Sales presentation
  5. Attract attention
  6. Keep interest and arouse desire
  7. Answer objections and close sale
  8. Postsale activities
Source: Scribd “Sales force, importance, process and development” – in Spanish

Tips for improving sales force

Measure and optimize performance

You can not improve what you don’t measure. It is important to establish metrics to be used according to the desired performance. Similarly, they need to be in line with the strategic plan of the company, otherwise irrelevant results may be achieved. It is not entirely necessary to measure each centimeter of the sales force activities, just with monitoring relevant indicators might be sufficient. Daily work will get results that must be monitored and adjusted to identify opportunities or threats.

Create an effective sales compensation plan

The motivation within people can change results. Someone with a desire to achieve goals and to get something in return can generate an improvement in their actions. It is therefore important to have a compensation plan that is truly effective in motivating the sales force. By using the designed metrics, the sales force will know their numbers and so react to meet the objectives.

Keep information available for sales force managers

The group leader within the sales force will have to track their performance and keep the team motivated, as well as being an internal guide in the company. However, as previously mentioned, communication between departments is very important to be aligned to business objectives. You need to have information available and accessible to administrators. The information must be complete and indicate the relevant information. Support among departments will ease the process.

Eliminate or reduce customers special orders

And what about customers who ask too many changes? It’s good to make some adjustments to products or services, however the sales force should not accept all special orders only by doing so. Perhaps some requested changes generate greater production time or some other input outside the budget. Of course it is good to please customers, but also is needed to know their costs and not exceed them. The savings in time and costs is not only for the sales force, is for the whole organization.

Sales Force Automation

As in many business processes, it is important to speed them up with the use of technologies. That time might be used by the sales force to capture information, scheduling appointments, review those who already have to call and other activities that could be automatized to generate a greater chance of success. The advantages of automation in sales force are:
  • Increase time efficiency
  • Speed up information use
  • Improve prospect definition and tracking
  • Cost savings
  • Increase customer satisfaction
One way for sales force automation is by implementing CRM. As mentiones in previous posts, CRM can bring benefits to companies if you know how to choose the best CRM. Here is a small list of some CRM available in the cloud platform.

CRM list

1. Sales Force

2. Hubspot

3. Pipedrive

4. Insightly

5. Vtiger

6. Zoho CRM

Or in case if you want to read more about CRM, I share with you this 8 of the best affordable  CRMs for Small Businesses.