By: Joanna Mirov - Author, Speaker & CEO/Founder of MXOtech
"If you're not making me money, you better be saving me money." That’s the rule that every CEO wants their sales people to live by!
I recently had the pleasure of talking with Kevin O’Leary, aka Mr. Wonderful. Most of you probably know him from the famous show “Shark Tank.” In addition to serving as one of the five industry titans on “Shark Tank,” he's also a very successful entrepreneur who owns, or has equity in, 32 other businesses. As I heard him talk, I found myself in awe of the simple but genius questions and advice he bestowed. While he seems like a shark on the show, Kevin is actually very down to earth and has a witty sense of humor.
When I asked him to name the first and most important leadership position in the company, his immediate response was “sales.” I also met Robert Herjavec a while ago and he gave me similar advice – “that sales is the cure to all problems.” They aren't the first two successful leaders who have given me those words of advice.
Here my Top Five Tips for Creating an Effective Sales Team:
- Hire a strong sales leader and give them specific goals broken down by quarters. Set the expectations with your sales manager immediately so there aren't any surprises.
- Build a sales team and make the leader responsible for their success.
- Develop Key Performance Indicators (KPI's) that you can track weekly to gauge your sales leaders’ performance -- which of course includes the team.
- Get back to basics --- get out in front of people in person and sell. Schedule at least five to seven appointments per person per week.
- When calling on big accounts, ask for 15 minutes to meet in person and be a problem solver. Any CEO or decision maker will give you time if you can make them money or save them money.
For MXOtech, I have tirelessly invested in sales to make it the heart of the company. Everyone from our help desk administrators, to our network engineers, developers, and support staff understand the importance of sales and have a stake in the sales process.
It starts when we insist that prospective clients come to our office to meet our team and get a taste of how we operate. I can give a perfect sales pitch, but my words pale in comparison to seeing our technical teams in action. During a visit, potential clients can walk through our office and see for themselves the systems we’ve put into place to keep our clients IT at peak performance. From the real-time dashboards mounted on the wall in our Network Operations Center (NOC) that track support requests, response time, resource allocation and status to the core values displayed prominently in our conference room, prospects get to witness our operations first hand.
Once someone decides to hire us, it doesn’t mean the sales process stops. We’re not satisfied with just happy clients. We want raving fans. After a support ticket is completed, we ask our clients to rate our performance with a happy or sad face to indicate their level of satisfaction. If someone is not happy, we want to know about it so we can make it right. We meet with our clients on a regular basis for Technology Business Reviews to review our partnership and offer business process improvement recommendations. Besides truly caring for our clients, our hope is that they become our extended sales team and refer us to other businesses.
The bottom line: sales is the heart of any organization.
Have a strong sales leader and put KPI’s in place. Make sure everyone in your company understands its importance and has a stake in sales results. Companies that understand that and practice it are significantly stronger and more successful than those that don’t. If you’re not growing, you’re dying. So if there’s one thing you should spend your time on this day, this week, or this quarter, it’s investing in your sales team and sales process so you can grow and prosper.
Learn about the growing MXOtech team online at www.mxotech.com/about-us.