7 Tips to Skyrocket Performance In Small Sales Teams

Author: 
Charlotte Powell

You don’t need a big sales team to make a lot of money. Small sales teams can perform incredibly well if you get the right balance of skills, motivation, and resources. But how can you go about that? How can you inspire your sales team to go above and beyond?

Below, we have seven tips to get you started on boosting the performance of your small sales team.

1. Run a skills assessment

Begin by establishing where your sales team is strong and where it could stand to improve. A sales skills assessment will enable you to do that and provide structure for your future training, recruiting, or redistribution plans.

While this is possible in-house, it is easier to bring in an outsider to run your skills assessment. Not only do they have the experience to detect a skills gap, but they also have minimal bias. Their reading of John Doe’s sales skills isn’t going to be influenced by his amazing resume or his recent break-up; it’s a cut-and-dried look at John’s core selling skills: where he excels, and where he’s falling behind. 

2. Train to the skills gap

Following a skills assessment, you need to address training. Training isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. You might need to help your salespeople with their confidence, their negotiations, or even their product knowledge. Thankfully, there are so many resources out there that you are guaranteed to find a provider who can help you. 

Training small sales teams is actually much easier than training large teams. You can send individuals to workshops or bring someone to you to provide a tailored program. 

Remember, most training providers will agree that the success of any training program lies in the ongoing reinforcement, whether by sales leaders or by further training. If you’re short on resources — either financial or in terms of in-house expertise — consider the potential benefits offered by microlearning. This is a great way to reinforce learning without taking up too much time or budget.

3. Get your toolkit together

Even small sales teams need a sales toolkit. Having the tools to help you sell is definitely a boon for any small sales team — as long as the tools work well together. The difference between an integrated technology stack and one that requires you to continually re-input data and come in and out of tools that require different logins or even different devices is huge.

4. Review your sales collateral

Customers have questions; they want answers. They’ve already done a lot of research before they come into contact with a salesperson. Your small sales team needs to be able to add value to the buying process in order to win customer trust. This can be done through content.

The chances are, if you have a small sales team, you have an even smaller marketing team. That doesn’t mean you have to miss out when it comes to sales collateral. Your salespeople are the ones who hear customer questions — there’s no reason they shouldn’t be able to take those questions and turn the answers into content. 

5. How are your team dynamics?

Google’s famous research into the perfect team basically comes down to one simple thing: do your team members feel safe to express themselves freely without fear of ridicule or judgment? 

In a small sales team, having strong team dynamics is very important. The salespeople must help each other grow their skills and their knowledge if the company is going to be successful. So do your salespeople feel able to bring new ideas to the group, to be themselves, and to share their experiences with their colleagues? If they don’t, can you figure out why not? Is it fixable thing or does an element of the company’s culture need addressing? Is it just a bad mix of people? In this case, it might be time to reorganize your staff.

6. Is your whole organization aligned around the customer?

Many organizations suffer from a silo mentality — everyone has their own roles and responsibilities and there’s no overlap between one department and the next. It’s not a good thing for large organizations, but it can be particularly damaging to small companies. What everyone in the organization should understand is that everyone in the business who has contact with the customer needs to act like a salesperson. 

Small sales teams, small marketing teams, and small customer service teams all must align around building the best possible customer experience to facilitate both a deal for your company and a positive outcome for the customer. Reorganizing your business to this effect can make all the difference to your numbers.

7. Gamification, foals and rewards

Gamification can work wonders for small sales teams. Couple it with more dynamic goals to boost morale and improve sales team performance. For example, you might have salespeople compete over qualifying leads or making calls to encourage an uptick in productivity. 

There’s no reason why rewards should always be financial, either. In small sales teams, it can be helpful to take a break from work for a bit of team bonding in a different environment. The promise of a trip to the go-kart track or local trampoline park for everyone might have a different effect than the offer of a monetary reward for one winner, for example. And though your sales team is undoubtedly busy, a little bit of silliness can go a long way in building positive working relationships.

We hope these seven tips help you boost the performance of your small sales team. With the right mix of support, resources, and skills, sales teams of every size can be a success. 

Charlotte Powell is the head of design and marketing at iPresent, a sales enablement platform developed by experienced sales professionals. iPresent is tailor-made to give sales teams all the tools they need to create beautiful and effective sales presentations.