Both sales and customer support teams play an important role in any business, regardless of its size. Let’s face it: There is nothing worse than having a customer acquired by a brilliant sales rep, only to have him or her discouraged by inadequate customer service right after. And it works the other way round as well – if your sales team is not doing a good job, your customer support agents can’t really prove themselves. That’s precisely why all your teams should meet the same, high standards.
The question is: Do you know how to coach and motivate your sales & support teams properly? Here are the most common mistakes you might be making with your sales and customer support agents.
1. Not leading your teams effectively.
Poor performance might stem from a number of factors, such as insufficient skills and knowledge, no available tools to take advantage of, or inadequate compensation and incentives. Yet, if your sales & customer support team seems to be underperforming, the issue might as well lay in the leadership – or lack thereof. It can’t be difficult to admit, but having an actual leader is often key to building a successful team.
Monetary compensation is not all that matters. Even though an attractive salary can initially convince a potential employee to join your business, it’s the company culture and proper leadership that make them want to stay and work for it. As a team leader, it’s your job to motivate, and essentially take care of your people. Show them your interest and support, and don’t forget that everyone has a bad day or even makes mistakes sometimes.
Be careful not to micro-manage or “threaten” your employees in any way. In fact, when mentoring your team, you should rather be building relationships than simply telling people what to do from time to time. Recognize the achievements of your team members, but continuously challenge them to do better. You could also use a powerful CRM application to get insights into the effectiveness of the sales activities in your company, and share those insights with your team to keep them motivated and let them strive for the common goal. Only then you can have a top performing sales & support agents.
2. Investing in technology that serves managers rather than the front-line agents (or not investing in software at all).
Interestingly enough, high-performing sales and support teams are said to use nearly three times the amount of technology than underperforming teams. The most popular sales tools include CRM, social prospecting, data and list services, email engagement, phone, and sales cadence. Yet, even though 50% of sales teams reported improved productivity with a CRM application, not everyone can take advantage of such software.
Rumour has it that the majority of sales technology purchased over the last few decades was actually meant for the managers rather than front-line sales & support agents, to allow them mainly to keep an eye on the effectiveness of their teams and manage forecasts. At the same time, there are many tools that can benefit salespeople much more than that. A proper CRM software can truly make a difference in terms of increasing productivity and streamlining the processes every team member needs to take care of multiple times a day.
If you’re looking for a reliable solution, try Livespace. It’s a next-gen, process-focused CRM with task and sales automation, as well as drip email capability. No matter the size of your company, it can easily work wonders for your team.
3. Relying on outdated tools & techniques.
Speaking of tools – call mailing and call calling might not do the trick anymore. Nowadays, customers are much more demanding, and pretty much empowered by the Internet. They expect a seamless, personalized service at all times. If you’re not aware of these changes, it might be high time to catch up. Actually, with customer expectations constantly rising, it’s only a matter of time before you have to take measures to improve the tools and techniques your team is using.
Once you’re at it, you might want to diversify your efforts and equip your team with the right knowledge and tools. Invest in inbound, rather than outbound activities – it will be easier to acquire leads this way. Mostly because today’s customers seem no longer receptive to intrusive ads, calls or emails. Instead, they expect a personalized service, which is why you should strive to have insights into their previous engagements and have all these details handy. Once again – it can easily be done with a proper CRM application, which brings together all the meeting minutes, arrangements, offers, and cost estimates.
At the very end, make sure you offer an outstanding support – a positive experience is often what keeps the customers satisfied, and willing to purchase from you again.
4. Not planning well ahead.
Both hiring the right people and closing deals takes time and certain skills. If your business is growing rapidly, you might need a few additions to your team. Take into account that it may take a while before you find someone who’s a good fit for your company, and then to train them to take more responsibility and serve your customers properly. In fact, it can take months from the decision to hire a new salesperson to the time when they are fully productive. Not to mention that having a clear plan might also matter when it comes to choosing the career path for your team members, and deciding upon their future with your company.
The same applies to any changes you might want to implement in your organization. It will take some time before everything runs smoothly, which is why you should have your plans ready and your priorities straight at all times. Basically, the further in advance you are able to plan, the better.
5. Not experimenting enough.
Customers no longer base their purchase decisions, let alone their loyalty, solely on price or product. Instead, they choose the preferred companies based on the whole experience they are provided with. With modern technology changing so rapidly, you can easily offer them outstanding support and have a clear sales process in place.
As a matter of fact, failing to provide your team with the right knowledge and tools might easily hinder their productivity and performance. Sadly, there’s no single best solution suits every team – and that’s precisely why you should experiment with different sales tools and techniques to see what works best for yours.
Make no mistakes when it comes to sales and support!
It takes strong management and tools to have a high-performing team – but the effort is definitely worth it. Actually, without direction and guidance, it might be difficult for your team to achieve desired results, regardless of the talent and skills of the team members.
What can you do to provide your sales & support teams with the right environment to grow, then? Start by ensuring that you don’t make any of the above-mentioned mistakes. Remember that being a successful salesperson or customer support agent requires more than training and experience – it also takes commitment, strategy, and proper tools.
Luckily, there’s plenty of sales software available. In fact, sales representatives are said to use six tools on average. It’s mostly because sales & support agents can benefit greatly from relevant technology. The right tools can help them automate the whole sales and support process they have in place, save time and increase productivity – so that they handle more customers and achieve better results.
Always make sure you choose the tools that suit your needs, though. And once you’re at it – why don’t you give Livespace a try?