October 11, 2023
Hot off the SMB press this week:
When you find sales tactics that work — AKA, those methods that just make things click for your prospects — you want to stick to them. And you want every team member who communicates with customers and leads to stick to them, too.
That means you need to discover, define, and document your business sales strategies for every team member who lends a hand in your sales efforts. Good news for you: The ultimate (and free!) sales playbook is now live in the Trainual templates library! It includes all the repeatable processes, checklists, and role-based responsibilities you need for sales success.
Here’s the full sales playbook:
👉 Head to the templates page in your Trainual account to get the ultimate sales playbook. Just plug in the sales methods that work for your products and services, and share it with your team. (New to Trainual? Start a free trial and add the full sales playbook to your account now!)
Want more templates to help you build your business playbook? Check out our entire template archive of free, multimedia-enhanced, and customizable policy, process, and role starters.
SALES TEAM ASSEMBLE
Sales: the most important team at your business?
No business can survive without a collaboration of departments, but there’s no arguing that sales is crucial to the success and growth of your SMB. They’re not only your major source of revenue — they also act as the first introduction to your brand and customer service. That means they have a high impact on your reputation and customer relationships.
So, having a strong sales team is a must if you’re planning to scale, but there is a huge elephant in the room: Salespeople have one of the highest employee turnover rates (35% compared to the average employee rate of 13%).
Yikes. So, how do I keep my salespeople?
Your sales team retention strategy actually starts early with recruitment. To build a strong sales team with people who can support each other, you need to entice the right people to fill those roles.
Start with a job description that outlines what you’re looking for in both hard and soft skills. That way, you’ll find highly qualified candidates who also have the soft skills necessary to adapt to their new role and environment. When candidates make it to the interview process, make sure that their personality aligns with the company culture you’re building. Your sales department should be in sync with each other — as fostering that true connection will help with retention.
What do I do once I hire them?
An efficient onboarding process and continuous training opportunities are going to really help with retention. Almost 20% of all employee turnover happens within the first 45 days of a new job — and most of that comes down to an awful onboarding experience.
Build an onboarding process that leaves your new sales employees with a great, lasting impression of what your company represents — one that introduces them to their new role, trains them on their new responsibilities, and eases them into their new environment.
And be sure to provide training that actually makes your sales people better at what they do — AKA, teach them the best ways to listen to customers, deliver value, and close deals. Listen to their feedback on what your team members need to thrive in their positions — when you can follow up with solutions, they know to trust you for support.
Even as the leading documentation and training platform software, we’ll be the first to admit that you can’t do all your employee training online.
Don’t get us wrong — the text, graphics, and videos in your Trainual account go a long way to train your new hires on most of the processes and policies that run your business. But, going through that training can’t verify whether your employee can successfully create latte art, install a toilet, or drive a forklift.
Those still require hands-on training — and that training still needs to be documented for completion. Good news: There’s an easy way to use your Trainual account to check off that necessary real-world training for employees.
Create a step for the hands-on training that needs to be checked off for completion. Add some introductory information (like a video showing them how it’s done), and insert the text “Once you’ve completed this task, come back and mark this step complete” (or something similar).
That way, you’ll have a record of the hands-on training your new hires need to complete, and you’ll know when they’ve completed it. And, if your team is equipped with the Trainual mobile app (available for iPhone and Android), they can check off their progress as soon as they’ve completed the task out in the field.
👉 Try building a training checklist in your Trainual account. (New to Trainual? Get a demo.)
SMOOTH BUSINESS OWNER
What are you talking about? I’m already working on it!
Okay, then let us ask you this: Are you working on it enough?
The transition from working in your business to working on your business is tough — but necessary if your goal is to grow your business. There’s just not enough time in your day to worry about the day-to-day operations while also strategizing and focusing on the ways to scale beyond your current capabilities.
If you’re struggling to escape the operational side of your business without worrying it’ll all fall apart without you, follow these five steps:
1. Get brutally honest with yourself.
Think about what you’re currently doing at your business, and ask yourself:
Then, you gotta ask yourself the hard questions — do you need everything to be perfect? Do you think you’re the only one capable of doing things the right way? This thinking is only holding you back. But once you address it, you can establish a plan for what your ideal role looks like, and how you can delegate other responsibilities to the people around you.
2. Fire yourself.
It’s time to actually start delegating, and that means collecting a team of star players who can enact your tasks and manage others. Then, start delegating your tasks one by one. Document your processes so that your team knows how to do things to deliver the best results.
This isn’t something that can happen overnight — there will be some growing pains as your team adjusts to their new responsibilities and learns how to do things the right way. Plan for this learning curve — the wait will be worth it once you have these responsibilities off your plate.