ATD Blog

5 Ways to Build Better Communication With Your Sales Team

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Creating a communication system that works with your sales team can be a particular challenge because each team member is working on individual accounts and often out of the office or in meetings of their own. That makes it even more important to find a way to align your communication so that everyone’s efforts are being expended to achieve the same goal. 

If you’re responsible for managing a sales team, here are five ways you can improve your team’s communication: 

#1: Offer Training 

It’s important to provide incentives for your sales staff to continue evolving professionally. By offering quality training courses to them periodically, you can help renew their energies and provide them with new tools on how to approach customers. 

Training on communication can be very effective for eliminating negative communication patterns among staff members, as well as between employees and management. Attending training with them will show your commitment to creating a positive work environment. 

#2: Learn to Hold Effective Meetings 

There’s nothing worse than bad meetings. You know the kind I mean: The one where someone sits and drones on for minutes at a time or where it turns into a whine session with no direction or goal. 

Remember that meetings aren’t just for you to impart information. They’re also a chance to hear from your sales team. If you’re not giving them an opportunity to speak, you’re creating a huge gap in your communications strategy. Here are some creative and effective ways to hold meetings: 

  • Change location. Stop holding them in the meeting room. Get out of the office if you can. Hold it in a nearby café, a park, on the rooftop of your building. Some outside stimulation can help the flow of ideas.
  • Allow someone else to lead. Let your sales team members lead meetings once in a while. This can be a great way to get them engaged and help foster team cooperation.

  • Short and sweet. Set time limits on your meetings. Instead of an hour of fluff, make your meetings 20 minutes of quality engagement with focused goals and agenda. Or give the stand-up meeting trend a try. 

#3: Provide Meaningful Performance Evaluations 

Performance evaluations can feel a little bit stiff and inhuman. If your evaluations are all about the numbers, it’s time to give them a human touch. Think about other factors such as their leadership and communication skills, ability to problem solve and think creatively, ability to collaborate with others, and knowledge or expertise in niche areas. 

Take the time to review each sales team member’s performance thoroughly and often. For new members, it’s important to review them more frequently. Offer relevant and useful feedback and give guidance on how to improve. Also, don’t withhold praise when it’s deserved. Meet individually and allow time for discussion. Don’t just perform a rote performance evaluation, but really engage in the process. 

#4: Give Them Time 

Your sales staff needs to be dedicating most of their time to nurturing leads. Don’t crowd their day with unnecessary demands such as bureaucratic issues or unnecessary meetings. Make sure your communication with your sales team is timely, simple and streamlined to allow them to focus on what’s most important to sales. 

#5: Use Helpful Tools

It’s the 21st century and the age of information. There are a lot of tools available today to solve pretty much any communication glitch you can think of. 

  • CRM software can help improve your sales team’s efforts by providing automatic reminders, as well as lead prioritization and lead-nurturing categories. It helps ensure the entire team has access to the same information at the same time. 

  • Text messaging is a very popular and convenient form of communication. Most texts are read within three minutes of being sent, so it’s perfect for urgent messages such as a change in meeting date or a reminder of an important deadline. 

  • Company app. Many employees use more than one device to complete projects. Between desktop, laptop, tablet and smartphone, it can be difficult to sync and coordinate all their work. Offer a platform that allows them to use any device they want and work just as efficiently as ever. 

  • Collaboration platforms. There are lots of different platforms that allow employees to collaborate on projects, including editing, sharing, creating to-do lists and tasks, messaging, and giving feedback. These platforms can help create a unified communication funnel that makes it easy to track information. 

Giving comprehensive evaluations, offering periodic staff training, learning how to hold meetings that accomplish their goals, and using the tools available to facilitate the sharing of ideas can all help your sales department improve its communication.

About the Author

Alexa Lemzy is the customer support expert and blog editor at TextMagic. She is passionate about mobile marketing, customer loyalty building and local business growth. You can connect with Alexa on Twitter!

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