Sales Team Support: Tips and Tricks

A sale is as much about the product as it is about the person selling it. For most companies, the sales team is the most visible—and perhaps the only—outward exhibition seen by customers of your company.  It’s easy to get caught up in price, margin and promotions and forget about your sales team, but they are just—if not more—important.

With the New Year right around the corner, it’s time to take a second and analyze your sales team and make adjustments for this next year. To begin, start by taking a closer look at your team. Understand who is responsible for which accounts, who has had sales growths, etc. And then the most important part…interview your sales team individually.

One-on-one interviews are not performance reviews, but just quick, painless meetings to get a feel from your team as to how things are going. Only set them for less than thirty minutes and let your sales reps do all the talking. Ask questions like: What’s working, what’s not, how can we improve as a sales division, what customers do you struggle with, etc.

From this quick touch base meeting you can learn a lot about what’s really going on. You can also gain rapport with your team—it’s amazing what just listening can do. Additionally, you might find some great ideas or have some ‘aha’ moments.

The next step is evaluating your annual or semiannual sales meetings. These are necessary…we all know that, but implement some change every year. Sales teams are known for not being the biggest fans of change; however, sales is an ever changing field. So throw in some unexpected components.

No matter what your “change” components are, always make sure that your meetings contain the following:

  • Consensus: From pricing to which products to promote, work with your team to create the goals they want to reach. Consensus-based, decision-making is key to getting your sales team to work, well, as a team.
  • Customize: Today customers are no longer looking for cookie cutter packages. They want something customized for their store and specifically their target consumer. Help equip your team with the tools they need to develop customized plans.  Spend time during your sales meeting to help create ideas on how personalize for each customer. Don’t forget to give them the confidence to sell unique plans to their customers either.
  • Kill the amount of PowerPoints: We all love PowerPoint, but who wants to spend two days watching slide after slide? Mix it up. Try quick 10 minute or less videos, have an external speaker, meet as more of a round table…the options are endless. Additionally, don’t send your team home with 20 different presentations that will end up in the recycle bin. Create easy to use talking point cards that are mobile/tablet friendly and can be easily accessible while on a sales call.
  • Tech Trainings: Having your sales reps trained on the most up and coming technology within the filed not only helps them feel more confident but also makes your company look like an innovator. Simple classes on even cool tips/tricks for the devises they have can help them feel more confident and look ahead of the game.

With contributions by Michelle Hill


Brad is an expert in private label and challenger brand food marketing for Barkley, an integrated marketing and advertising agency. He specializes in working with manufacturing-driven food companies that have aspirations to develop a consumer insight-led strategies to help drive innovation and growth.

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