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Sales success

A guide to get you sales force all fired up and stumping for the cause.
By Entrepreneur Staff |

It always pays to keep your sales staff happy because, according to Tina Cuerva, co-owner of My Office Business Center & Virtual Office, "Sales is the lifeblood of any business." And because a business's survival depends on how motivated your staff is to achieving your revenue targets, here are 10 ways to get them to keep your cash register ringing:

[related|post]1. Hire the right people. Business consultant Alrey Galang, owner of Think Solutions Enterprise, says entrepreneurs must have the knack for spotting people with the personality and penchant for selling.

2. Know them well. "As a leader, the entrepreneur should know and treat his salesmen like members of his family, and should stick by them through thick and through thin," says Galang. This deep familiarity with employees will point the business owner to effective ways by which he could lift their spirits and encourage them following a bad sales call or a deal that fell through. Adds Michael Puyat, owner of cleaning company Super Home Specialists Corp.: "Employees will appreciate your delving into their personal and professional affairs by rewarding you with greater effort and patience with clients and prospects, and a more steadfast resolve to achieve targets."

3. Keep them in the loop. "Keeping sales people informed of company events and strategic programs will keep their confidence up and make them well equipped in the marketing arena," Galang says. Periodically discussing sales objectives with them makes them feel they belong to the company.

4. Be a mentor. Set the example by being the epitome of a great salesman. Go on sales calls with your agents and introduce them to your contacts. Nothing delivers the message better than actual demonstration.

5. Provide an attractive package tied to meeting sales targets but reflective of market conditions. Galang sets great store by giving your sales team their just rewards, and that means doling out incentives when targets are met or exceeded, but putting demerit mechanisms in place for lackluster performance. Immediately sorting out the reason for performing below par will keep your sales team from becoming arrogant, spoiled, and unsuited for the task. "Always pamper your salesmen without spoiling them," he says.

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6. Be fun and fair. Puyat says it's important that the sales agents' morale is always high, because anything less than this would lead to inefficiency, incompetence, and later, to missed sales opportunities. "Morale is equated with fun and passion, openness with the boss, and a feeling of importance. When a boss is fair and just in compensation and in promotions, everyone's morale is up and this leads to a happier and wealthier organization," he says. Puyat defines fairness by firing employees found to have run afoul with company policies or with the law, and giving out bonuses when the business is doing well.


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