Your sales team is the MVP of your business.
Salespeople are the frontline soldiers, they’re the face of your company, they’re the people who determine your success.
So if your sales team is subpar, your business is going to suffer. That’s why it’s important that you build the best team you can.
We've used our experience with thousands of businesses to put together this guide—so whether you’ve already got a team (that could be doing better) or you’re just starting out, this guide will tell you how to build the best residential sales team possible for your business.
Training Your Sales Team
Once your new salespeople are hired, they need to be properly trained in order to succeed.
The first step to building a spectacular sales team is training. The last thing you want are salespeople who don’t know what they’re doing or aren’t very good at selling your product or service.
So once you’ve hired your team, it’s time to get down to business!
Now, you may have a team of people with varying experience when it comes to sales, and that’s okay! Not everyone needs to be an expert with 20 years of experience—all your sales team needs to be successful is consistency and a can-do attitude.
And some training, of course.
While there are hundreds of ways to train your sales team, our experience with thousands of businesses has shown us there's one common thread in every successful sales team: standardization.
This means standardizing everything from your prices and your on-site procedures to your lead follow-up strategy. And the best way to do that is by implementing standard operating procedures (SOPs).
An SOP is an easy-to-follow set of guidelines dedicated to your company’s processes. Essentially, they are detailed, step-by-step instructions that all of your employees should be able to easily follow without your guidance.
SOPs are useful for several different situations. For example, you might have an SOP for dealing with an unhappy customer, or one that's a step-by-step guide of what to do when you get to a potential client's home. There's no situation too big or too small for an SOP.
Using SOPs allows you to cut back on training time and costs, as you are providing your employees with the resources that they need to succeed and encouraging them to find all the answers themselves. It also leads to more seamless integration into the work environment because new employees can catch up on their own time.
Overall, by standardizing your processes and making them precise and easy to follow, you can more easily and efficiently train your sales team, while also cutting down on time and cost!
Retaining Great Salespeople
Just like a customer, it's far more expensive to hire a new employee than to retain an existing one.
Now that you’ve trained your team, you need to retain that team!
The average cost of replacing an employee in the U.S. is $16,000. (Yes, you read that right.)
And it’s not only expensive to replace an employee, but it’s time-consuming. You have to put time and energy into recruitment, the hiring process, and training/onboarding. That means you have less time to focus on other opportunities to grow and improve your business.
There are two types of employee turnover: involuntary—when an employee is fired or laid off—and voluntary, when an employee quits.
Involuntary employee turnover is most often due to underperformance or attitude. Avoiding this is a matter of making sure someone is a truly good fit for your business before you hire them.
The most common reason for voluntary employee turnover is unhappiness with their current position or company. This often happens if the employee feels that they are underappreciated or underpaid, don’t get along with management, or feel that there’s no room for upward mobility.
To stop your employees from voluntarily leaving, you need to provide a positive company culture and incentives. The best way to do this is to use a well-thought-out training & onboarding process, engage and collaborate with your employees, and empower them with the tools they need to get the job done.
Employee turnover is bad for your business, so you must do what you can to hire good employees to start with and then keep them.
Focus on the Customer
Your customers can be your greatest marketing tool, or they can hold back your business from growing. You decide.
So you’ve hired a team and know how to keep them. Now you need to shift their focus toward the customer.
You already know that customer satisfaction is key when it comes to your business. But did you know that 87% of people tell others about a good experience, while 95% will talk about a bad experience?
That’s why it’s important to have a customer-focused mindset during the sales process. You should always be listening to what your customers are saying about your business, and using those good reviews to attract more customers. Any bad reviews tell you where you and your team can improve.
Some great ways to track what your customers are saying about you are: asking for feedback, monitoring your social media, tracking external review sites, and following up with an email or phone call.
You and your sales team should also be thinking of ways to constantly improve your customer satisfaction. Make sure you and your team:
- Provide fast estimates to show them you’re professional and great at time management.
- Ask them how they want to communicate for an added personal touch.
- Have an engaging web presence and keep up on messages and comments. Customers like to feel connected to your business and social media is a great way to engage with them!
- Empower your employees by making sure they have the tools and training necessary to be confident when dealing with customers.
- Stay in touch so that your customers keep you in mind for their next job.
- Give them something extra—the smallest thing can make your customers feel special.
- Be transparent and keep your customers in the loop about what’s happening on their job.
By always keeping the customer in mind and aiming for satisfaction, your sales team will prosper and your business will grow.
Setting the Right Prices
Costs are the number one concern of most customers. Pricing is one of the most challenging areas in residential sales.
Alright, let’s talk about prices! More specifically, let’s talk about what you should and shouldn’t be doing.
As we’ve already mentioned, it’s important that you standardize your prices so that training your sales team is easier. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that your prices will be uniform across multiple jobs.
For example, you can charge different prices in different cities where your product or service is sold, based on the demographics of that city.
Your prices should be determined by your customer’s perception of the value of your product or service. This means you should be charging different prices in different cities/neighborhoods. It also means you should not be charging based solely on your overhead cost or based on “the marketplace.”
You should also be changing your prices as the competitive landscape changes and as your costs change—waiting too long to update your pricing can lead to a larger price increase, which may scare away both new and old clients.
Finally, be transparent about your prices!
Cost is the number one thing your customer is concerned with. So the estimate that your sales team gives needs to be accurate and easy to understand. Your team should be able to tell the customer exactly how they arrived at the estimated cost.
Pricing is difficult, but knowing the value your service or product brings to a customer will make it easier to determine your prices. And equipping your sales team with tools like estimation software that’s tailored to your business means there are fewer chances for mistakes.
Equip Your Team With Tools for Success
Without the proper tools, how would you expect your team to succeed? Empowering your team leads to great business results.
We’ve mentioned it a few times now—the best way to empower your sales team is to provide them with the tools they need to get the job done more efficiently. But what exactly does that mean?
It means that you’re making sure they aren’t wasting their time (and yours) on the job.
The most common ways your sales team is wasting time—both on and off the job site—are using pen and paper to draw, doing calculations by hand, not using estimation software, and not using Cloud-based technology to share and collaborate.
By providing the right tools and equipment to streamline the sales process, you will make your sales team more efficient, secure more bids, increase your close rates, and stand out from your competition.
CAD software like ArcSite allows users to use an iPad to draw precise designs, do instant calculations, and create an estimate without leaving the job site. And your team can instantly share all of that with you via the Cloud.
“A man is only as good as his tools.” - Emmert Wolf
To see your sales team thrive, make sure you are providing them with the necessary tools. Streamlining your sales process with technology will allow your business to grow exponentially!
A good sales team is vital to your business’ success, but every business is different and what works for one may not work for another.
While it's impossible for us to create a one-size-fits-all guide, the strategies we've discussed are the foundation to building a great sales team. Your approach to these steps will be unique to your own business.
If you're looking to grow your business by building a truly effective sales team—from onboarding, building out your SOPs, and team collaboration to creating quick estimates and standard prices—ArcSite can help you along every step of the way.