Quick…what do you think a sales rep does? If your answer wasn’t a split-second ‘sell,’ there might be a problem brewing in your business.
Not to sound judgmental, mind you. During my 20+ years of experience serving as the CEO of a technology company and developing a sales training academy for IT services professionals, there’s very little I haven’t approached from the wrong direction at least once.
Along the way, I’ve learned a thing or two about best practices for IT services sales teams. And that hard-earned wisdom can be summed up in two basic truths. First, sales reps are hired to sell. Period. And secondly, the success or failure of those reps always begins with you, the company hiring them. No pressure there, right?
Let me ease the burden a bit by sharing 7 must-haves to consider before you even think about hiring an IT sales team:
1. Training Program
Determine what your sales reps will need to know and how quickly they should learn it. Document resources and locations for training, along with a plan for sharing expectations and testing progress. And remember to keep training materials evergreen by asking for new employee input.
2. Product and Service Offering
As obvious as this might sound, sales reps need to know what they’re selling. At a minimum, prepare a spec sheet with talking points explaining the unique value and benefits of your products/services.
3. Sales Process
Clearly map out every step of your sales process from discovery call to closed deal, along with details about timelines for follow-ups and approved templates to be used. Remember, much of this can be automated with a CRM platform.
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Along with a call script and PowerPoint, invest in tools that will enable your rep to make compelling presentations.
Develop professional proposal and quote templates with your company branding. You don’t want your sales rep’s selling time wasted on unnecessary document creation.
Provide sales agreements that safeguard you from sales reps promising the world just to close the deal.
7. Money in the Bank
Even sales superstars need time to ramp up. Plan to have at least 4-6 months salary in the bank before you hire a sales rep.
Once these 7 IT services sales team best practices are in place, you’re ready to start the hiring process. Of course, seeking and selecting the right candidate comes with its own set of best practices. I’ve partnered with IT industry leader ConnectWise to share those essential tips (and more) in the Ultimate Guide to Sales Success for technology companies.