Great sales managers leave nothing to chance.
At least that is one of the key takeaways from the Harvard Business Review article, “The 7 Attributes of the Most Effective Sales Leaders”.
“Forty-three percent of high-performing sales managers responded that their sales process was closely monitored, strictly enforced, or automated [emphasis added].” In comparison, “Forty-four percent of underperforming sales managers indicated they had a nonexistent or an informal structured sales process.”
Creating an effective sales process begins with documentation. However, even when sales managers understand the importance of documenting their sales process, many fail to do it right. They slave over creating the perfect sales resources, share the resources with their sales team—and then never update or talk about the resources again. Unsurprisingly, their sales team never adopts a structured sales process and underperforms.
Here are the top seven templates every sales manager needs:
- Sales hiring checklist
- 4 week sales onboarding schedule
- Sales call script
- Call review checklist for junior reps
- Sales email templates
- Objection management template
- Meeting calculator
Let’s review why every these templates are must-haves and how you can use them to create an effective sales process that will scale your team.
1. Sales hiring checklist
The first step to creating a sales process? Building your team.
However, hiring the right people at the right time is difficult. Hire too late and you will stunt your startup’s growth. Hire too soon and you risk burning through your startup’s cash.
The sales hiring checklist solves this by breaking the hiring process down into four manageable stages. At each stage, you will know which sales roles you need to hire for and what the ideal candidates look like.
For instance, you wouldn’t hire a VP of Sales before you have reached at least 25 sales reps. A VP of Sales is supposed to take your sales process and scale it, not create it from scratch. Anyone promising otherwise is likely a charlatan. This is just one of the things you’ll learn and be able to execute on with the sales hiring checklist.
2. 4 week sales onboarding schedule
The average new sales rep at a SaaS company takes 5.3 months to reach full productivity. If they have an average base salary of $60k, you will spend $26,500 training a sales rep before you break even. Repeat that math for each extra rep and the cost quickly adds up.
But what if there was a better way? A way for you to train your sales team faster and more cost effectively without sacrificing quality? There is.
The beauty of the 4 week sales onboarding schedule is that it was developed by an experienced sales manager. The exact process of training your sales team is broken down day by day, hour by hour, eliminating the guesswork. Plus, you’ll be able to modify the schedule for your own sales training process and share it with your sales team.
Onboarding your sales reps is not something you should improvise at the last minute. How you train and onboard your sales reps will set the tone for the rest of their time at your company. Make sure they learn the right expectations and habits from the very beginning.
3. Sales call script
One of the easiest ways to raise your entire team’s sales IQ and performance is by using a sales script.
What typically happens in any sales team is that someone tries a different approach and discovers new best practices and tactics. They see great results with their new approach, perhaps get a clap on the back in recognition of their success—and none of their new knowledge is shared with the team.
This works well if you want an individual sales superstar. It works less well, however, if you want an all-star sales team.
A common argument against sales scripts is that they make reps sound robotic. Solution? Make your reps memorize the script. Once they know it by heart, allow them to try different approaches. This gives them the best of both worlds: the structure and confidence that comes from preparation and the creativity and freedom that comes from experimentation.
The free sales call script will help your team start off on the right foot. As your sales team tries different approaches, keep updating the script to track what works or does not work.
4. Call review checklist for junior reps
Having a sales script is the first step. To help your sales team get to the next level, you need a call review checklist.
The worst thing you can do is not review the calls your sales reps make. The second worst thing is to review their calls but give them feedback that is either too generic (“Keep up the good work.”) or too overwhelming (“Here’s a list of 99 things you need to improve.”).
A good call review will help your reps understand their strengths and provide them with an actionable approach to improving their weaknesses. Yet, to give good reviews, you have to get into the habit of asking the right questions and providing the right amount of feedback.
To help you with this, our call review checklist provides you with a list of seven criteria to score your reps on. There is also space to add more detailed feedback as well. Your sales team will see consistent improvement in their calling skills.
5. Sales email templates
Your sales team needs to know how to sell not only over the phone, but through email as well. The right email can spark a prospect’s interest, lead to a meeting, or even close a deal.
However, there is a science to sending the right email. Everything from the subject line to the body of the email itself will influence how prospects respond. Rather than allowing your sales team to send out emails that bore prospects to tears or cause prospects to immediately mark them as spam, give your reps sales email templates.
Our eight email templates cover every possible step of the sales process. This will allow your team to:
- Study the structure of emails that have already been proven to work.
- Save time by modifying existing templates and then pressing “Send”, rather than typing up each individual email.
- Use the templates as starting points to see how further tweaking the emails affect open and response rates.
Simply take the templates and make them your own.
6. Objection management template
Once your sales reps have gained enough experience, they should be able to handle objections in their sleep. However, you can help them reach that stage faster with the objection management template.
The idea behind the template is simple. If your sales team regularly encounters and loses deals to certain objections, plan out the best responses beforehand.
Rather than stressing out over what to say to and reaching a dead end with prospects, your sales team will be able to confidently keep the conversation going. And close more deals, of course.
7. Meeting calculator
You’re a manager so you need to have meetings often, right? Meetings with your sales team to discuss their progress, meetings with your boss to review quarterly goals, as well as meetings with the marketing and engineering team to discuss new software features.
Not so fast. While meetings can be great for making big decisions or conflict resolution, meetings come with hidden costs. Meetings disrupt your day and leave you with less time for the important work that will make a strong impact on your career, your teammates and your company.
According to one study, 47% of employees think meetings are the biggest waste of time in their business, and 39% admit to dozing off during them. Equally scary is how much money meetings waste. Besides paying for coffee and donuts, you are also paying people to sit in a room for one hour, disengaged and unproductive. This cost can quickly add up to several thousand dollars over the course of a year.
One way to determine the cost of holding is to use the meeting calculator. Simply enter the salaries of the meeting attendants and the length of the meeting. The calculator will tell you the exact cost of the meeting. Suddenly, sending a quick email will look a lot more appealing than spending $200 for a meeting, saving you time and money.
Treat these templates as living documents
Ready to get create a sales process that gets results and scales?
First, if you haven’t already, make sure you get the 7 templates for sales managers.
Then, with your team, go over these templates and tailor them to your sales process. You should not spend more than an hour on each document. The goal at this stage is to get started, not achieve perfection.
Finally, once a week or month, you and your team should update the templates with everything you have learned.
It's important that you update the templates with your team and do it consistently. Teamwork means that your team will have ownership in, and adopt, the templates. Consistency mean they will keep learning from the templates.
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