Who got the power? 

Hopefully, your sales team does. But if not, we’re here to help.

The sales team is lowkey the lifeblood of every B2B business. (If you don’t believe us it’s because you don’t work in sales.) While sales managers encourage their teams to spend a lot of time making outbound sales calls and nurturing leads, they also need to know how to empower team leaders and salespeople. Dedicated and experienced sales reps are some of the most valuable assets in your company, and you have to give them the right tools and motivation to succeed. 

While you may be saying to yourself, “My team is fine because I give them competitive quotas and clear KPIs,” you may be very wrong. While quotas and KPIs provide guidance and benchmarks for success, they don't help sales reps achieve their goals or maintain their B2B sales performance

That’s why it’s also important to equip your sales teams with a healthy culture, sales enablement resources, and the correct information. 

What does empowering your sales team consist of?

Everybody wants to succeed. 

Empowering your sales team means that you, as a sales leader, are giving your team everything they need to complete their tasks to the best of their abilities.

This may mean offering the right tools to optimize their sales strategy or showing them how to implement those tools to achieve their sales goals.

Empowering your team helps them make important decisions and assume responsibility for sales results. It can also involve preparing your team psychologically to handle objections and negative feedback and helping them foster a positive mindset through the sales process.

The three Cs of empowering sales teams

Even though numerous elements are required for empowered sales reps, all stem from managing them effectively. This means you have to promote the three Cs of empowerment: 

Culture 

To inspire your sales team to reach its peak performance, your company needs a culture that encourages personal achievement and self-reliance. It should also focus on bringing value to the consumer and celebrating the individual sales rep's contribution to the sales effort. 

Clarity

Establishing a sales culture of empowerment calls for effective communication and clarity. That means making sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to your goals, milestones, and expectations. It also means that everyone understands their unique role and responsibility.

Coaching

Managing salespeople is not about just setting the bar but also showing them how to go above and beyond expectations. An empowering sales leader should be able to help coach his team in areas they struggle with and assist them to become better at what they do. Remember, getting better at something is a positive thing, so try not to bring in any negativity!

Providing the right sales tools

In addition to coaching and training, a successful sales team needs the right tools and advice. An efficient armory of sales tools gives sales members more control over the sales processes and precious insights that affect decision-making. 

On the other hand, without providing the right tools or advice, a sales leader can:

  • Hinder their team’s sales processes
  • Increase the average sales cycle
  • Prevent their team from reaching revenue goals 

6 ways to empower your sales team

Sales, and especially the world of B2B SaaS sales, is not an easy industry to be in. That’s because many sales reps have to take responsibility for their individual results. Whereas other departments may fall short or fail as a team, sales reps are held accountable on their own. 

They're also responsible for managing their own time, approaching clients, and learning to resolve tricky objections. Meanwhile, prospects may avoid sales calls, string reps along for months without a firm commitment, or even respond rudely to communication. 

So, keeping this group of people motivated, excited, and inspired takes some work. Luckily, we have some great ideas for how to empower your sales team.

1. Provide your team with the right tech stack

Your team is passionate, well-trained, and experienced. But if they don't have the right tools for the job, they'll have a hard time selling. 

Make sure your team has the right sales tech stack at their disposal to convert prospects into customers. This should include: 

  • A CRM to manage customer relationships
    Your team needs a way to stay on top of their relationships and manage their output. Powerful CRMs like Salesforce and Hubspot will help your team qualify leads, nurture them through the funnel, and close deals. 
  • An interactive product demo platform to create personalized demos Give your team the ability to send personalized demos to each prospect that they can walk through by themselves and understand your product’s value. Speed up your sales process by removing the need for prospects to wait to get a chance to see your product. Then, optimize your demos with useful insights and analytics.
  • Outreach tools to optimize your SaaS outbound sales
    Make it easier for your team to find and reach out to potential leads. Gain useful information about the relevant prospects so you can better qualify them from the outset. 
  • Videoconferencing capabilities to meet remotely
    In this day and age, every company needs a way to video call with prospects. You can also include tech that will record your conversations and provide the sales rep with feedback on how to optimize their pitch.

With the right sales stack, your team can optimize their entire sales process and gain actionable insights into how to improve their performance. They can also stay on top of their tasks and create a personalized and customer-centric buying experience for each prospect.

2. Build a positive culture 

As a leader, if you are not building a positive culture within the organization, the culture will be made without you, and you may end up with a culture that doesn't serve the business. 

You need to foster a culture that inspires: 

  • Personal achievement
  • Performance
  • Teamwork
  • Responsibility

The best way to do this is to lead by example.

For instance:

  • Set high expectations for performance and reward positive behavior with positive feedback and encouragement.
  • Demonstrate trust. 
  • Don’t micromanage your team’s every move if you want them to be self-reliant and responsible. Instead, let your grip on the reins loosen a little.
  • Ask for your team’s input and advice.
  • Encourage team members to ask for help by responding in a supportive and enthusiastic way when they approach you for assistance.
  • Give constructive feedback about your team’s performance but make sure to intersperse it with what you DO like. If you’re using a product demo platform like Walnut, you can leave comments on your team’s demos and offer advice on how to optimize them.

The culture within your team will help engrain the behavior you want in your sales staff. 

3. Get organized

Your team needs to focus on the right tasks, meeting benchmarks you've set along the way. To do this, you can: 

  • Come up with systems that track leads.
  • Schedule follow-ups.
  • Record interactions.
  • Create a logical way of approaching and nurturing your leads as they move through the b2b sales funnel.

Remember that some key responsibilities and tasks will invariably fall off the radar if you don't keep track of your activities. You can use a proper CRM system or just a calendar and Excel sheet, but be sure to map and track your sales workflow properly to keep the team on track. 

4. Gamification: Celebrate and reward a job done well

Recognition is a big part of feeling fulfilled at work. You should recognize sales staff financially (through bonuses, pay raises, and a competitive salary) and in non-financial ways. 

  • Praise them for their stellar performance during an all-hands meeting.
  • Make them Employee of the Month.
  • Provide bonuses and exciting rewards.

Send emails thanking them for their hard work—but make sure to get specific. You want your compliments to be targeted so that each team member feels seen and appreciated. 

Showing your sales team that you know how hard they work and want to celebrate their success will motivate them to keep selling.

You can also use gamification to congratulate team members. It can empower your sales team as it encourages them to be productive and successful. 

For example: 

Create a mobile phone app or software that tracks your salespeople’s statistics and rewards them with badges, achievements, or other digital items. Your reps will feel motivated to pursue more sales to get more digital rewards. 

And, if you implement a leaderboard with points and statistics, sales reps will become competitive with each other to close more deals. 

5. Analyze the data at your disposal

If you want to accurately forecast your sales results and identify areas for improvement, you need data. You don't have to have a data analyst; just track the most important stats. 

For instance, you can start by: 

  • Determining how many deals each team has to hit by a specific deadline to meet the quarterly target.
  • If your team is using a powerful platform for your sales demos, you can also track your team’s demo conversion rates and create goals.

Next: 

  • Determine how long it takes your team to follow up with leads.
  • Track the average number of leads reached every day.
  • Keep an eye on the close rate per rep.

This will help you determine whether or not sales reps need assistance at a specific stage of the customer journey and whether or not they are putting in enough work to reach their goals. 

6. Avoid micromanagement

There's a fine line between monitoring your team members' performance to help them and keeping tabs on them so that you can watch and criticize their every move and next step. 

Employees often perform the best when left to their own devices and when they know they can’t rely on their leader to jump in when things get tough.

Here are some ways you can stay involved in your team’s growth without being overbearing:

  • Set up weekly or monthly one-on-ones where you can discuss overall how things are going and so team members can air their grievances.
  • Ask for advice on how to best assist them.
  • Share progress and affirm their accomplishments. 

You can also host regular meetings as a team where the team members can learn from one another and share their challenges. This allows you to coach and guide your team without infringing on them.

Building your sales team up

As a leader, you have to set your team up for success. 

Creating a positive culture and supportive environment, organizing the team's workflow in a meaningful manner, celebrating and rewarding good work, and using the data at your disposal can positively impact the team's morale and performance. 

Don't be tempted to micro-manage; leave your team room to grow and provide them with the right tools to do their jobs confidently. 

Empower your sales team and give them the ability to provide a sales experience like no other with powerful product demo platforms like Walnut. Better demos can help your team offer a unique sales process for each prospect and boost your conversion rates.

So what are you waiting for? Push the big purple "Get Started" button at the top of your screen to start improving your sales funnel today.

About the author
Emmanuel Cohen
Head of Marketing
Emmanuel is Head of Marketing at Walnut. He's a tough French guy who eats "pain" for breakfast but is also the creative mind behind Walnut's videos and ads. He loves chicken.

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