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How to Manage a Sales Team

Written by Zach Gilbert

Published: 03/12/2020

(So That Everyone Succeeds and You Stay Happy)

Managing a sales team for your publishing enterprise. Sounds simple, right? After all, good sales people need no managing: just let ’em lose and watch ’em go!

If only…

Good salespeople do have a lot of get up and go. Or, as this article says, top salespeople tend to be “results-driven [with an] obsession with being out in front.”

Which actually can make them a bit difficult to “manage” because they often balk at even the hint of “being controlled.”

Like herding exuberant cats?

Still, managing a publication’s sales team is a must. And what we mean by “manage a sales team” is this: you must lead your team such that you have an effective plan that results in profits. Having no plan will mean chaos, with your sales pros rarely on the same page with your company’s goals, flitting hither and thither, with some hitting numbers and many not.

Sales strategies to the rescue!

Have your team members account for their daily activities.

This helps you keep your sales pros accountable for daily goals. (Tip: you may want to have daily process goals, not sales goals. That is, a sales rep can’t make x number of prospects buy ads each week or month, but she can make sure she makes x number of sales calls each week/month).

Aim not to account for every minute of their day – mutiny be ahead if you do. Instead, set reasonable activity/sales process goals based upon patterns that have proven in the past to lead to sales and require that your sales reps document these activities.

Set goals with specific time constraints.

Humans tend to be more motivated by near-term goals than by long-term goals because long term goals tend to be far off in the future and it’s hard to keep one’s motivation and focus. So it’s best if you provide goals that can be met within a reasonable time frame.

Make sure you reward sales pros when they make these short-term goals. Doing so helps keep them motivated in the longer term.

Provide a range of sales goals.

A system of rewards based on a wider range of performance can be a great way to reward short-term goals.

Think about it: managing a sales team that offers, for example, a 12 percent commission for their first $10K in sales, which rises to 15 percent commission for sales between $10,001 and $25K, and then 20 percent for sales above $25,001 is far better than managing a team that works for a single numerical sales goal with a set bonus (10 percent commission on all sales and a $2500 bonus when sales hit $25K).

Being able to make more money with increased sales is a terrific motivator!

Sales professionals love winning. What do winners receive? Rewards!

In addition to commission and salary (if applicable), reward your team members when they reach their goals. And we mean things such as cash, rewards cards (for $100 and up), dinners at your town’s best restaurants, weekend getaways to minimum 4-star hotels nearby, and so on.

No extra money for such rewards? How about extra PTO, the ability to work from home, the promise of a new title/job promotion and an X percent raise when a sales rep reaches certain expectations goals (and they need to be high goals for job promotions, of course).

The idea is: you know your sales team. You know what motivates your reps beyond making money. When they make the goals you set – when they help your publication expand and/or grow its bottom line – they should be rewarded for it. It improves morale and helps keep your sales team members energized over the long haul.

Technology and your sales strategies

Managing a sales team for your media enterprise is far more effective and enjoyable with the help of the sales management technology found in MagHub. Our CRM/ERP for magazine for publishers can help create concrete and advancing goals for your team member, reach out to prospects and leads and nurture them along, and be used as an overall workflow tool for all of your publication’s departments (HR, marketing, distribution, finance/administration, etc.).

Bottom line: MagHub can act as your sales pipeline, empowering your sales reps and managers as they help their leads and prospects move toward a sale.

Learn more about how MagHub will help you manage a sales team.

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