How to Build an Effective Sales Force in Your Advertising Agency (Part 1 of 2)
Read time: 4 minutes
Once I heard someone saying that sales are the cure for all business problems. I started thinking more deeply about it and asked myself: “How can I create and build an effective sales team?” Today, I would like to share some of my experience not only in software sales, but also in helping our agency clients build strong sales teams.
How to hire the right salesperson? In my opinion this is one of the most important items in building a successful sales team. First of all, I would look internally at our company culture and identify the personality type you are looking for. When I say personality type, I am not referring to sales personality types, but more related to an overall fit within the organization, and therefore fit with the whole team. We have had situations where we hired someone with excellent sales skills, but the fit within our company wasn’t there and the new hire could not adapt to our culture.
I could go on and on, but my main message here is to look for someone with the right sales skills, but most importantly, someone with the right cultural fit.
Do you have a new sales hire onboarding plan? After you find and hire the right candidate, the onboard process will make your new hire comfortable about his or her training and onboarding process. In fact, if you work for a small agency this situation may be familiar to you: “Today is the first day that your new account executive is on the job and you haven’t had a chance to create a new employee orientation checklist”. Make sure you take the time to create a checklist of all the important items that need to get done before your new hire starts at your agency.
Here is a list of key items to be reviewed during the first weeks on the job:
- review the job description
- sales expectations
- your company’s mission and vision
- employment manual
- introduction to the whole team
- Make them feel like they’re part of the team and explain how different departments play a role in the company’s overall goal and vision
- Don’t forget that sales training and best sales practices reviews should be part of this checklist
Have sales metrics in place. Okay, we have hired our new account manager, they have been through the entire new employee orientation checklist and now you need to make sure you have built a foundation that will allow them to understand what sales metrics your agency is measured on it.
- Are you measuring them on number of new deals they bring in?
- What is the average deal size per client and profitability on the jobs?
- Do you know the utilization rates of your sales staff?
- Is your sales team also responsible for generating new leads? How about conversion rates?
These are some of the metrics you could use within your sales team at your advertising agency. Based on these metrics you can measure your sales productivity and create an environment where everyone knows what areas to focused on. Collaboration among your team members will contribute to the overall success of your firm.
In my next blog I would like to continue discussing how to create an effective sales force in your creative agency. In today’s competitive marketplace how can we create innovative ideas to generate more leads and opportunities? Making sure your sales pipeline is full of qualified leads is key for the success of your advertising, creative or design firm. In fact, have you thought about how you distinguish sales and marketing qualified leads? Are your sales and marketing teams aligned? Stay tuned for the next blog post and let us know if you have any comments or suggestions.