Get The Most Out Of Your Online Equipment Sales Team
Does your dealership have equipment sales people who work online rather than from your office? Working from “wherever” has become commonplace in many industries, thanks to the internet and mobile devices. If your team is dispersed, it takes a somewhat different set of management skills to help them succeed.
Cohesiveness is critical. All the moving parts of your marketing and sales plan must work together smoothly and efficiently. This is fundamental, whether your sales team members are working within sight of one another or working remotely online. You might think it is more difficult to manage an online equipment sales team. But that’s not necessarily true, especially when you consider the plethora of technology options that can both support and enhance the process.
Be an instigator, not a dictator
Leading and managing effectively is not about being in charge and telling others what to do. The best sales team leaders create an environment in which everyone is encouraged (and expected) to contribute to brainstorming and problem-solving. Every individual brings their own unique approach and perspective to the discussion. Your dealership can benefit – exponentially – when you apply all that brainpower to sales and marketing efforts.
Individuals who can think for themselves, and help each other think things through, enable you as the leader to focus on the bigger picture.
So what’s different for your online sales team? As the leader, you have to work harder to encourage and facilitate inter-personal connections within your team. Social interactions and chit-chat occur naturally and easily in an office environment, whether during meetings or in the hallway. That enables people to become friends and work more comfortably together. You can foster that same sort of camaraderie for your online sales team by using Skype or other video conferencing tools that offer remote “face time.”, too.
Getting to know people better benefits you as a manager, too. The more you understand about each person’s strengths and weaknesses and motivations, the more effectively you can assign work tasks.
Other collaboration applications not only facilitate communication but streamline work in progress. That makes sales people more efficient, and it makes you as team leader more efficient, too. Everyone has easy, immediate access to the information they need. Remember, however, that these tools do not take the place of phone, email and live chat for day-to-day communication.
Keep them informed
Marketing and sales go hand-in-hand, so it is essential that your marketing and sales programs and people be well-integrated. Online marketing and the data gathering that comes from it boost sales team effectiveness, no matter where they work. The more you know about prospects, the better-prepared your live sales team will be. Your job is to ensure your people get all the information they need.
Online lead generation and nurturing take place via your blog, social media and especially targeted email campaigns. Each prospect can engage with you at their own pace. Each interim conversion – when they sign up for a webinar or download premium content — provides additional information about their interests, needs and challenges as they move through their buyer journey. And all that data is at your sales person’s fingertips when the time is right for a personal contact. No wasted time on premature calls, no wasted effort trying to “sell” something other than what the prospect really wants.
Putting all these techniques to work will help your dealership’s online equipment sales team excel.