How To Manage An Understaffed Sales Team: Tips And Strategies

Are you struggling to keep up with the demands of your sales team? Are you constantly feeling overwhelmed and understaffed? Don't worry. You're not alone. Many businesses face the same challenge. But don't despair – there are things you can do to manage an understaffed sales team. Learn how to thrive despite a small sales team.

Start Protecting Customers

Your high-value customers are one of your most essential assets since they generate the most profit for your business. So, it is essential to protect them.

You can do a few things to ensure your high-value customers stay with you when you run into understaffing problems.

First, understand what they need and how to meet that need. Then, make sure you are providing them with the best possible service.

Second, keep in touch with them. Stay in contact with those critical customers regularly, even if there is nothing new to report. You will want something of value to share with them, whether it’s a new trend, an idea or a new best practice that will help them. This will show them that you value their business and are invested in their success.

Third, be available to them. When they need you, be there for them. This may mean making yourself available outside regular business hours or going above and beyond what is expected.

High-value customers are the key to your success, so treat them accordingly.

Evaluate your Current Sales Team

An understaffed sales team means your current team needs to step up to the plate even more. Evaluate your existing sales team and identify the areas that need more support. If you're not happy with your current sales team's performance, it's time to take a step back and evaluate where the problems are.

Are they not making enough calls? Not closing enough deals? Not working well with other teams in your company? Once you've identified the areas that need improvement, you can start to implement the changes that will help support your sales team and boost their performance.

This might involve additional training, hiring new staff, or changing how sales commissions are calculated. Whatever you do, ensure you're clear about your expectations and provide the resources and support your team needs to succeed.

Delegate Responsibilities

Delegating tasks to other team members can be an effective way to manage a heavy workload. However, an often-quoted statistic from the late London Business School professor John Hunt states "that only 30% of managers believe they can delegate well; and only a third of them is considered a good delegator by their team." 

By delegating, you can ensure that tasks are completed efficiently and effectively while freeing up your time to focus on more important matters.

Delegating, however, can also be challenging and requires trust and communication. Therefore, when delegating tasks, it is essential to be clear about expectations and deadlines. Additionally, the designated salespeople should be given the authority to complete the task as they see fit.

If your salesperson does not have the necessary skills or knowledge to complete the task, it may be necessary to hire temporary staff or salespeople.

In any organization, there are only so many hours in the day. So, you may need to hire extra salespeople to help with the workload or delegate tasks.

The key is delegating tasks to those best suited for the job. Not only will this free up your time, but it will also ensure that the task is completed.

Review your Sales Process

A sales process is a critical part of any business. Salespeople use the roadmap to take prospects from initial contact to a closed deal. Therefore, reviewing your sales process regularly is essential to the success of your business.

The B2B sales process is longer and more complex than a few years ago. According to Spotio, "there are more decision makers involved with many more touch points along the way. As a result, much of the B2B sales process is done well before a rep contacts a prospect."     

By closely examining each step of the process, you can identify areas that could be improved and make the necessary adjustments. This can help to increase your sales and improve your bottom line.

In addition, reviewing your sales process can help you identify any bottlenecks or roadblocks hindering your sales efforts. By addressing these issues, you can improve the efficiency of your sales process and make it more effective. Therefore, reviewing your sales process regularly is an integral part of managing your sales organization.

A well-designed sales process will help salespeople overcome objections, build rapport, and close more sales. It can also aid in the many struggles of an understaffed sales team.

Train New Salespeople to be Successful

Any company that wants to be successful needs to have a sales team that is knowledgeable about the product and knows how to close a deal, especially if they are understaffed. However, training salespeople can be a challenge, especially for new hires.

By training new salespeople, you can give them the tools they need to stay ahead of the curve and be successful. Start by training them on your sales strategy and sales process. Then, provide them with ongoing training and support to hone their skills at each sales process step.

It is vital to provide salespeople with the tools they need to be successful, including product knowledge, sales techniques, and customer service skills. In addition, salespeople need to be motivated to sell, so providing incentives and rewards for achieving sales goals is essential.

By investing in the training and development of salespeople, companies can create a sales force capable of meeting sales goals and staying at the top of their game.

Stay Positive and Motivated

As a sales leader, it's essential to stay positive and motivated, even when things get tough and you feel like you are drowning in work.

For example, when your sales team is understaffed, you'll need to work smarter to ensure that sales goals are met. To do this, you may have to adjust your sales strategies to account for the reduced number of salespeople.

Staying positive and motivated can help your team weather the storm and come out stronger on the other side. Additionally, your positive attitude will be contagious, and your team members will be more likely to stay positive and motivated.

So, keep your chin up and focus on your goals, even when times are tough. It's during these challenging times that it's most important to stay positive and motivated. Here are some tips to help you do just that:

  • Remember why you're doing this. Whether it's sales targets or team morale, keep your eyes on the prize and remember what's at stake.
  • Surround yourself with positive people. This could be fellow sales leaders, members of your team, or even friends and family who will support you.
  • Find ways to stay engaged. Read sales blogs, attend industry events, or listen to sales podcasts. Staying connected to your sales community will help you stay motivated and inspired.

These are just a few things you can do to stay positive and motivated when things get tough. The most important thing is to never give up on yourself or your team because you never know what's just around the corner.

Celebrate Successes – No Matter How Small

As a sales leader, it's important to celebrate successes, no matter how small they may seem. Recognition is a powerful motivator that can help build team morale and keep people focused on their goals. Even a simple "thank you" can go a long way.

The purpose of a sales compensation plan is to set clear direction on where people should focus their time and efforts and encourage positive behaviors across your team. It should also be tied to your company goals to drive and achieve results.

Of course, it's also essential to acknowledge failures and learn from them. But when you're looking to boost spirits and keep people moving forward, remember to take the time to celebrate even the small victories.

In the End

Managing an understaffed sales team can be difficult, but it is not impossible. You can make the most of your resources by protecting your high-value customers, evaluating your current situation, and making necessary changes. Stay positive, motivated, and celebrate even the smallest successes.

If you need help with this process, our team at Pivotal Advisors is here to assist you. We have years of experience in helping businesses achieve their sales goals, no matter how challenging they may seem. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you take your business to the next level.

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