Tech companies in Singapore are heavily reliant on their sales teams to bring in revenue. That means a lot of responsibility and pressure on sales managers and individual team members alike.
Managers naturally want to encourage their teams to succeed, but that’s easier said than done. Some, in a bid to motivate their team to success, become bullies, telling people how badly they’re doing and getting involved only to exert control, or spreadsheet jockeys with interest only in the numbers with no interest in coaching individuals. Morale plummets. Others, often under the guise of “empowerment”, take such a laid-back approach that their salespeople lack any kind of direction.
No doubt you have experienced both at some point – directly or otherwise – and understand the barriers to success that these management styles present.
The middle ground, where successful individuals drive a successful company in Singapore, takes support from management, investment in training, and strong mentorship.
Before you start thinking about HOW to become more successful, you need to define WHAT success actually looks like for your team.
Every company in Singapore will have a different perspective on this, and that perspective will shift as the company develops. Are you pushing for more new business or retention and growth of existing customers? What combination of small and large clients would suit you best? Are your current customers happy, and willing to refer you?
Whatever you decide, make sure your team is working towards a unified view of success.
If you want to increase your sales ROI, you can begin by looking at your sales support. Research shows that sales reps spend on average just 41% of their time actually selling; the rest is taken up by things like admin, research, and meetings. With the right support, that percentage can be much higher.
But take it too far and your ROI will drop because you’re employing too many staff. So what is the right balance for driving productivity and growth?
A study by Harvard Business Review found that technology companies with the highest sales ROI have around 50-60% of their staff in non-quota-carrying support roles.
The difference seems to lie mainly in the proportion of operations and administrative staff a tech company employs. The most successful dedicate around 27% of their staff to these roles, whereas the average among their peers is just 12%.
If your organization falls below the 50-60% mark, this could be seriously hampering the productivity of the people whose job it is to do the selling.
Digital technology is transforming how we do business in so many ways. One obvious benefit for remote sales teams is the ability to keep in touch via group chat and video calling. But it doesn’t take much for this constant communication to become a distraction, reducing the amount of work a person actually gets done.
Consider whether you’re investing in technology that supports your sales team rather than adding to their workload and distraction. “Happy birthday!” in a WhatsApp with a cascade of impersonal messages does not create team spirit. Eye rolls often follow. Realize the limits of your media in achieving a goal, such as closeness and intimacy. Set clear expectations around the use of these platforms.
E-learning tools are a great way to make training more accessible and significantly increase retention rates. A whopping 38% part of the problem sales teams face are integration with other systems within the organisation.
Managers track how each salesperson is progressing through the training, so they can support those who are struggling and offer further specialist training to those who excel. Some companies are even starting to use VR and AR to enhance remote teaching and make distance less of an obstacle.
A good mentoring program can boost staff development and success and also reinforce training. Where employees feel supported in this way they are more likely to stay with your company for longer, which is exactly what you want after you have invested in their education.
How you go about establishing a mentorship scheme will depend on the size and structure of your company. You may pair a new salesperson with a more senior member of staff, or you might invest in a “virtual mentoring” program from a third party.
Either way, embed mentoring into your company culture rather than making it an afterthought – this way, your staff know they have this support mechanism.
By combining all of these factors effectively, you create a work environment where your staff can be pushed that bit harder because they know you are invested in their success.
Patricia is the Founder of Reed Estate. She is a results-driven and strategic technology sales, business development, and sales management professional adept at driving innovative technical solutions, advising C-level executives on business transformation and technology integrations, and developing and mentoring teams to provide exceptional customer outcomes and consistently exceed expectations. Patricia enjoys helping clients improve business functions to drive revenue growth. With an established record of overseeing large-scale transformation projects, and building and developing high-performance teams, she possesses strong technology, presentation, and leadership skills. She has lived and worked in Asia, Europe, Africa and North America. Patricia holds an MBA degree in Business Management from UCLA Anderson School of Management and the National University of Singapore (Joint Program).