- Michael K. McKean is the CEO and director of new product development for the Knowland Group, a leading provider of business development solutions for the global hospitality industry. The views expressed are his own. -

“A-B-C. A-Always B-Be C-Closing…you close or you hit the bricks.”

This may work for Blake in the classic sales film Glengarry Glen Ross, but sales directors today know it’s not always that simple. No one can create the perfect sales office overnight, anymore than someone can wake up one day as a golf professional ready to win the Masters. Building a successful sales team takes skill, patience, and hard work.

But just as any golfer can quickly up their game with a few short lessons from a knowledgeable instructor, so can you improve your team with a few easy steps.

1. Make your sales managers cold calling experts

Teach your people valuable telesales techniques from the beginning. Things like:

    Start out honestly by telling the prospect why you’re calling and how much of their time you’re going to take. Don’t waste the prospect’s time. No one likes a salesperson who rattles on for 30 seconds without letting them get a word in. Make sure to schedule a follow-up appointment or phone call before you hang up.

Help your sales managers know what to expect and be prepared for every contingency.