Building a successful sales team in Water Treatment

The Water Treatment market is looking likely to grow over the next 5 years, which will bring plenty of competition to the market. As you plan your sales strategy, it’s important that you have the right team of salespeople to execute your strategy. Here, we look at how you can build a successful sales team in the Water Treatment sector.

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1.      Evaluate the sales people you have

If you’re happy with your sales team already… you’re in the minority! Only 16% of sales leaders are confident that they have the talent they need to succeed in the future. And if you are happy, there are always elements that you can improve on – not every sales person is a top performer.

You could look at future-proofing the team by training rookies, or review the compensation package and keep it fresh?

For all companies in the Water Treatment sector though, your sales will involve a long-term strategic plan, in-depth marketing, countless technical meetings and a strong account management team. Part of your sales strategy will be to improve these areas somehow and evaluating the metrics will give you the basis of what to build on.

Inner blog (7)2.      Measure what you’re bringing in

Quite simply, what is the £ sales vs per salesperson ratio for your Water Treatment business? Just divide the total revenue by the number of salespeople. This will give you an average sales productivity figure and will give you a benchmark to compare against. How reliant are you on 1 top performer? Maybe you have a small team who are just misfiring and need sales help? This information is vital for any Water Treatment business as you can then decide on whether you should make a change or not.

The difficulty with this metric is that; you wouldn’t want to take a step forward with more sales – only to lose them (or existing clients) due to poor customer service.

However, as most Water Treatment businesses have long-term clients and a real focus on customer retention, this shouldn’t be much of a problem. It is important to note where you are now, and how much you need to improve to get to where you want to be.

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3.      Develop a top hiring process – and hire them

For any small business, hiring has a bigger impact than at bigger businesses. Water Treatment companies feel the effects of bad hires and are left with a big cost of a bad hire keeps eating into profits.

Using the best interview process will help you to make sure that bad hires are few and far between. Use a recruitment firm (hello!) to help you along the way – not to mention the time they will save. Areas that you need to think about include; where to hire, what level of experience, the personality, the target market, the given territories, the possible wildcards and more.

Also, think about the actual process – telephone calls, face-to-face interviews, making offers and sending out contracts.

Have you lost out on hires because of a slow process? Have you hired the wrong person because you didn’t qualify them enough? The interview process can always improve.

Inner blog (9)4.      Review the commission plan you are offering

It’s sales, you must pay them what they are owed! If you’re not happy with your commission, check out this blog here. The more complicated the plan, the more issues you’ll have and managing your sales team. Water Treatment companies should keep commission plans as simple as possible, especially for larger businesses. Try to find that spot between – “keeping salespeople highly motivated” and “keeping the business profitable!”

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5.      Train and motivate the sales team

Right now, you will have; a perfect strategy, a measured team, a slick hiring process and an incentivising comm plan. Now, is all about onboarding, training and motivating the team. Water Treatment businesses are often international – as such, how can you motivate home workers? Companies with an engaging onboarding program retained 91% of their first-year workers. How frustrating is it when someone leaves before they have become fully productive? Very!

Run incentives and leaderboards for the sales team. Provide both work and life-coaching – because as Millennials take over the work place, they will look for fulfilment not just in work but in their personal lives too.

Inner blog (11)6.      Give them the tools needed

Last point is – invest in the best tools possible. Try not to leave anyone with the sense of frustration because they’re sharing an old banger. Nobody wants to drive a 2004 1.2 VW Polo with 150k miles on the clock. If you have given your sales team the right knowledge, Water Treatment businesses should also give sales the right tools. This could be the CRM and software that you use… the best quoting and proposals software… or even a decent office that’s modern, clean and tidy. Make the environment competitive and supportive.

An idea could be that your sales team are fed up with something (e.g. using paper-based reports), and that they take too long to fill in review notes each week. Put an incentive in place that if they hit it, they get to choose new tools to help them with their job.


As ever, I’d love to know what makes a brilliant sales team in the Water Treatment sector. Where have you worked that has been high performing? Or maybe you’ve worked in teams that were really poor. Drop me a message on [email protected] or 07912 490 546.