The secrets of successful family-run sales teams

The secrets of successful family-run sales teams

“Never work with children or animals,” W.C. Fields - actor

Some people would add family to the list.

Working with your family has a bad reputation as the lines between personal and professional lives can be blurred almost beyond recognition.

However, some of the UK’s most successful brands such Patak’s began life as family businesses.

Whatever, your opinion of working with your nearest and dearest, the reality is that two thirds of British businesses are run by families.

There are many challenges and opportunities of working with your family. In this blog post we’ll focus on sales.


In a small business your sales team might also be your child, marketing manager, office coordinator and handyman. The person responsible for sales is likely to have other jobs to do and, as a business owner, you might also be involved in selling.

What kind of sales?

If manpower is in short supply, you need to make sure the skills of your sales team match your sales type.

If you get a lot of work from repeat business you should choose someone who is good at building and maintaining relationships. However, if you rely on cold calling your sales team needs to be persistent and have a great phone manner.

Sales processes

Are there any procedures you could streamline to make the sales process easier? For example, you could introduce technology to help sales staff communicate with the office and complete paperwork while they are on the road.


If you’ve built up your business from scratch you will know it inside out. But your family might not naturally have the same skills or passion. What training do they need to perform well? And how can you provide it?

Managing poor performance

Dealing with conflict is one of the biggest challenges for family-run businesses. So what happens if a family member doesn’t meet their sales targets?

One way to avoid this potentially awkward situation is to draw up a family-business charter which outlines your core values. If you produce this collaboratively, everyone should know their roles and responsibilities and the procedure for dealing with problems constructively.

 Incentivising family members

You might want to encourage your sales team with bonuses or commission. Be clear about what the criteria is for any perks.

 Contact us to discuss way to improve your sales team.




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