What is sales performance? It’s a way of measuring how successful sales activity has been, compared to what was expected or what was needed to meet a quota. Sales performance that is good is something that is valued a lot. However, it can be difficult to achieve for many salespeople and organizations.
There are many reasons why your sales team is not reaching the success that both you and they want. This can be frustrating for sales managers because they need their team to hit sales goals, and it can result in high employee turnover. This could end up costing your company a lot of money.
Some estimate that losing an employee and hiring someone else to fill their position can cost your company twice the employee’s annual pay.
We guess that your company would like to save money on those costs. And that is where you come in. If you are a good Sales Manager, you will be able to avoid the problems associated with an underperforming sales team.
Leading your team to success requires more than you may think. There is more that happens behind the scenes than just meeting your quotas and always adhere to company policies. This means being a good role model for your team, helping them improve their performance, and steering them towards success in their careers.
The key to good sales performance is consistency. A high-performing salesperson or team can have good sales months extending through different economic circumstances and competitive situations.
How can you help your sales team be successful?
To avoid sales management mistakes and get your team on the right track, adopt the following effective sales management strategies today.
How to Improve Your Sales Performance
Start with the right mindset.
Your mindset going into a deal can have a significant impact on the result. If you don’t think you’ll make it, you probably won’t. Success in sales is often a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Even though being a great sales rep requires more than just convincing yourself that you’re meant to be successful, you still need to have the right mindset.
Although it may take a few years to become a high achiever, there are some things you can do to help you along the way.
One way you can try to achieve your goals is by creating an annual vision board. This is a space where you put together pictures and phrases that relate to your ambitions and why you want to achieve your goals.
Although it might appear to be a little trite or contrived, it helps you remember why you became involved in this area when you encounter difficulties in your career – and it’s a useful exercise for imagining success.
It can help you stay motivated and improve your sales performance when you’re going through tough times in your professional development.
Improve your business acumen with an emphasis on your vertical market.
If you have a good understanding of how businesses operate, you will be more credible when trying to sell products or services to them.
Sales is about developing trust with customers quickly. To be successful with prospects, you need to have a product or service that is worth their time and money, and you need to be able to show this to them in a very short amount of time.
Showcasing a deep understanding of how businesses in your field operate is one of the best ways to get ahead—so it’s always worth taking the time to learn the basics of how a typical company in your industry works.
When approaching a prospect, it is helpful to have an idea of how their industry peers function, as well as knowledge of the challenges and tactics that companies of similar size face and leverage.
HubSpot Sales Manager Mintis Hankerson says:
“You need to understand your customer’s business before you even reach out to them or draft the first email. As a sales rep, the key to success is to understand how your prospect is approaching their buying process, what their intentions are, and how you can accommodate and fit into that.”
There are a number of things you can do to improve your business acumen on a daily basis. If you want to have a deeper understanding of the business world, try reading credible business publications or financial reports.
A key element in boosting sales is to make sure you’re concentrated on the right activity at the right moment. If you’re not taking the proper steps to allocate time to complete work, you might be letting some key responsibilities fall by the wayside. If you’re inefficient, it will eventually have a negative impact on your sales.
If organization isn’t your strong suit, get help quickly. Ask someone who is good at organizing their work to show you how they do it so you can get some ideas. If you are spreading yourself too thin and trying to handle too many things at once, it will be difficult to focus on your goals and this will undoubtedly have a negative impact on your overall performance.
Review all pertinent data for your role and position.
The majority of salespeople have a sales quota that they are required to meet, as well as metrics to help them reach that number. Some organizations publish the average number of sales per person so that salespeople can compare their own results to those of high performers.
It is important to read the data and use it in your daily routine. HubSpot Sales Manager Tiki Biswal offers this advice:
“Understand what your ‘sales macros’ are. Macros, or macronutrients, are nutrients that the body needs in large quantities. They include carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. You can track your carb, protein, and fat intake to help you understand what you’re consuming and reach your goals. This same thought process applies to sales.
Think of your metrics and KPIs as your macros. If you’re not clear on which metrics or KPIs you need to excel, it will be tough to tell how well you’re doing. The goals you need to achieve could be different than those of the other people on your team.
I had a rep on my team who was doing everything right, but she still missed her quota. Upon examination of the data, it was discovered that the subject in question had a 15% higher discount rate than the rest of her team. Coaching her on negotiation and closing techniques helped her to gradually raise her Average Sales Price.
Although your definition of success may be different from your friends or colleagues, it is difficult to argue with tangible evidence or results. It is essential to improving your sales performance to know where you stand in regards to the KPIs that your sales organization tracks.
Set concrete goals above and beyond basic job expectations.
Salespeople tend to be high-energy and ambitious, often striving to exceed their quotas. They tend to be always on the move. Setting goals that are ambitious yet achievable can help improve sales performance.
The system is designed to keep you working hard and provides some flexibility if you do not meet the standards. It is important to set goals that are achievable and ambitious in order to improve sales performance. However, it is important to distinguish between goal-setting and dreaming.
While goals are detailed and tangible, dreams are more vague and difficult to measure. Therefore, goals are more likely to have an impact on sales performance than dreams.
If you want to achieve something, you need to have a clear plan for how to achieve it. You should also share your plans with your managers and colleagues so that they can help you stay on track and accountable. If you want to improve your sales performance, you need to find someone who can give you clear direction.
We understand: Sales Managers are busy.
It can be difficult to manage everything on your to-do list, and one-on-one coaching can often get overlooked.
If you want your sales team to be as successful as possible, you need to change your management style. Coaching your team regularly is key to making them more productive, more confident, and more skilled at sales.
Companies with good coaching can expect to see 16.7% growth in their annual revenue.
If you coach your sales team through a variety of customer interactions, they will be better prepared to handle difficult situations. This will enable them to close more deals.
One-on-one coaching lets your reps feel more confident in their sales approach because they can get input from you, an expert.
The best salespeople will appreciate any help that is offered, as long as there is still freedom and flexibility involved.
Even if you are very busy and cannot work one-on-one with each of your salespeople very often, you should still give them feedback regularly.
Encourage Continued Learning
Ensuring that your sales team receive comprehensive sales training from the outset will help avoid many of the issues that are common within the sales industry.
However, a study that was conducted by Harvard Business Review found that 87% of the information that people learn from a live training is forgotten within 30 days.
If you want your company to generate more revenue, you need to train your middle performers to become top performers.
It is important to retrain your team regularly to keep the information fresh in their minds.
An effective sales management strategy for ensuring your team’s success is to create a comprehensive training plan for the upcoming year and make sure everyone adheres to it. The purpose of this training is to consolidate what they have learned before and introduce new techniques for them to keep developing their skills.
You also encourage your team to pursue continued education so they can perform their best and stay ahead of the competition.
Improved technology is resulting in automated sales processes, which are quicker and easier for salespeople to complete.
One such example is cloud-based CRM.
A good CRM system makes it much easier to collaborate with others, as well as making it easier to keep track of calls and clients.
In addition, tools such as tablets and headsets make it easy for your salespeople to do multiple tasks at the same time, so they can document client meetings and calls without taking their attention away from the clients.
The best way to implement technology within your sales team is to make sure it is compatible with the tools and systems that are already in place.
It is important to always look for ways to improve productivity and efficiency for your team.
You can show your team that you respect their opinion and want to help them succeed by asking what tools they think would help them do their job better.
Streamline the Sales Process
It is important to have a sales process in place that provides your team with the tools and information it needs to reach its sales goals, though the sales process will not always be one-size-fits-all.
Playbooks are a great way to develop an effective sales process for your team.
Playbooks provide under-performing sales reps with the ability to follow the processes of your best salespeople.
This makes the sales process more efficient, productive, and consistent for your entire team.
You need to be careful when using playbooks because they might not be appropriate for every situation. Instead of acting as a strict set of rules, they act as a flexible guide that will take your sales reps through the journey of the buyer.
Establish a Good Company Culture
Having a strong company culture has always been, and continues to be, important to employee satisfaction.
Why is that? Millennials.
The U.S. workforce is mostly made up of millennials, according to the Pew Research Center. There are approximately 54 million Generation Y people in the workforce, and they attach a great deal of importance to a company’s culture.
Thus, it is in your best interest to find ways to improve your company culture and provide your employees with some key things, including:
Flexibility. This can include flexibility in scheduling, working from different locations, or having a different office set up.
Professional development. Millennials are looking for companies that will help them develop their career and grow into leadership positions.
Reputation. It is not only important to have a good reputation within your industry, but also to be seen as a socially responsible company. Make sure your company is engaging in philanthropic activities such as donating and volunteering, as well as sustainable practices.
Other powerful sales management strategies to improve company culture include:
- Creating a positive physical and social environment
- Celebrating employee achievements
- Showing appreciation for salespeople regularly
- Organizing events and competitions to keep salespeople engaged and excited about coming to work
THE PROBLEM: YOUR BUSINESS ISN’T GROWING AS FAST AS IT SHOULD!
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