Salespeople are often thought of as quirky, pushy individuals who take no prisoners when it comes to getting a deal.
While there may be some truth to this assessment, sales processes should never depend on the personalities of salespeople or their ability to pressure their target leads into buying.
It not only makes both your prospects and your team uncomfortable, but it also prevents you from closing more sales.
To improve and optimize sales performance, you need to have a sturdy foundation for your salespeople to hinge on– that foundation is your sales strategy.
Now, increased sales productivity can’t happen overnight, but this article is a great baseline in taking your sales performance from mediocre to exceptional.
What Is Sales Performance?
What sales performance essentially means is sales productivity.
How many sales are you making per salesperson? One salesperson might do 20 sales in a month, while another one may only make 10 sales in the same time frame.
This could be because the second salesperson wasn’t very productive or effective at selling, which would be viewed as low sales performance.
However, other factors play into sales performance other than just how ‘good’ your salespeople are – things like market conditions, competition and product demand can also affect sales performance.
Poor sales performance can also directly result from an inadequate sales process or sales strategy. When all of these elements are addressed in your sales performance tracking, you’ll be able to refine your weak points and have great success.
How Do You Manage Sales Performance?
A sales performance management strategy is built on the precedence of these three elements: where, how and what to sell.
How you, as a sales leader, attend to each of these priorities defines your plan for succeeding in the market. Let’s dive a bit deeper into each of the three elements.
- Sales planning (where to sell): This is where you delegate your team based on their strengths and the demands in each area of the market. This can include how accounts are organized, assigning salespeople to certain sales territories, setting quotas, and determining how many salespeople are needed in various departments.
- Sales incentives (how to sell): These are commission structures that motivate salespeople in a specific direction to sell a certain product to a certain customer. You can do this by offering various bonuses to those who’ve closed the sale.
- Sales Insights (what to sell): This is important for measuring and improving your business’ revenue. Sales forecasts, pricing and discounting, pipeline management and other similar performance indicators are some of the key metrics to focus on.
By doing this, you can efficiently and effectively manage your team’s sales performance and gain better control over their results. At Selling Revolution, we guide you every step of the way in generating a strong sales performance that delivers.
What Factors Directly Affect Sales Performance?
Sales performance is highly determined by your enablement efforts with your team.
These efforts can be focused on company culture, customer experience, cross-functional alignment, sales training or content management.
As the sales leader, it is up to you to determine which of these elements need more attention over others. Regardless, all of them are essential in determining whether your reps have the proper training, context and guidance they require to successfully engage customers.
How Can You Measure Sales Performance?
Successful businesses use sales metrics to determine how well they are performing and these sales metrics can be used as a sales performance indicator.
These sales performance indicators include but are not limited to:
- The number of sales closed vs. goals set: For example, a salesperson may need to hit $100,000 in monthly sales. If they make $120,000, then they have exceeded their sales goals and had a good month.
- Meeting goals consistently: If a salesperson meets their monthly goal every month for six months straight, then it’s likely that they will continue meeting their goals and contributing to the business’ success.
Other indicators could be total revenue, the average revenue per account, market penetration, lifetime value of a customer, pipeline coverage and so on.
How To Improve Sales Performance
Great sales performance can help a business in so many ways: it brings in the revenue that exceeds goals, it creates new opportunities and markets; even just one salesperson with a positive, outgoing attitude can be infectious throughout an entire company and inspire great results.
But what is needed to be done in order to reach that degree of success?
Stick around, because we’ve curated a list of the 7 effective ways to greatly improve sales performance.
Hire the Right People
During the hiring process, many businesses focus on recruiting top talent. However, what they fail to recognize is that top talent is the result of exceptional training.
Therefore, when considering a candidate, try looking at it through the lens of how receptive they are to critical feedback. This will tell you whether or not they can adequately retain your training and sales coaching efforts.
Other personal traits to keep an eye out for are emotional intelligence, self-assurance and being a good team player.
Keep in mind, people can surprise you. So make sure you give them the chance to learn from their mistakes and improve from there.
Explore New Channels
To maximize your sales numbers, it is important to take advantage of all the sales channels that are available to you.
You can do this by exploring hyper-specific industry events or trying out social media platforms that your business hasn’t used in the past. Whatever the unexplored territory is, it doesn’t hurt to give it a test run.
When it comes to exploring new channels, you must equip your sales team with the necessary tools for success. Provide the proper training, guidance and content needed for them to maximize each channel independently.
When you tailor specific sales plays and content to your new audience, it will ensure that your team’s pitches are effective no matter what channel your buyers come from.
Invest in Sales Enablement
Sales enablement is essential for salespeople because it prepares them in following the sales process successfully.
Whether you have a well-established sales enablement strategy already in place or are just starting the process, any business could use it to their benefit. You just need to identify the level that your business is at to determine how much of an investment you need to make.
Find the Right Sales Methodology that Works for the Team
Your sales methodology is essentially the pillar of your sales performance.
If you’ve got a broken pillar, everything that it’s holding up will fall and crumble to pieces– including your team’s sales performance.
Many businesses’ sales methodologies are outdated, so it is critical that as your business transforms and changes over time, so does your sales methodology. Regularly evaluating their efficiency of them is a surefire way of ensuring their relevancy.
Create Incentives to Motivate
You can’t expect to see an increase in sales performance if your employees are miserable. Happy employees will naturally generate better performance rates. So how do we make sure our employees stay happy and motivated?
Things such as prioritizing employee recognition, providing employee benefits and perks, to simply just asking them how they are feeling or if they need assistance will do wonders in improving workplace satisfaction and morale.
Basically, put your people first and see how it rewards you.
Aim for Excellent Customer Experience
Stating the obvious here, but in case you don’t know or want more details– surprise! Excellent customer experience is a must when trying to improve your sales performance.
To effectively engage leads and convert them into customers or clients, you need to be sure that their experience is easy to navigate through and the product(s) offer them a clear value. This is relevant for both online and in-person sales.
Great customer experience doesn’t just stem from the interaction between your salespeople and customers, you need to make sure that the entire customer experience aligns with your marketing, branding, customer success and any of the other sales-adjacent teams you may have.
Thus, investing in an outstanding customer experience that is both refined and consistent is one of the best and most basic ways to boost sales performance and increase revenue.
Utilize Customer Referrals
Satisfied customers are one of the best ways to attract new customers. They are like your own gang of salespeople that you don’t need to pay to make you money. What’s a greater perk than that?
We’ve covered earlier how to satisfy your customers, so once you’ve accomplished that, you’ll be able to begin investing in your customer advocacy network. This is a great way for you to leverage their passion for your product and generate new business.
As soon as you know it, you’ll have an army of evangelists that would gladly promote your products and services, making your job a whole heck of a lot easier.
Improve Your Sales and Make It Stick
Every business owner wants to see that all the investments they’ve made were worth it in the long run.
It is crucial to understand that if you want to implement these strategies, you will need to ensure that they are clear, consistent, aligned with your brand and retainable for years to come.
At Selling Revolution, we can give you the extra assurance and guidance you need to take these useful methods and run with them effectively.
Contact us today to receive higher gross profits, closing ratios and higher average sales for your business.