4 Ways to Raise the Performance of Your Sales Team
Every sales manager is on the lookout for effective ways to enhance the performance of their sales team. There are innumerable articles they can choose from on ways to boost sales…some are easy to implement and others require huge investments in time and resources.
Here are 4 proven strategies that, when executed properly, can result in huge gains for your team. Which of these could work in your sales culture?
- Focus on development
Even the most successful salesperson can benefit from training…as long as it is relevant to their world and can be shown to produce real business results. Solution selling training, for example, helps sales team members focus more on customer needs and less on product benefits. The objective is to truly understand the customer and their business so that you can craft a solution that is more compelling than a competitor’s and so you become a trusted partner rather than a commoditized vendor. This is the path to winning the hearts and minds of your clients.And make sure you hire only the best…those who exhibit the critical few traits that you have determined drive toward success in your culture for your sales strategy. Insist upon top sales talent. And then as soon as they’re aboard, make sure they are assimilated as quickly as possible into the company so they can contribute and perform quickly. Real business results will encourage them and show the team that the newbie belongs.
- Make sure your salespeople spend the bulk of the time actually selling
Too many sales managers require too much administrative and meeting time from their sales reps. You hired them to sell; enable them to do so. Offload activities that are not customer-facing. Are there reports to fill out? Numbers to crunch? Time-wasting meetings to attend? Find someone else to take these tasks on or employ technology to relieve your reps of any non-productive activities. Make the best use of your sales reps’ skills at building customer relationships and sealing deals.
- Set the bar high
Don’t be the “easy grader” that the unambitious college student sought out for an unearned “A.” Expect great performance. Make your expectations clear. Then hold the team accountable with fair, accurate, relevant and transparent metrics. Each team member should be able to see just how they are doing against the targets you have set. And, when you have a consistently low performer, take action and move them on.
- Know how your customers make their buying decisions
Get into the heads of your buyers so you know their thinking process and the steps they must take before an important purchase is made. Sell the way they want to buy. Some want proof that your solution can work – provide relevant case studies, customer testimonials or offer to put on a pilot program so they can experience the impact of your offering. Some customers are encouraged to buy if you guarantee results – this shows confidence in your understanding of their situation and in your solution.
These four strategies encourage you to think beyond the sales process and focus on the people end of selling. Give your sales reps every opportunity to grow; enable them to spend their time selling solutions; expect exceptional performance; and focus on how your customers want to buy.