Sales performance management is critical to any successful sales company. Planning for consistent execution and results should be the basis of your company’s strategy. A good sales performance strategy can make this process easy and fail-safe.
Effective sales planning should be company-wide and team-based, in order to foster a collaborative spirit and give direction to daily activities. Incorporating the following tips can help you boost your sales performance and build an unbeatable team.
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Goal setting is a delicate science and an extremely important component of a great sales performance strategy. Your company and individual goals should strike a balance between being too ambitious and too unchallenging. It is also important to set process-based goals, rather than just outcome-based. Everything in your performance strategy should be geared towards obtaining consistent results and a strong process.
One of the most important things you can do is determine the core values of your company, and build a mission around them. It is essential to have a vision for your company and set goals and processes in place that will get you closer to that goal. Ask yourself questions like, ‘where do you see the company in five years?’ and ‘what are the five most important values we want to foster?’ These questions can give you clarity and direction, and you should make sure all the other elements of your sales management strategy are in line with your company’s mission.
A smooth, well-constructed pipeline can make all the difference between success and failure in sales. A pipeline is a systematic process for converting leads into buyers, with every step of the way charted and planned, from lead generation to research all the way to closing. The key to a great pipeline is to make it detailed but also realistic and flexible. You should periodically tweak and adjust the pipeline to make sure it is up to date.
A great sales performance system involves ample room for collaboration. Your sales performance is determined by the efficacy of your entire team, not just a few stars. You want to foster teamwork and collaboration at every step of the way, and make sure your less experienced and lower-performing reps get up to speed. To make your sales organization run more efficiently and save time as a manager, you should have a system in place for your reps to assist each other and help train and motivate each other. This could take the form of friendly competition, peer coaching, or team-building exercises.
In today’s world, company culture is increasingly important to younger generations of employees- and sales reps are an overwhelmingly young demographic. Culture is and should be more than just an informal ‘company spirit’- it should be codified and articulated. Take the time to decide what you want your organization’s culture to look like and start implementing practices and setting goals to make this a reality. Of course, a great sales culture should be mission-based and revolve around a central vision.
A key element of sales performance management is good communication and relationships with your team members. There are many ways to do this, including sharing stories with them and making sure they feel appreciated and accountable. You should take the time to celebrate their wins and also make them aware that you are paying attention if they slip up. Always show understanding when they have a rough patch or a slump, and do your best to guide them through it. As a manager, you want your reps to know that you are on their side and there to help them rather than exert control over them. Demonstrate that you have respect for your reps. Don’t be the authoritarian, micro-managing leader we’ve all been exposed to.
Most sales reps say that they do not receive regular feedback (in some cases none at all). This is a key aspect of performance management. You have to provide detailed feedback often for your reps to improve your performance and your team to grow! This does not end when training is over but should be an ongoing task for every manager. Feedback should be in-depth, but you don’t want to bombard your reps with too much information at once. Try to focus on one detailed piece of feedback per one-on-one, and always make it something actionable, with concrete steps they can implement to improve right away.
One of the most important qualities a salesperson can have is introspection- the ability to look back and determine what went wrong if their results are off. This trait will enable your reps to keep making progress long after training is over. It will also save you time if they are able to analyze their own shortcomings and course-correct without depending on your feedback and guidance; the more you can make your reps simultaneously self-reliant and collaborative, the more effective a team you will build. Try to encourage this habit by asking your reps to diagnose what went wrong if a call didn’t go well, and by having them regularly fill out self-evaluation forms.
The more information your reps have about what they are doing well and what could be improved, the more confident and effective they can be. Be sure to focus more on positive than negative feedback; if you do have criticisms to deliver, try to couch them between two pieces of positive feedback to encourage the recipient. If you want your team members to receive consistent and accurate feedback without having to shadow them all the time, Attention can help. Our AI-based software provides live, real-time feedback for junior reps on a huge variety of criteria.
As a sales leader, there are many simple steps you can take to ensure that your sales reps are highly motivated to succeed. The fifteen tips below are a great place to start.
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