Setting sales goals for your team is essential, but sometimes they may have trouble reaching those goals. As an executive or sales manager, you want to make sure you give them the resources and the roadmap they need. If you’re wondering how to improve sales performance, there’s no single perfect answer. Every business and sales team is going to face different challenges meeting their sales goals.
With that being said, there are best practices and general guidelines you can follow to set your sales team on the right path. With the right, unique plan for your sales team, you can improve sales performance continually over time. Below we’ve outlined ten steps you can follow to start improving your sales team performance sooner than later.
1. Put Your Sales Plan on Paper
Whether you have a plan in place already or this is your first step in the process, be sure your sales plan is clear and well documented. Your sales plan will be the map that your team can follow anytime they have questions or are unsure of what process they should follow.
Putting your sales plan to paper makes sure that your team has a throughline and consistent approach to the sales process. Once you have a well-defined sales plan in place, you’re ready to take other steps to improve and optimize your sales strategy to enhance sales performance.
2. Identify Your North Star Metrics
Once you have your sales plan figured out, you should make sure to identify and outline your North Star metrics. In other words, you need to decide what performance indicators are most important to your team. Your North Star metrics are the areas where your team can focus so they can improve their sales performance and reach their goals more efficiently.
North Star metrics also help you monitor progress, find out which team members aren’t getting enough support, find weaknesses in your sales funnel, and adjust your sales strategy to best foster conversions.
Understanding North Star metrics like closing ratio and customer lifetime value (CLV) will help you refine your sales plan so your team knows where they need to turn their attention.
3. Build a Data-Driven Sales Culture
Once your team has a sales plan to follow and metrics to focus on, you should make sure to encourage a data-driven sales culture. This means your sales team has the resources and knowledge to use data to drive their decisions and their strategies.
Of course, your team can’t do this on their own. They’ll need the proper tools to help them collect data, analyze it, and put it to action. Tools like CRM software platforms are a solution that should be integrated into your sales process early. These tools can give your team a hub of information and data they can utilize as they see fit. With in-depth analytics available to them, they don’t have to make sales decisions in the dark. They can use real, actionable data to help them decide how they want to approach obstacles to higher sales performance.
4. Start Off Strong with a Great Hiring and Training Process
One of the best ways to improve sales performance is by making sure all of your reps start off on the right foot. A good hiring process is crucial. You need to make sure your hiring process can help you find the best possible talent for your team. But hiring is only part of it. You also need to make sure your new reps have a great onboarding experience and a robust training process.
Your training process should be data-driven, meaning you evolve it to incorporate techniques from top reps. As you collect more data from your top reps and solidify best practices, your training process will become better and your new reps will have a better baseline to start from. It also pays to continually update your training materials as you learn. This way every member of your team can update their skills and stay on top of what’s working when it comes to selling your products and services. The key to improving sales performance is making sure that your team doesn’t stagnate.
5. Provide Your Reps with the Right Sales Enablement Tools
One fact remains consistent throughout all of these steps — your team can’t improve if you don’t give them the means to improve. Sales enablement tools, like the kind we mentioned in Step Three, are quickly becoming necessities for any sales team. Sales enablement tools are able to optimize every phase of your sales process. Everything from discovery to the closing can be streamlined and optimized when your team has the tools and resources to show them where they can improve.
Sales enablement software puts all of these tools in a centralized hub, allowing your team to access all of the content, resources, and information they need to better understand how to sell your products and services. In the next steps, we’ll delve a little more into the specific tools that sales enablement software lends your team.
6. Surface, Share and Systematize with Sales Intelligence
One of the most powerful sales tools is sales intelligence. Sales intelligence collects data and provides insights into what’s working in your process and what isn’t. Sales intelligence tools allow your team to get a better picture of your target demographic, create better sales pitches, and optimize sales content. With the right software, your team is able to share and systemize this sales intelligence, making it part of your process.
One concrete example of sales intelligence at work is conversation intelligence software. Conversation intelligence analyzed conversations with customers and clients, showing your team how top reps close their sales. This conversation intelligence can be used to refine content, realize more succinct pitches, and create better training and coaching materials.
7. Focus on the Sales Rep Performance Review Process
Your sales team won’t be able to grow as reps without personal goals and feedback to improve. Make sure you’re taking the time to focus on sales rep performance review. This will give them a chance to evaluate themselves, find out what goals they want to reach on a personal professional level, and see how their goals fit into the overall performance of the team.
These performance reviews should be seen as opportunities for your reps to grow and become more integral to the company. Sales managers can use the review process to create an environment that fosters confidence and skill-building. When you encourage reps to share and assess their wins and losses honestly, everyone can learn from the process and derive valuable lessons that lead to real ROI.
8. Support Your Sales Management Team
Your sales reps deserve support and resources, but they’re not the only ones who need them. Your sales management team can also utilize their own set of unique tools to give them more insight and oversight into your sales team and their performance. Access to management tools will allow them to optimize team strategy, see what team members need more support, and make adjustments to strategy on the fly.
It also helps them see how top reps are doing and what they can do to capitalize on that success. Sales management tools also give them more control over the training and onboarding processes, so they can make sure that their sales reps have everything they need to succeed.
9. Invest in Your Sales Content Strategy
Sales content is incredibly valuable. It can include things like marketing videos, one-sheets, infographics, and anything else that can be potentially used during the customer journey to help close a sale. It’s easy to let sales content fall by the wayside or go out of date. But it’s a good idea to keep your sales content fresh and to invest in a solid sales content strategy. The more refined your sales content is, the more resources your team has at their disposal to drive sales performance.
Sales content can be optimized too through sales intelligence and sales enablement. As you learn what your customer engage with and respond to, your sales content can be honed to help your sales team as much as possible.
10. Invest in Your Sales Software Stack
Finally, as we’ve built up to in this article, it’s a great idea to invest in a sales software stack and build it out to fit the needs of your sales team. No two sales stacks are going to look the exact same, so make sure you find what your team is lacking. Talk to your sales reps to find out what kind of resources they’re needing most and what challenges they’re facing. Chances are a more robust sales software stack can help them fill in those gaps.
If you’re looking to build a better sales stack, try Flockjay. We’re ready to show you how we can help your sales team.