4 Ways to Improve Sales Performance
Everyone knows that the more sales a company makes, the more successful it is. But it’s rarely that simple in practice. Improving your sales performance isn’t just about heaping the pressure on your employees to close more accounts. It requires thoughtful leadership, the right metrics, skilled staff, and efficiency-focused workflows. There are no quick fixes, but this measured approach will help produce a steady upward trajectory in your sales targets over the long term.
1. Know Your Numbers
You can’t improve performance if you don’t have a way to measure it, but it’s not always easy to determine what you should be measuring. A good rule of thumb is to measure what you want to improve.
If you are a sales professional working as a sole contributor, your primary focus might be making or exceeding quota every year. If you’re a Sales VP responsible for an entire organization or department, your metrics will be broader in scope - focused on using resources efficiently and hitting team targets.
Useful performance metrics include:
- Quota attainment
- Average sales per customer
- Number of new customers per sales cycle
- Average revenue per unit
- Customer churn or retention
Whatever indicators you’re using, track them in real-time where possible. This allows you to amend your strategies quickly if the team is not getting the desired results.
2. Define core competencies
Define the core competencies you want from your team, letting them know exactly what’s expected of them without micromanaging. This allows managers to identify and resolve any roadblocks while giving them a clearer picture of who their high performers are.
Good salespeople are:
- Target-driven - focusing on daily, monthly, and quarterly targets to keep themselves accountable
- In tune with their industry - conducting research and defining customer profiles to find unaddressed needs in the marketplace
- Ready to take the initiative - knowing when to move a prospect to the next stage and when to disqualify unsuitable leads
- Able to manage their time - effectively dividing their time between actively selling and routine office tasks
If you’re not seeing the skills you want in your sales team, that’s when you need to step up and find ways to build them. Explore training opportunities, offer one-on-one coaching, and have regular check-ups with poor performers to keep them on track.
3. Prioritize productivity
Performance and productivity go hand in hand, so if you want to increase one, you’ll also have to ramp up the other.
Sales productivity is about maximizing sales without significantly increasing resources and reducing time spent on unproductive activities. This is achieved by focusing on the four pillars of productivity:
- Consistency - having clear and transparent workflows and sticking to them
- Concentration - eliminating in-office distractions, unnecessary meetings, and other things that disrupt focus
- Constant innovation - coming up with innovative ways to keep prospects engaged and close the deal
- Reducing pressure - overburdening your sales reps can lead to poor motivation, disengagement, and burnout
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that just because your team is working long hours, they’re more productive. Research shows that long working hours can actually reduce productivity. According to one study, working more than 55 hours a week is so unproductive that it’s effectively pointless.
4. Introduce Employee Productivity Monitoring
Employee productivity monitoring solutions effectively capture a wide variety of metrics that can be used to effectively measure the engagement of both individual sales staff and your team as a whole.
By tracking how sales people interact with core business applications such as your CRM, these tools generate performance insights in real time. Each individual and team is given a productivity score that allows managers to gauge their performance over time and identify trends.
With Prodoscore, sales managers can stay on top of even hybrid and remote sales teams, monitoring their performance to see if they’re hitting their Key Performance Indicators. Data is collected within a single interface, so it’s easy to view, store, and analyze. Prodoscore is a sales manager’s secret weapon to improving productivity while empowering their team.