24 Sure-Fire Strategies To Improve Sales Performance
Do you know that sales reps spend only 39% of their time selling? Surprising, right? The remaining 61% of the time goes into searching for prospects and validating the data collected. As a result, there is a negative impact on their productivity. It is quite obvious that this contradicts the aim of businesses which is to improve sales performance.
In short, the urge for more sales is universal and we are sure that you are also in the same league!
Nevertheless, increasing sales productivity can be quite a task in itself and most businesses struggle with it. One of our clients, Bob, was facing similar issues. But he managed to increase his conversions by 45% by following the strategies we outlined. Don’t be jealous, we’ll share the same with you!
However, before moving on to the nitty gritty of improving sales performance, let’s dig deep into sales performance, the factors that affect it and how to measure it…
Table Of Contents
What Is Sales Performance?
Sales performance is the process of measuring sales activity and comparing the results to sales targets and quotas. On the whole, every business wants good sales performance, just like customers want to avoid retail traps, yet it can be challenging to accomplish for many.
Consistency is the key to effective sales results. Anyone can have a successful sales month, but a high-performing sales team can consistently meet or exceed sales goals over time, regardless of economic conditions or competition. Overall, improvisation in efficiency is figuring out ways to use time efficiently. One can keep the end objective in mind by including structure and purpose in their day.
What Factors Affect Sales Performance?
Your enablement activities, such as content management or sales training, affect your sales effectiveness, customer experience, cross-functional alignment, and corporate culture. These aspects work together to assess whether your team has the skills and knowledge they need to engage clients successfully.
Let’s take a look at the internal factors:
- Recruitment standards
- Company culture
- Sales staff training
- Availability of automation and technology
- Quality of the product
- Customer experience
- Capital availability
- Supply chain
Let’s now move to the external factors that can influence sales performance:
- The political or economic climate
- Laws and regulations
- Fluctuating consumer preferences
- Technology innovations
Key Pillars Of Sales Performance
With so many roadblocks in the path of a productive sales team, a few essential pillars act as the foundational building blocks for increasing sales productivity. These play a significant role in sales performance management.
You need a solid organizational sales framework for consistency. Although each salesperson may have their own style, you should implement the exact sales process strategy.
The amount of distractions that pull us away from our everyday objectives seems to be increasing. Therefore, try to remove the distractions from your current focus or set aside time in your daily routine to complete those activities.
3. Constant Improvement
Keeping what’s working isn’t inherently negative, but it stifles progress. Because the field sales business is evolving at such a rapid pace, salespeople’s productivity suffers due to their refusal to adapt.
4. Reduce Pressure
The competitive and fast pacing nature of the field sales environment puts additional pressure on sales reps to succeed and meet their quotas. Rethink your sales quotas to make sure they’re ambitious but achievable. Salespeople who believe quotas are tough to meet are less likely to try since they believe they will fail regardless of their efforts.
How To Measure Sales Team Performance?
There is no way to determine success without measurement. Having detailed ways to measure sales success guarantees that your sales reps know what they aim for. It would help them realize if they are on track to reach business objectives. Therefore, you’ll need to track key performance indicators to see how well you’re getting the results you want. Here are some key sales performance metrics to consider:
Average Profit Margin
This sales performance metric tells you how your company is performing. The formula for average profit margin is the company’s net income divided by the net sales.
Average profit margin = net income / net sales
Your net income is the total company revenue minus the expenses. And net sales is total sales minus the total returns or refunds. You can measure your average profit margin based on the product, geographical location or sales reps to find out how every area of your company is faring.
In sales, year-over-year growth shows your improvement in sales figures from one year to another. Here’s how you can calculate it,
Subtract the previous year’s sales revenue from the current year’s sales revenue and divide it by the previous year’s revenue. Then multiply the answer by 100.
With this metric, you get a bird’s eye view of your organization’s performance. You can learn about the real status of your company’s health through this KPI. It helps you find out how well your sales efforts are bearing fruit which is a great way to understand what is working and what is not.
Conversion rate is the number of qualified leads that turn into paying customers.
To calculate the conversion rate, you have to divide the number of leads converted into paying customers divided by the total qualified leads.
With the help of this metric, you can find out how well your sales team is able to turn qualified leads into paying customers. By tracking the conversion rate, you can understand what leads are more likely to convert, which can help grow your sales revenue. If your product or service has a long sales cycle, it would be a good idea to monitor the conversion rate from one stage to another closely. This will help you understand what action you must take at each stage to increase the possibility of a sale. You will understand where things go wrong and what leads to lost sales.
Sales Productivity Metrics
This is a broader term for sales reps’ activities with customers and prospects. It can be sending emails, scheduling meetings, giving demos, calling prospects, and creating marketing campaigns. By measuring these activities, sales teams can find out whether a prospect is engaged or not and see whether the deal is moving in the right direction. It is often difficult to find sales activity data as it depends on the reps who enter the data manually, which can be inaccurate or even missing. However, you have tools these days to get inaccurate real-time data.
Quota attainment refers to the percentage of deals closed by a rep listening to the quota assigned for a period of time. It can be monthly, quarterly or even yearly.
Here’s how you can calculate it,
Quota attainment = number of close deals / quota for that period of time
You must track this metric to know which rep or reps need additional attention and coaching in your team. It will also help you identify the need to restructure the team so that everyone gets to do what they are best at doing. It is ideal to keep measuring this metric from time to time.
Win rate is the total number of opportunities divided by the total number of opportunities closed, that is, both won and lost. This metric helps analyze the performance of reps and what you have to work towards to make the sales team’s goals.
It is helpful in giving an urge to create better strategies for sales and make the right decisions to improve the organization’s sales performance.
Customer acquisition cost is basically the cost of acquiring a customer.
Here’s how you can calculate it,
CAC = The total cost of sales and cost of marketing / the number of new customers acquired
It is a metric that measures your organization’s efficiency that your sales and marketing team put together. It shows how well they are working. If you see that the CAC is not up to the mark, it shows that there is something amiss with the sales and marketing team. And that means it is time for them to work on improving their ways.
Include every phase of your sales cycle in your approach to measuring these essential indicators. This essentially begins with lead generation and continues through your sales pipeline.
Quantitative measures are critical, but you may also track your team’s effectiveness using qualitative methods.
When you talk of conversions and how they occur, numerous elements are at play. You can define sales productivity as the number of hours spent on the essential sales rep activities, such as prospecting and client meetings, while reducing the resources required to complete them, such as time, money, and effort.
As a result, the formula for sales productivity is:
Efficiency x Effectiveness = Sales Productivity
Here efficiency refers to distribution and usage of resources. Effectiveness relates to how efficiently you use your resources to achieve your objectives.
The following are some more important and successful KPIs to monitor:
Sales Cycle Length
The average time for a sales representative to complete a sales cycle.
The total value of your potential leads compared to your revenue goal.
Tips To Improve Sales Performance
One logical way of increasing productivity is to reduce the administrative tasks of your sales team. Let’s take a look at the other ways as well,
1. Approach things from the perspective of the reps
Let them self-evaluate their performance, and allow them time and space to share their insights with you. Additionally, give them a bigger stake in the team’s success, and watch sales improve.
2. Create a safe environment for your team
As a sales leader, you have to ensure that everyone in the organization has the freedom to express themselves without fear of judgment.
3. Analyze team data
Focus on prospecting and look at rep statistics to see how close they are to closing. You can discover and help address issues that could hurt the business later on by regularly monitoring rep performance early in the sales process. Also try to hold one-on-one sessions with each member of the team regularly.
4. Develop a culture of peer-to-peer coaching
Placing reps with different levels of expertise together helps promote team-wide accountability. In addition to that, it helps promote a culture of peer-to-peer training and fruitful mentorship.
5. Avoid getting complacent
Keep a close eye on how your business is running and remain on top of your team’s KPIs to prevent hampering sales performance. Also, don’t forget to celebrate their accomplishments.
6. Set reasonable & attainable operational goals
Break down your broader, strategic goals into more simple, actionable, and easy-to-reach milestones. It can keep your reps on track and assist them in significantly enhancing their professional well-being, both of which contribute to better sales performance.
7. Engage actively with your representatives without micromanaging
When assisting reps’ day-to-day efforts and larger professional growth, effective sales leaders may strike a reasonable balance.
After the tips, let’s take a look at an ideal sales performance improvement plan and the strategies that can help.
Strategies To Improve Sales Performance
There are strategies you can employ to improve sales performance. They will increase the number of sales leads available to you and help you sell more per day. Basically, here’s what you can do,
- Lower your overhead costs
- Boost productivity
- Reduce the time to market
- Improve the efficiency of sales
- Enhance customer satisfaction
Let’s take a look at how you can achieve the above
1. Hire right
It’s critical to look for abilities and personality traits that increase the candidate’s likelihood to respond well to your sales coaching and training efforts. High emotional stability and intelligence, a can-do mentality and a strong desire to collaborate are just a few examples.
2. Invest in a sales enablement platform
Sales enablement is essential to equip salespeople with the guidance and training to engage customers and prospects successfully. You may either have a sophisticated sales enablement operation in place or may just be starting out. It all depends on the size and structure of your sales organization.
3. Provide the appropriate sales tools
Don’t you agree that repetitive processes consume a lot of time? Using the right sales outreach tools will help increase your team’s productivity and sales performance. Finding the ideal sales automation platform that can dramatically reduce the time spent on repetitive chores. It is basically the best thing you can do for your team.
4. Include one-on-one coaching
Keeping track of the most recent developments in your field has several benefits. Therefore, ensure that your team is up to date on the latest industry trends. It would help if you kept up with the latest developments in this field and scheduled coaching sessions.
5. Improve communication the team
Schedule time to speak with each team member. Keep an eye on how they’re doing. Basically, a face-to-face encounter with each sales rep can help them perform considerably better. Furthermore, it is an excellent opportunity to determine if there is room for improvement.
6. Always include your team in the company’s vision
Motivation is a critical aspect that can aid your sales reps’ effectiveness. Each person in your team should feel important. But a little motivation can go a long way. Hence, we bring you, 101 Motivational Sales Quotes. Organize team-building sessions so that each of them can get to know one another better.
7. Set clear objectives
Along with setting them, make sure to split them down into smaller, more manageable tasks. Basically, the fundamental formula for the success of sales is to set appropriate goals. Your sales force will be more motivated if you set specific targets and track their success to improve sales performance.
8. Shift focus on customers
Teach your salespeople how to market to customers’ demands and be customer-centric. It will go a long way in increasing sales.
9. Address critical performance markers during coaching
Define the outcomes you want to achieve, concentrate on quantitative data and never measure more than 10 KPIs. Make sure you do so at least once a month, if not more frequently.
10. Work on developing a high-performance culture
A high-performance culture’s primary goal is to assist a company in exceeding its financial and non-financial objectives. Create meaningful employee surveys and also get feedback from employees regularly.
11. Track and measure sales activities
For field sales managers, use specific KPIs to gauge which activities your sales reps spend most of their time on. They include:
- Conversion rates
- average sales per hour
- actual sales vs projected
12. Make a plan for effective onboarding and training
Continuous training is critical for your company’s success. Your organization will undoubtedly gain if you assist your employees in developing the necessary skills to boost sales productivity.
13. Use the appropriate sales structure
Your sales organization’s structure has a significant impact on how salespeople work. Some b2b sales strategies are a better match for specific organizations. Take some time to study the most common sales structure to see which one is best for your company.
14. Refresh your sales plan
The method you empower your reps is another critical aspect of sales performance. Organizations must be receptive to changing customer demands in today’s markets; therefore, examine your sales plan periodically. Though this may appear to be a lot of work, it’s essential to ensure your approach is still relevant to the audience you’re selling to.
15. Make decisions based on facts
Without precise reporting, it’s difficult to know where growth possibilities are and what issues you need to address. It’s vital to identify and use the proper data. This involves utilizing the statistics inside your sales enablement system. A good platform should provide data on how both reps and customers are receiving your strategy of sales, coaching, and content. If your present solution doesn’t provide these benefits, it may be time to upgrade.
16. Find a method that works for you
Your sales performance depends on choosing the right sales tactic. It’s critical to keep an eye on the effectiveness of your sales methods and make sure you’re using the ones that suit your company.
17. Build a complete sales training program
To win, you’ll need a full-fledged sales training program that instructs salespeople on how to implement your methodology and allows managers to coach and inspect behavior. Try cutting significant efforts down into a clear set of objectives and activities that reps and frontline managers can focus on to make small changes.
18. Coach your coaches
Sales training isn’t just for reps. Your sales managers need to know how to improve rep performance through coaching. If you want to engage in sales training, you should first figure out how a good sales rep performs, ultimately improving sales performance.
19. Enable coaches to offer support
You can teach coaches to check rep performance against undesired behaviors and provide support if they fail to follow essential steps. This method ensures that your coaches understand what and when they have to do and discuss it to improve sales performance.
20. Make personalization easy
While personalization is critical for customer interaction, it is also time-consuming. Enablement teams should develop foundational content, such as a consumer portfolio for multiple industries and profiles, all in a single place. This helps make changes inside your sales enablement system simple.
21. Improve your client service
Investing in a great client experience will help you sell more. It involves aligning yourself with the marketing and client success team. It can improve sales performance along with great interaction throughout the customer lifecycle.
22. Activate all channels
As you discover different channels, make sure to provide training, information, and assistance to your reps on how to get the most out of each one. If you personalize your team’s pitches, they will land effectively wherever buyers find them.
23. Create a strong referral network
The best salespeople are your satisfied customers. Building a strong connection with customers is the key to turning on your sales, as you will get more referrals. So start by investing in your customer success and support teams to ensure they have all they need to provide outstanding customer service. Over time, you’ll have a team of evangelists who will gladly speak with customers on your behalf.
24. Keep yourself wanting more
It’s natural to get complacent once you achieve a goal. However, it would help if you resisted the urge. Your rivals are close behind you, waiting for a chance. Always be on the lookout for innovative ways to improve your offering and please your customers. It’s the only way to win in the rapidly moving era of modern sales.
What Makes A Sales Team Successful?
Ensure salespeople have all they need to accomplish their jobs well. This includes providing reps with material, training, and advice, as well as fostering a positive business culture. You can establish a solid customer engine and integrate with other go-to-market responsibilities such as marketing and customer success.
When considering what your sales team requires to be successful, bear in mind what an individual seller might need to be able to thrive on their own. You can build a great sales team only through teamwork.
Get Ready To Improve Sales Performance!
Sales performance is a marathon and not a sprint. It takes time to get lasting results but your company will make more money and have a bright future when you constantly climb up the ladder. Do try using our strategies and see how they change the entire picture!
To maximize sales performance, you have to look at things from the sales reps’ perspective, analyze team data, provide them with a safe environment, facilitate peer-to-peer coaching, and set attainable goals.
The main KPIs you must consider to track and measure the sales activities of field managers include:
– Conversion rates
– average sales per hour
– actual sales vs projected
The strategies that help in improving sales performance are the following:
– Lower your overhead costs
– Boost productivity
– Reduce the time to market
– Improve the efficiency of sales
– Enhance customer satisfaction