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How to Improve Sales Performance

It’s a question that keeps sales managers and business owners awake at night. Whether it’s because sales are lagging behind targets, or you’re focussed on sales growth, working to improve sales performance is a priority. In this article, we’ll look at ways to boost sales performance with actionable tips to help you. 

What Factors Affect Sales Performance?

When looking at ways to improve sales performance, begin by looking at factors that affect sales. Although some of them are outside your control, being aware of them helps you to develop strategies to improve sales performance and overcome the obstacles they present. 

The Business Environment

When macroeconomic factors are impacted by national or global conditions, that’s something to take on board. Look for reasons why people might still benefit from your product, even in the toughest of times, and highlight these in your marketing materials and sales pitches. 

Are you experiencing a positive business environment? Then it’s time to strike while the iron is hot. Don’t leave it to chance. Develop strategies to get those ready-and-willing customers on board!

Your Sales Strategies and Skills

Internal factors impacting sales performance are easier to deal with than external ones because they’re directly under your control. Your sales strategy is a good starting point. If it’s missing the mark, it may need re-thinking. Struggling with your sales team’s skills pool? It’s time to embark on a training program, recruit  – or else outsource sales to a B2B provider that has a team of well-trained sales reps. 

Customer Service

Customer service helps you retain existing customers and win new ones. If your business is dropping balls in this area, you’ll lose the customers you already have while also failing to gain new customers. 

Tools and Technologies

If your reps are still relying on handwritten notes and diaries or spreadsheets to guide their activities, you could be missing out on opportunities. At the very least, you should have software that helps track customer journeys and manages workflows. Without the right tools and technologies to help you, there’s a very good chance that you’re missing out on sales opportunities. 

Lead Generation Strategies and Activities

Looking for sales? Identifying people who are already interested in what you do and targeting them will be much more effective than randomly “casting your bread upon the waters.” Your marketing team should be supporting your sales team by generating and qualifying leads. When your sales team makes contact, they’re talking to people who are ripe for conversion. 

What Makes a Sales Team Successful?

Are you setting your sales team up for success? No matter how good your sales team is, they need strategic support. This includes access to real-world information and an understanding of what makes your customers tick.

While sales teams should be responsible for results, and should be incentivised to meet and exceed targets, there are times when your strategies don’t meet market needs. Without a workable strategy, efforts to improve sales performance will fall flat – no matter how effective your sales team may be. 

A successful sales team is a highly-trained unit. It works according to a sales strategy that’s based on real market information and targets people who would genuinely benefit from using your product. Pin down your market, offer convincing reasons why your product satisfies its needs, and provide your sales team a recipe for success. 

With all these high-level success-factors pinpointed and in place, you can simply use performance management strategies to ensure that you get the results you want.

Tips to Improve Sales Team Performance

Supposing that your strategy is relevant to your market and your sales team has all the supporting information, market intelligence, and tech tools they need, these tips may help. 

  • Set realistic yet challenging goals and define your expectations. After all, you get what you measure, and if your goals are realistic, your team will meet them.
  • Train your team to help them develop their sales techniques, know your products inside-out, and understand your market. Equip them with effective communication skills that help them to close deals.
  • Develop a sales process that works for most customers, and allow for flexibility that helps your team to cater to individual customer exceptions.
  • Let technology help you. Use software to keep the ball rolling and use it to evaluate your strategy and make data-driven decisions.
  • Give feedback and offer assistance. Analyse interactions between members of the sales team and their customers. If you spot areas in which they may have done better, some extra training may help to bridge the gap between what you expect, and what you’re getting. If they’re doing a wonderful job, be sure to offer recognition.
  • Offer incentives for meeting targets or going the extra mile. Incentives can be controversial, especially if some of your best team members are assigned to customer segments that are top sales prospects. If you can’t offer equitable sales opportunities for each of your reps, be aware of what constitutes good performance in context, and be sure to reward it.
  • Measure individual performance and offer feedback or assistance. Every person on your sales team should be accountable for the results they achieve. If these appear to be lacklustre, identify obstacles to success and offer support.
  • Watch your market and adapt. January’s recipe for success may not match July’s reality. Keep tabs on your market, and adapt to its needs.
  • Build customer relationships. Go beyond automated emails and build real relationships with your best customers. Remember, it costs more to win a new customer than it does to retain an existing customer.
  • Listen to your customers. Your sales team should be able to offer you valuable intelligence based on customer interactions. For example, they may be able to identify frequently asked questions and specific customer needs. The software your sales team uses should be able to gather customer feedback for your attention.
  • Provide a positive workplace. People perform at their best when they’re happy and comfortable in the workplace. Offer your sales team a place where they feel valued and supported.
  • Make the most of the time your team spends selling. Time, as they say, is money. And in this instance, it’s your money. Offer your sales teams leads, equip them with the technologies they need to manage workflows efficiently, and provide the support they need to deliver on their promises. 

Strategies to Improve Sales Performance in a Nutshell

No matter how product-focussed you are, your business won’t exist, let alone grow, without customers. Your sales team needs hands-on management and smart strategies to ensure that it’s equipped to deliver its best. 

As we’ve already seen, this entails being responsive to your market environment, knowing your target market, developing workable strategies and setting achievable targets. At the same time, you’re providing valuable market-related data, using tech tools, and managing individual performance. 

Our top tip? Never see your sales team as anything less than a core function of your business. We know that it can be tough managing sales when your expertise lies in production, tech, or even marketing. Whether your business is large or small, managing customer support and sales interactions will eat into your time and may distract you from what you do best. 

But, without your customers, your business wouldn’t exist. Looking for a scalable solution that doesn’t imply recruiting and managing a killer sales team but delivers even better results? We have one!

How to Improve Sales Performance With RSVP

Outsourcing a core function may seem strange, but you’re probably doing it already. For instance, there are few businesses that don’t benefit from accounting firms – and you don’t get closer to business basics than finance. 

So, how about outsourcing sales? It could become part of your action plan to improve sales performance. If you choose a business that focuses on selling above all else, you can get on with product development and securing your business’s future while cash flow is taken care of thanks to focused sales expertise. 

Here’s how it works. Instead of having a sales team to manage, you have one touchpoint, all the tech tools you need to gather data, and results that speak for themselves. Your customers benefit from service as a core business and you benefit from our highly-trained and motivated salespeople. You’ll get all the data you need to strategise, and we’ll take care of the nuts and bolts, day-to-day sales team management and sales rep activity. 

Offer your customers immediate responses, multilingual support, and benefit from an unbeatable outbound sales reputation. If you’d like to know more about our outbound sales and customer retention services, get in touch! We’re always ready to take on a new challenge! 

 

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