Sales professionals, managers, and sales teams have unrelenting pressure to perform. As companies continue to see razor-thin margins in most cases, the push to improve sales performance is more palpable than ever. Even for a top-performing sales professional or team, there is constant room for improvement. Here are five ways to improve your sales performance.
1. Have a Plan and Metrics In Place
Too often, even if there are target numbers, a sales team doesn’t necessarily have a concrete plan they can follow. Additionally, there may be certain target numbers, but not a way to define what success would look like along the way or what could indicate progress. An effective sales plan should include objectives as well as strategies outlining how to achieve the objectives.
Having a solid plan, as well as defined metrics to measure progress, will help sales professionals understand where they fit into the larger team landscape. It will also help guide the energy and attention of the sales team to the things that matter most, and it can be a way to start measuring week-to-week progress rather than just looking at the outcome.
2. Use Cloud-Based Sales Software
The use of software is vital to a modern, effective, and efficient sales team. With the use of a cloud-based software platform, organizations can manage everything including their KPIs, actions, and insights all within one central location.
A good software solution will allow for the collection of data through different integrations, provide real-time insight, and allow for the delegation of tasks, coaching, and ongoing communication. Without the visibility that comes with strong sales software, it’s difficult to track performance or manage a team effectively.
3. Integrate Coaching
The old, authoritarian management styles are out the window now. These are being replaced by leadership methods focused more on coaching and mentorship. Coaching helps create a supportive culture where everyone works together to thrive. Rather than focusing only on the negative, coaching works on developing sales professionals in a way that’s positive and goal-oriented.
Coaching sales professionals helps them learn through their experiences, and it empowers employees to be more proactive and strategic in their thinking and decision-making, which can ultimately improve their performance.
4. Promote Professional Development
Along with a coaching program, consider making professional development an integral part of your larger sales strategy. Professional development keeps employees motivated because it shows their employer is willing to invest in them. It also helps them build and grow their skills. Along with hard skills, professional development should include soft skills training as well. For example, professional development can focus on how to prioritize and manage time.
5. Create a Culture of High Performance
Finally, improving sales performance should be something that’s part of your overall culture day in and day out. Engraining performance into culture doesn’t mean fostering a cutthroat environment. Instead, it should be about providing employees with the tools and resources they need to do their job well, holding them accountable and celebrating successes while working to understand when things don’t go as well as they should. Hold regular team meetings to keep teams focused and reward employees who achieve goals through recognition.
Marla DiCarlo is an accomplished business consultant with more than 28 years of professional accounting experience. As co-owner and CEO of Raincatcher, she helps business owners sell their business so they can get paid the maximum value for their company.