Even though making a sale requires around five follow-up calls, most salespeople only make one. And that's a clear indication that in most companies, sales teams just aren't built to succeed and bring home as many new clients as possible.
But while it's easy to point fingers at the sales team and say that they're just not trying hard enough, the company and the leadership are just as much at fault. They are the ones who didn't provide the proper training, the necessary tools, and the right motivation.
Luckily, not all is lost. Even if your sales performance is lackluster, there are steps you can take to completely transform your processes and create an unstoppable sales team that will outperform everyone else in your market.
To help you get started, let's look at some of the most important strategies you should employ, some of which you might not have even considered otherwise.
Start with the Weak Points
When you're trying to evaluate sales performance, the natural inclination is to look at the positives and try to build on them. But if you want to achieve impactful change, you must take the more difficult approach and analyze the biggest weaknesses you and your team have.
That's the only way to build an action plan that makes a difference and puts you on the right path.
One of the best starting points is to look at where the sales fall through. Analyze your sales team's interactions with leads and see where the connection is lost. That is a good indication that something went wrong, and so it might point you in the right direction of what you could do about it.
Sometimes, you may find that the issue is with your offer. Even if your product is good, you also need to have the right angle and USP (Unique Sales Proposition) to get your leads excited and eager to buy from you and not shop for bargains.
You should also look at whether you have weaknesses on the management level or in terms of how your sales team is structured. Poor rewards, bad hiring practices, and even a lack of performance-tracking measures can all make it challenging to improve, so these are issues you should address before moving forward.
Provide Multiple Learning Options
After performing a thorough assessment, you should have a better idea of what works and what doesn't. That will allow you to start restructuring your sales team training and figuring out how to change your overall sales process.
But as you start working with your team members, you should think about how each of them will respond to the type of learning options you put together. People have different ways of processing information, so if you want the materials to stick and make an impact, it's good to offer a diverse range of options.
For one thing, you should consider investing in sales training, which can provide you with a diverse range of resources and give you access to years of experience and the best practices currently used to train sales teams. So if, for example, your company is stationed in the UK, you should look for the best sales training UK-based services to make sure your employees get the proper hands-on training they deserve.
When you partner with a professional sales training company, you get access to videos, guides, workshops, all containing innovative approaches that will set you apart from everyone else.
Sure, this approach might make the initial investment into your sales team bigger, but you can't put a price on the expertise you receive. It will not only save you time but will also be well worth it in terms of the performance boost you can expect.
Be Strict About Who You Hire
Even though many sales leaders don't want to hear it, the results they can achieve have a lot to do with the type of people on the team. And that's why hiring the right people might be the most crucial aspect of improving sales that executives have actual control of.
Leading companies are already embracing a data-driven approach to hiring sales talent, and this trend is only going to get stronger as more companies recognize the results it can offer.
You need to find a way to quantify and measure sales performance and start looking for patterns in the type of person who excels in your company's sales position. That way, when you sort through applications to sales positions, you can look for those key identifying features that you know correlate with performance.
But at the same time, you should consider the intangibles, such as dedication, passion, and the willingness to find new paths towards the desired result. By talking to candidates individually, you can start spotting the character traits that separate the best salespeople from the rest and make sure to put them in positions where they can excel.
Finally, ensure that your sales team embraces that structure you set in place and thrive in the environment you create. Not all people will be an equally good fit, so someone who is a good salesperson might simply not work in your market or as part of your company's culture.
Treat Your Sales Team Like Rockstars
As we already discussed in the previous section, finding top sales talent isn't easy. That's why when you do find the people who consistently beat quotas and push the limits of their craft, you should make sure that you do everything in your power to get them to stay with you and not pursue other career opportunities.
Sure, that's something that every company knows already, and it's easier said than done. But that's just more of a reason to truly embrace the fact that your sales team is the backbone of the entire company that ensures growth and helps you stay ahead of the competition.
But how can you ensure your sales team is happy and does not want to leave?
It comes down to two essential aspects - keeping them motivated and keeping them challenged.
To keep your sales team motivated, you'll need to set up a lucrative rewards program that incentivizes performance and going the extra mile month after month. Sales commissions are great, but you could also set up a compounding rewards system that increases the compensation even more as a salesperson passes certain milestones and goals each month.
That way, you know that your best performers will be rewarded accordingly and remain motivated to pursue better results than they are currently achieving.
Another part of this equation has more to do with making the job itself exciting than it does about monetary compensation. People will only go so far for money if the job itself is monotonous or unrewarding.
Therefore, you need to create a work environment where your team has the tools to actually make a difference and be part of improving on a larger scale. You should provide your sales team with the right tools and data, enabling them to track performance, optimize and streamline processes, and even pursue their own sales avenues according to their interests and approaches.
You want to allow your sales team to experiment with opportunities for scaling or expanding the sales operation, rewarding them for any breakthroughs they achieve.
Just as in any department in your company, if you give your employees a certain level of autonomy and allow them to work with fewer constraints, you will usually see that the results will follow soon afterward.
Putting together a sales team that matches and even exceeds expectations is not easy. But while there's no one-size-fits-all formula you can use, there are strategies that will put you on the right path and deliver results faster.
With the steps outlined above, you will be much more likely to choose the right people, retain your best talent, and keep everyone on your team happy and motivated to push themselves to improve each month.