The Best Performance Management Techniques to Boost Sales Success
A sales team is only as successful as its management.
There are endless challenges that sales management leaders face today. Whether it’s managing a team remotely or providing sales reps with comprehensive training to best sell their product, managers need to make sure their teams are set for success.
If teams aren’t aligned or have the right tools to perform their jobs, these types of issues can lead to a high staff turnover rate, low team morale, and ultimately yielding negative results. In order to attract and retain top quality sales reps and boost sales success, managers today need strategic techniques to manage efficiently and turn these potential wrongs into rights.
Set clear goals and strategies
It is important for management to set clear and achievable goals for their sales teams at the beginning of each year and each quarter. Together with these goals, there should be a strategic plan laying out the precise requirements necessary to reach the desired outcome.
Make sure as a manager that you schedule time with each member of your team to define their individual goals and benchmarks to hit along the way. This will help segment the overall target into easily attainable tasks.
Clearly defining your sales strategy, value differentiation, and unique selling points will help guide the sales messaging of your team. Share this process with your sales team so that they feel invested in the plan and are instilled with a sense of ownership and pride, which will positively affect their performance.
Consistently measure performance and adjust forecasts
No sales manager wants a nasty surprise at the end of the quarter. To avoid this, it’s important to track and measure performance through effective metrics. This helps to identify weak areas within the team and possible missed targets. Equally, if a team or a specific sales rep is overachieving, then the management should reward them appropriately.
As a sales manager, if you don’t effectively track and monitor your team’s performance throughout the quarter, you won’t be able to give the necessary feedback to your team nor effectively use your resources.
Armed with the right information, sales managers should adjust their forecasts and strategy’s goals to be as accurate and transparent as possible.
Invest in initial and ongoing training
When a new salesperson joins the team, there should be a comprehensive onboarding process to the company’s CRM platform. This gives new hires a complete view of each customers’ journey and allows them to better understand what angle to take in their sales pitch.
These platforms can be complicated to navigate, and without comprehensive initial training, your sales team will not effectively utilize all of the tools within the software. Remember that it’s worth investing in full training at the beginning of a team member’s onboarding process so that they can reach their full potential as a sales rep.
Training is too often a one-time occurrence rather than a continuous process. Training should not end after onboarding. Rather, it is ongoing as there are always new skills and knowledge to learn on the job.
Training – anytime, anywhere
The need for training software is growing as employees around the globe are working from home. The sudden shift to remote work means that sales teams need to be ramped up and ready to perform their job no matter where they are.
Since most sales teams rely on an average of 14 tools to manage their sales cycles, keeping up-to-date on new business processes and workflows is crucial. With your team dispersed, making sure that each person is comfortable and proficient with their digital tools poses a greater challenge.
Image of WalkMe’s Workstation that lets users easily onboard and train
Contextual learning platforms are an excellent solution to maintain the learning curve. Prompts and tips delivered in real-time are targeted and personalized, making it easier for each sales rep to complete tasks and retain the information for the future. This type of training doesn’t disrupt the flow of their day-to-day and will improve their performance over time.
Don’t micromanage – let your team learn
To be an effective sales manager, you need to manage delicately. If you notice that one of your team members is performing poorly, then they need your guidance. You can teach them from your own experiences of failure and success.
Resist the urge to take the account away from the salesperson as a result of a mistake, and instead, give them an opportunity to implement your feedback and succeed.
If you want to get the most out of your team, then you need to focus on the bigger picture and delivering the strategy. Giving your sales team autonomy over their accounts and not getting overly involved in each transaction will empower them to work harder and feel more invested in their success.
Traditionally, in the sales world, motivation means bonuses and commissions. But a sales manager could also incentivize with alternative methods such as team events, or turning sales targets into a game. Think of incentives that require the whole team to work together, creating comradery and a thirst to succeed.
Keep in mind that while your team is working from home, you may need to get more creative. Maintaining a driven and motivated team requires more communication, like regular video conferencing.
As a manager, take time each day to check in with your team members. The conversation shouldn’t solely be focused on work, but about their general wellbeing during this unique time period. While this may take more effort on your part, the extra attention and care will not go unnoticed. If your team feels like they are being taken care of, their motivation and drive will increase, positively influencing your sales goals.
Do more with less
According to the Revenue Collective’s Economic Benchmarking Survey from April 2020, 77% of sales leaders report reduced budgets as a result of COVID-19. This translates to companies having to do more with less. No matter where the cuts are, sales leaders need to find a way to manage what they already have to ensure they don’t slow down.
The right technology can keep your team productive, motivated, and ramped up and properly trained on any new software or workflows – whether they are in the office, on the road or working from home.