Getting the most from your team is arguably the key responsibility of any leader. And perhaps, more than for any other vertical, managing sales performance is an essential skill to master.
Strategies and tools for managing sales performance are significantly wide ranging. Yet all are used to raise the efficiency and effectiveness of contributors across the board.
And those that do this better than any one else, are those who tailor their management style to their specific situation.
Companies yet to fully embrace managing sales performance see only 25% of their reps achieve their sales quota goals.
In contrast, over 81% of reps achieve their annual quota at companies that apply performance management, experiencing 3x higher annual revenue growth.Spotio
The impact of managing sales performance is clear to see.
And it can only truly be achieved with the right information to hand. With access to real-time data, leaders can monitor, plan, and react to the ever-changing business world.
This is as true for individual performance but, equally importantly, emerging and disappearing opportunities.
In a competitive market, how a company brings its products or services to market is as important as what that company is selling.
Even the best products rarely sell themselves.Anaplan
Knowing this, the best sales leaders work to innovate not only the products they sell, but the ways they sell them.
But to do so effectively, you need to be successfully managing sales performance.
Here are 5 top tips to crack the sales performance code…
1. Strategy Transparency
A strong, flexible sales strategy is key for taking over the market. Equally key is making sure that strategy stays transparent to your team.
Communicate often, explaining why your organisation is operating the way it is, and what it hopes to accomplish by doing so.
Doing this keeps your invaluable sales people in the loop, so that when strategies shift, their input is accounted for showcasing your trust in them.
Managing sales performance should start at the top of the company and filter through every level.
By gathering your team and formulating a clear, collective strategy; you make it easier to stick to your goals and ensure everyone is pulling in the same direction.
2. Ample Analytics
This might seem controversial, but managing sales performance is not exclusively the remit of the manager.
Even more beneficial is when salespeople can check in at any time to see where they stand relative to their KPIs.
At many companies, it takes weeks or months for salespeople to know how they’re doing.
Figuring out how many and what kind of deals they’ll need to meet their quotas is even more complicated.
Luckily, modern technology can automatically show salespeople, in real time, how they’re progressing. This real time data ensures adjustments can be made sooner rather than later, avoiding panic as individuals only realise their relative progression to target when it’s too late to act.
Managing sales performance via analytics can incorporate information about how likely an opportunity is to close, how similar deals have gone before, the salesperson’s experience with that company and which prospects need immediate attention.
With the right strategy and structure in place, you can measure information such as critical behaviours, activities, skills, and outcomes, and analyse the data to identify which factors have the greatest impact on performance.
3. Cast A Wide Net
Sales leaders were once the be all and end all; they made the decisions, and the business lived or died with them.
Today, forward-thinking organisations know that the more they can gather input from the people around them, across the company hierarchy, the more effective their decisions are.
How effective is the current workflow? What would a shift to a new approach look like? Where are our potential customers experiencing trouble with our current processes?
Ask people up and down the chain for the expert insight into the day to day reality of the sales function.
The best managers subject their ideas to criticism, doing so only strengthens them.
4. Utilise Technology
Armed with insight into individual performance, managers can provide better coaching and management.
If you have a formal sales process in place, technology makes it easy for leaders to see which stage each rep needs support in and provide the necessary coaching and skills training.
Additionally, managers can implement more effective development practices that focus on critical success factors rather than making the same old mistakes.
Today, the best sales leaders are those who can quickly analyse lots of data, automate functions, and use modelling to optimise their sales strategy.
The only way to do this is to employ technology that connects the varied components of a sales process and offers real-time insights.
5. Review & Enhance
Managing sales performance isn’t a one off activity. It isn’t a fixed entity, remaining static as the world changes around it.
It should be fluid, with capacity to be rearranged quickly to take advantage of new opportunities.
To successfully mange sales performance, leaders need to regularly assess what about their approach is working and what isn’t, and then modify accordingly.
Gathering widespread data is critical.
Are there specific products, stores, or territories that aren’t performing well? Are there new competitors in the game?
Only through reflection can you aim for progression, and ultimately, perfection.
With this insight, you can optimise your workflows to improve processes and methodologies across the business. Not only does this enhance your sales performance, but your customer experience as more people see the best version of you.
Intrigued to learn more? Check out our Insights Hub to keep your business at the cutting edge.
August 5th, 2021-