7 Tips to Improve Sales Productivity
The backbone to any successful company starts at the base with its salespeople.
Hiring the right people for the job is a huge part of ensuring the sales team is doing its best, but there is more to it than that.
It is really about the communication between management and team members, as well as the upkeep of the team’s mentality that really helps your sales team flourish.
By actively working on a holistic approach to management, your sales team’s performance is sure to really take off.
So, how do you maximize the potential of each person on your sales team individually and as part of a group? Here are some tips on how to get the most out of your salespeople and keep your company happy and healthy.
The Importance of Sales, the Value of Leadership
Successful sales reps are arguably the most important part of a company. Strategic hiring, however, isn’t all it takes to have a productive team. Working with a top recruiter can do a lot of good for a business, but without effective leadership, an employee’s abilities will only go so far.
Whether it’s encouraging productivity, incorporating effective training, or setting and assessing sales goals and performance, situations will arise when your enterprise relies on its strong leaders.
While employees with a flair for sales will flourish on a sales team, they cannot be hired and then ignored. People work best and give it their all with the proper motivation.
It stands to reason that by working closely with your salespeople, motivating them appropriately, and initiating these following tactics, you will see a substantial increase in the performance and productivity of your sales team.
How to Start Improving Your Sales Team’s Productivity
As much as we wish it were possible, honing your sales team’s productivity won’t happen overnight. There are two integral phases that should be followed to see the largest improvements to your sales team’s performance and, accordingly, an increase in your profits.
The first step to improving sales and realizing your goals includes getting to know your team and working through basic issues to clear the way for success.
Target Your Training
This may seem obvious, but it is often forgotten beyond the initial post-hire on-boarding phase. Sales training that specifically relates to your company/industry is one of the most supportive actions you can offer your sales reps to maintain and improve their productivity.
Someone may have years of experience in sales, but that does not mean he or she has experience in your type of sales. No matter the experience-level of each team member, be sure to engage him or her in the proper training program immediately.
With a more seasoned team, it is best to evaluate all of the sales reps and figure out exactly where they are and how they are helping the company. Do this by setting clear goals for each team member, outlining where each individual should progress to by a certain time.
This invaluable progress-tracking tool can help managers assess their sales situation. At the same time, a high pressure situation could help motivate those who seem to be under-performing.
Once you have begun to understand the sales team a little better by evaluating progress, work with the team to do away with any negativity that has possibly surfaced over time.
You can start to remove the negativity in your office with some of the following actions:
- Evaluating company culture
- Setting realistic incentives and goals
- Communicate with your team
- Maintain a presence of leadership
- Establish an environment that encourages positivity and a sense of community
Sales positions tend to be high-stress and high-risk, both of which provide ample breeding ground for hurt feelings or anger. Without the proper working environment, sales reps may become apathetic about their work or even resentful toward management.
Assess the Strengths and Weaknesses of Individual Sales Reps
As you are well aware, there are a number of facets involved in completing a sale, including the initial outreach and nurturing phase to the actual sale, as well as any additional post-sale support that the client may reach out for.
Not every sales person is going to be a wiz in each phase of the sales process. Implement a sales personality test to start assessing the specific strengths of each individual team member.
You may find that when you pair strong “hunters,” or closers, with team members that are better at lead generation and nurturing, or “farmers,” your sales team operates more efficiently and closes more sales.
With these first four tips for maximizing your sales performance, you and your team will be well prepared to start working together to increase productivity and income.
Where to Go After Laying the New Foundation
After the first part of the process has been completed, all of the sales reps should be well-trained, aware of their goals and working in a positive environment. You have now set up the sales team to move forward into maximizing performance.
5. Change Incentives
In an attempt to be fair, many sales managers make the mistake of giving each employee the same commission or bonus package.This can actually make it difficult for those with smaller sales areas or who have been with the company a long time to make as much as others.
In turn, feelings of resentment may arise when it comes time for bonus pay to be handed out. It can be helpful to create incentive packages that are tailored to each sales rep.
This way, you promote the idea that everyone can have the same chance to do well and make money.
6. Incentivize Certain Sales
As you know, different kinds of sales bring different benefits to the company. A new sale is often more rewarding than a sale to a consistent customer because an incoming customer will help grow the business by increasing income, while the loyal customer is simply helping to maintain the sales level.
By making it rewarding for the sales team to actively search out new clients, rather than sticking to the same key players, you will encourage them to earn more by increasing company growth and revenue.
7. Provide the Proper Tools
A great way to give all sales reps the best chance to succeed is to ensure they have the proper equipment to get the job done well and efficiently.
Keep up with the top tools in your industry, and survey your sales team from time-to-time to see which tools they feel would be the most helpful in completing their sales.
Their answers may surprise you – sometimes access to market and client information or additional sales training may be the key to achieving the next sales phase. Sometimes, the simplest of provisions can be the most helpful.
Solidify Your Sales with The Production Builder©
At SalesDrive, we understand you need to make sure your salespeople are doing the best they can, every time they go out. High-Drive people make the best sales reps, but sometimes even they need a little help to reach their full potential.
The Production Builder© can assess your current sales reps and help you identify their strengths and weaknesses, so that you can be confident they are given the right roles and resources to help them succeed in sales.