October 25, 2016

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Your sales team has had its ups and downs, but lately…your salespeople’s performance is slipping. They are not as consistent as they used to be.

And as a sales manager, you might be scratching your head and wondering:

“Is my team growing complacent?”

“Are they losing their competitive edge?”

Whatever the case is, you want to lead your team to success, ensure that they feel motivated and you want them to reach their goals.

But how can you do that when your team is struggling with closing sales?

Well, as we have mentioned before, when a member of your sales team loses or fails to close a deal, it is generally a symptom of a larger problem.

Luckily, when problems like these occur, sometimes they can be solved by simply fine-tuning a few of your overall sales strategies.

With that in mind, we will go over some of the issues your team may be facing and how you can help turn it all around.

But before you can lead your team to success and help them improve their sales performance, you will need to figure out…

 

What motivates your sales team?

It is first important to remember that each salesperson has his/her own motivations that give her the Drive to sell and perform well.

In general, these motivations can be broken down into six common factors including:

  • Money
  • Opportunity
  • Teamwork
  • Independence
  • Visibility
  • Excellence

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Money

Money is a vital incentive for sales reps to work hard and sell more because money (and what money can buy) is highly valuable to most salespeople.

 

Opportunity

Whether it is the opportunity to advance in their career or status in life, opportunity is an important motivational factor that varies from salesperson to salesperson.

 

Teamwork

Not every member of your sales team may be a lone wolf. In fact, some of them may thrive better when there is a good support system and they have the ability to collaborate with others on sales objectives.

 

Independence

On the opposite side of the spectrum, however, there are lone wolves. They may be motivated by the desire to succeed without any help and have an increased feeling of independence, control, and an overall sense of empowerment from doing things on their own.

 

Visibility

Some salespeople are highly motivated by the need for approval or to be noticed. They may feel more valued if they are prized by their peers and managers and when they are recognized for their sales accomplishments.

 

Excellence

In the end, members of your sales team may be driven by the need to challenge themselves, and the desire to go above and beyond to succeed. Sales reps motivated by excellence tend to set lofty goals and work hard to achieve, if not surpass, those goals.

Now that you know some of the common factors that drive your sales team, you are ready to uncover why they are failing to close deals.

Yes, it is true that there are “off” days in the world of sales, but if it is a constant problem, then there may be more to it than a simple rough patch.

 

Why Your Sales Team May Be Unable to Sell Effectively

1. Lack of Personalization

Whether you are selling products or services, your prospects/customers may have widely different reasons for why they want or need to make a purchase.

If your sales team only employs one (or a few) specific sales pitch/tactic, their reach will only extend so far when trying to close a deal.

Why is that?

Because while your current tactics may be working for some prospects, other prospects may need a bit of nurturing in order to nudge them further along in the sales cycle.

That is why it is so important to focus on personalization.

By researching their leads more thoroughly and improving the personalization in their pitches, your sales team can appeal to the specific needs of a prospect.

Simply throwing the same pitch at multiple leads and hoping one of them will stick is a tactic that can lead to poor results.

Aside from learning lead names and job positions, make sure your team tries to find out about past achievements, new or upcoming projects and anything else that will help them get to know a customer even better.

 

2. No Organization

When your team is disorganized, they may have difficulties closing deals and improving your overall business.

And with poor organization skills, it becomes even more challenging to:

  • Follow up with prospects
  • Identify new sales opportunities
  • Quickly close time-sensitive deals

Make sure your reps stay on track with lead research and make sure they follow up with any new contacts.

They will need to do this consistently in order to establish a connection with your prospects.

When your sales team prioritizes organization, they can develop a clear sales strategy as well as a rapport with your customers—factors that will make closing sales that much simpler.

 

3. Poor Work Ethic

sales-person-bad-work-ethic

It is often said that, “Successful people do the things that unsuccessful people don’t like to do.”

And this mentality is especially important in the sales world.

Why is that?

Because sometimes the reason for a missed sale can boil down to poor work ethic.

Whether it is the lack of a desire to research and follow up with leads, or a simple unwillingness to go the extra mile for a customer, a sales rep’s poor work ethic will usually lead to lost sales.

A poor work ethic can also hamper your sales reps’ ability to act in a timely manner, which is highly important for closing deals.

In fact, research shows that 35-50% of sales usually go to the vendor that responds first.

So if you want to help your reps improve, try to find out what motivates them and challenge them to achieve their vision of success. Provide additional incentives or encouragement, if necessary.

When they are fully engaged in their job, they will be more willing to put in the hard work that is required to confidently and effectively close their deals.

 

Conclusion

Maybe your sales team is experiencing a downturn, but that does not mean that things can not improve.

By analyzing your sales team’s motivations, you can learn what really drives them to succeed.

With that critical information, you can learn a great deal as to why your team is struggling and what you can do as a sales manager to help them out.

Once you understand what makes your team tick, you can then identify and hopefully fix the common problems that lead to lost sales.

From there, you can inspire them to achieve their own goals and give them the tools to close more deals.