Your sales team is crucial in driving revenue. When they are not meeting quota, one might easily think that the team is being lazy or that they are not trying hard enough. But if you carefully examine the situation, the reason for their poor performance might be because your team was not given the resources to optimize their sales efficiency.
Not to be confused with sales effectiveness, sales efficiency refers to how fast your sales team operates. It measures the speed at which you convert users into leads or sales while generating the maximum return on your investment. Simply put, sales efficiency is your team’s generated revenue relative to the cost.
Sales effectiveness, on the other hand, is the capability of the sales team to convert prospects into leads and into paying customers, at each stage of the sales funnel. An effective sales process means that there will be more wins than losses in every step of the way.
Your business would be wasting and losing time, money and resources if your sales team is inefficient. An inefficient sales process indicates that all the resources you are investing in your sales efforts are, at best, not maximized and not contributing to your growth, at worst. By optimizing your sales efficiency, you are ensuring that your business is right on track towards success.
If your team is struggling with sales efficiency, you need to make the right calls and implement the best sales strategy to maximize your team’s performance.
Here are some proven sales techniques to give your team a much-needed boost:
Monitoring sales tasks lets you assess where you can improve. If you notice that your team spends most of the day doing tasks manually, you need to provide resources that streamline sales processes. For one, having them use a high-quality CRM application streamlines their tasks, while also keeping track of sales activity, sales pipeline performance, and revenue goals. There is a lot of reliable salesforce CRM you can get for free in the market nowadays. However, paid CRM tools often offer more functions and more precise sales analysis. You can also outsource some operations, such as outsourcing a call center for outbound sales. By using the right resources to streamline sales tasks, you free up more time for your team to focus on achieving their goals.
Compel your staff to constantly do their best by broadcasting their performance all the time and in real-time. No one would want their names to be seen at the bottom of the leaderboards, especially by other people. You do not need to broadcast to a large audience, as everyone in your workplace would be sufficient. Put your team’s activity data on screens all over the office, including TVs, desktop dashboards, and mobile phones.
Accountability drives results. Setting goals for your sales team serves as motivation, making it an easy and simple way to increase productivity. Goals give your team a sense of direction and make them carry out a plan of action to hit their targets. Hitting daily targets will also give the team a sense of fulfillment every day.
When creating a plan of action on how to reach sales targets, you can follow the SMART guidelines. You do not need to prioritize increasing sales when planning out your goals. Instead, keep in mind that the focus of the daily goals is to improve the efficiency of your sales team.
Setting goals and expectations for your team is not enough to improve sales performance. You also need to follow-up on their activity. There are many ways to do this, like scheduling weekly one-on-one meetings, team meetings, or leaderboards. When you let them know that you recognize their effort (or lack thereof) on a regular basis, you are making your reps more likely to continue achieving. Review the activity numbers of everyone in your team. During your weekly meeting, walk through the numbers of each individual and ask them to share their plans for the week.
Hire people who are naturally productive, and set them up for success through an effective training and coaching program. The program has to thoroughly explain your sales process and expectations for their performance, detailing what they need to do to succeed and how it should be done.
Keep your team up-to-date with the latest sales trends and techniques by prioritizing ongoing sales coaching. Everyone has to be trained on new or changing information, especially regarding buyer personas, selling space and products. This will strengthen your sales force and enable the team to develop professionally.
Run weekly or monthly activity contests or offer incentives to those who go above and beyond their targets. However, keep in mind that you cannot blindly offer up a prize and expect the team to work for it. While small prizes are enough to motivate some salespeople, not everyone would want to work for a standard giveaway. Communicate with your team on what prize they want and keep the prize as flexible or versatile as possible.
Telling your team that they need to do more is not enough to improve their performance in the long run. Usually, this tactic is only effective in short bursts. Share best practices for different sales processes. Aside from exposing them to the skills necessary to achieve results, this is also a way to invest in the professional growth of your sales team. They would feel that the company is helping them develop, increasing their motivation to help the company succeed.
Each person in your team has their own strengths, weaknesses, experiences, aspirations, and circumstances. Take the time to get to know each person, and walk through their motivations together. Find the goal that is so important to them that they would be ashamed if they do not achieve it. Help your team align their personal sales and life goals, and make sure to set daily targets that would help them towards their goals.
Many salespeople who are unable to prospect or close sales think that they cannot or are not comfortable doing it. They might be afraid of failure or rejection, as well. To have them push through, you will need to coach them. Effective sales coaching takes some effort to develop. You need to identify what type of sales rep they are to find out how you can help them. Someone who focuses on building relationships, for example, may have to be reminded that prospects need what they are selling, and closing helps enrich their prospect’s life. You are coaching your staff to help fix their problems, and not just their deals.
Never assume that the workflow you started with is still optimal today. As you immerse with your team and go through improvements in your sales processes together, you will likely notice things that take up too much time, processes that can be simplified, or cumbersome steps that can be eliminated. Evaluate your sales workflow periodically, and eliminate certain steps if necessary. You may also need to update your qualifications or definitions. This process does not only saves time but also increases employee satisfaction.
Poor communication between sales and marketing can create a disconnect between these teams, which the company’s revenue will inevitably reflect. By encouraging your sales and marketing staff to work together, you can boost the productivity and efficiency of both teams. The sales team knows the qualities that make leads valuable and effectively communicating this with marketing will enable the latter to create strategies that attract these types of leads. When your marketing team attracts better leads, your sales team will be able to close more deals.
Improve the efficiency of your sales team’s prospect-vetting process by asking good qualifying questions. Your first priority should be to disqualify unlikely prospects ASAP. Ask questions that are provocative. They should have your leads think through challenges and gather the information that helps you determine whether or not they would be a good fit. Of course, your questions should be appropriate for your relationship with the prospect. Based on the information your prospect provides, you need to diagnose their problem or challenge, and ultimately decide if you can have a mutually beneficial relationship.
Timeliness gives salespeople a significant competitive advantage. Encourage your sales team to address customer product inquiries immediately. As suggested by studies conducted by SalesWings and InsideSales.com, immediate action will drastically increase the chances of closing a deal by up to 50%.
While cold selling to new prospects is necessary, it is quite difficult compared to selling to customers who already know and enjoy your products. After all, your existing clients are more likely to close deals than new customers. Have your sales team take the time to reach out to existing clients, and talk to them about what they need — not on what your sales team is trying to sell. Occasionally check in with current customers to see how they are doing, and whether they would like to hear about updates on your other products and services. Not only are they more likely to close, but existing clients are also cheaper to retain and upsell.
Teach your team to be more vocal in asking for referrals from your existing customers. Salespeople tend to think that referral requests jeopardize existing customer relationships. However, asking for referrals can help your clients feel that they are trusted, respected partners, instead of customers you only talk to when you need to sell something. Have your sales team ask for referrals during their follow-up calls, and make sure that post-sale surveys include referral requests.
Even if a deal falls through, your team should not shy away from asking for referrals. A prospect who did not work out may know someone who needs your products or services. Keep in mind that the sales space is always crowded, and introducing your business with a familiar name goes a long way.
A lack of motivation among your team negatively affects their output. If your staff has low morale, they will not bring their A-game to the sales field. So, you need to encourage them by fostering a culture that effectively makes employees feel valued, and encourages them to work hard. Assess the overall company culture, and how your team conveys it. Make them feel closer to the company values by organizing get-togethers, such as lunches, parties and team building events. Celebrate victories and milestones with your team. You can also offer incentives as recognition for a job well done, and to show that you respect them. Investing in a blog also helps uphold and develop a healthy culture. Post useful articles that help the sales team face different challenges, and find work-life balance. If you cannot make time to write articles, you can hire a content writer, as well.
Keep in mind that the members of your sales team strive to be better, not only for financial gains but also for the fulfillment they feel from getting positive results from their efforts. Make an effort to understand their needs and provide adequate support, so you can boost their efficiency and productivity.
The sales team is what keeps your company afloat. By investing in their improvement, you are making sure that your company thrives and expands to reach your goals.