Being the leader of any sales team is quite a challenging job, to say the least. You constantly find yourself under pressure to perform, to meet deadlines and Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s), while also managing the roles and tasks of your team members and making sure that they stay motivated and efficient. As determined by HubSpot, 67 percent of sales professionals miss their quota, while at the same time more than half of all sales specialists close at less than 40 percent of their potential deals. This spells an appalling amount of missed business opportunities, which is something that weighs heavily on the minds of all sales leaders out there.
There is certainly a multitude of factors that can undermine the performance of your sales team. However, as outlined by SalesDrive, the following are the most commonplace reasons for a lack of results:
- Your employees lack certain skills and expertise.
- They do not have sufficient brand (or product) awareness and/or do not believe in your brand (or product).
- They need training, mentoring and/or guidance.
- Employees are insufficiently motivated by the job and its benefits.
- They do not have all the tools necessary to perform their daily activities.
Now, please keep in mind that no one starts off with immediate success, and it is perfectly normal to be struggling with some of the issues outlined above. However, as is the case with any challenge, there are certain tried-and-true ways to lighten the burden and ensure a progression forward. According to the Jooble Sales Team Lead, there are at least 5 actions that you can take right now, to make your sales team perform better in the long run:
- Draw up realistic sales quotas and offer substantial rewards. The best way to keep your team highly motivated, is to make them feel that they are truly a part of the business, that they are not only getting a fair share of the risks and responsibilities, but of the benefits as well. This can be done by setting up achievable targets and deadlines, and then making absolutely sure that the salespeople who meet these quotas are rewarded properly and in a timely manner.
- Train, train, train. Whether you realize it or not, your team members are in a constant need of training and guidance. This applies to seasoned workers as much as to new employees. You need to create a comprehensive training plan for the whole year and stick to it religiously. Your training efforts must be diverse and multi-faceted: onboarding for new employees, specialized courses, self-development exercises, teambuilding activities, one-on-one coaching and employee pairing for mentoring. The moment you stop training your team, it starts decreasing in performance.
- Create a Sales Playbook. A sales playbook is basically a set of well-defined algorithms, based on the best sales practices identified by your company over the years. It describes all possible communication scenarios and tells your team members what to do and what to say in each of them. Your salespeople will use the playbook as basis for their interaction with potential (and existing) customers. Perhaps unsurprisingly, companies that have a well-defined sales process perform better by 35 percent on average, in any sales context.
- Integrate Sales and Marketing. One common mistake that companies make, is to have these two departments, which are actually two sides of the same coin, perform separately. Studies show that by intertwining sales and marketing efforts and merging them as closely as possible, your business can increase its revenue by as much as 25 percent. Have them work hand-in-hand whenever possible.
Embrace technology. Implementing new technology is by far the cheapest and fastest way to improve performance and productivity. Modern technology will definitely help you automate and optimize time-consuming processes, keep track of Customer Relationship Management, enable team players to multi-task, organize the workflow and document flow of your team, efficiently track tasks, targets and deadlines, better communicate with customers, analyse statistical data to make well-educated decisions, and much more. These days, the most successful companies on any market, are precisely the ones that have implemented all the latest technology to enhance their sales and marketing efforts.