Outstanding sales teams lift entire organizations, putting formerly inconceivable goals within reach and making the previously impossible practical. Even sales teams that are staffed by experienced, talented people, though, can end up falling short of expectations.
There are proven ways, however, to improve the performance of just about any sales team without delay or undue expense. Four of these, in fact, can be applied to an impressive effect in just about any situation, and a brief look at them follows.
People who have never tried sales themselves sometimes consider it something of a dark art. It can easily seem that a particularly effective salesperson gets by largely on the strength of natural talent and other assets that cannot be imparted or acquired.
Nothing could be further from the truth in practice, as most experts agree. Companies like JMReid Group regularly show entire teams how to sell more effectively, and they often do it quite quickly, as well.
In fact, the performance of almost any sales team can be improved, regardless of how well or poorly it might currently be doing. Four of the tactics that most often make a noticeable, immediate difference are to:
Set better sales team’s performance targets.
The occasionally fuzzy-seeming nature of sales leaves many teams without very well-defined targets. When things are going well, that can seem appropriate, as star performers inspire others to close deals and succeed. Should any sort of improvement be desired, though, it will be helpful to have clear, well-defined targets of more detailed kinds in place. Any carefully considered sales process will include important intermediate steps that can be defined and prioritized. When sales teams find themselves thereby provided with more guidance, they become less likely to flounder and wander over time. Rethinking granular sales targets later on will allow them to become even more useful and reliable.
Get serious about timing.
Getting in touch at the most opportune time often proves to be the key to closing more sales. That is true of everything from scheduled presentations to quick messages dashed off at a moment’s notice. Emails end up actually being opened, for instance, much more frequently when they arrive at certain times of the day. Companies that are known to be working through an established product or service acquisition process need to be addressed as the current stage of development merits. Timing is not everything in the field of sales, but it is an important factor that often gets overlooked.
Measure and analyze more effectively.
More or less every sales team has metrics and KPIs, but they can almost always be improved upon. These should not necessarily correspond directly to the goals put before salespeople, because they serve entirely different purposes. While KPIs can be used to motivate and guide particular sales pros and entire teams, they also need to be useful for decision-makers. Carefully described goals lift sales teams up from within, while especially informative KPIs provide a performance-enhancing external perspective.
Bring leaders on board.
Executives sometimes view entire sales departments as black boxes or something similar. Many successful business leaders feel less comfortable about supporting sales efforts than they are with regard to other activities. Leaders should be made to understand that sales teams can benefit from their ideas and encouragement as much as anyone else. When higher-ups are determined to help improve sales performance, results tend to follow.
Simple tactics like these consistently prove effective at improving the performance of entire sales teams. Even when things seem to be going well, it can pay to make sure that such tools are being leveraged as fully as possible.
Troy is a freelance writer, author, and blogger who lives, works, and plays in Boise, Idaho with the love of his life and three very talented dogs.
Passionate about writing dark psychological thrillers, he is an avid cyclist, skier, hiker, all-around outdoorsman, and a terrible beginning golfer.