6 effective ways to improve sales performance

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What do you need to improve sales performance in your organization? Increasing the effectiveness of your sales team can help you exponentially grow your revenue and increase profitability.

In a 2021 Gartner survey of 725 B2B buyers, 72% of customers preferred to complete their purchase without speaking to a sales rep at any point. This preference appears to be due to a perceived lack of seller relevance in achieving buyers’ objectives.

In a world where customers are seeking out their own purchase information online and avoiding interactions with sales reps, what can you do to increase the effectiveness of your sales team?

Bring in the right tools, support, and data to amplify your sales performance.

 

What is sales performance?

Sales performance measures the effectiveness and overall success of your sales team. Sales leaders can measure and manage sales performance by overseeing the work of sales reps within a specific period of time and then comparing that work with the team’s quotas and goals.

Sales performance can be affected by factors such as:

 

  • Sales enablement efforts like content management and sales training
  • Cross-functional alignment in your organization
  • The amount of sales coaching your sales reps regularly receive
  • Your company culture
  • Your customer experience
  • Tracking and measuring the effectiveness of sales interactions

 

Simply put: You can improve sales performance by ensuring sales reps have everything they need to do their jobs effectively.

Consistency is also critical to sales performance. Any sales team can have one good month of sales – but high-performing sales teams meet or exceed quotas for extended periods, weathering different economic and environmental circumstances.

 

How to evaluate sales performance

There are a variety of ways to measure sales performance. The metrics you choose to track will depend on your industry, your sales quotas, and your business goals.

A modern sales performance management solution empowers sales teams with actionable data. The ability to create multiple sales metrics dashboards to suit your sales teams’ needs leads to greater visibility and insights beyond individual performance tracking.

We’ve listed a few of the most common sales performance metrics here, but your organization will need to identify the most important key performance indicators (KPIs) for your team. Keep it simple, especially when you’re just starting to measure sales performance, and stay focused on the numbers that truly matter.

 

Number of sales

The number of sales, also known as the sales volume, is the measurement of the sales an individual sales rep (or your overall sales team) completed in a specific time period.

 

Lead response time

Lead response time is the time it takes for a sales rep to follow up with a prospect once they have contacted your business. Contact could be a phone call, an email, or a social media request, or the customer could fill out a form on your website.

 

Opportunity win rate

Opportunity win rate is the number of opportunities your sales reps won, versus the total number of opportunities created. Calculate your opportunity win rate by dividing the number of closed deals for a specific period by the total number of opportunities you created during that period.

 

Average deal size

Average deal size is the average amount of money customers spend on your product or solution. To calculate your average deal size, divide the total amount of revenue you brought in for a specific period, and divide by the number of deals you closed during that time.

 

Sales activity metrics

Sales activity metrics show what your sales reps are accomplishing on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. These activities are the leading indicators of sales, and your sales rep has a direct influence on these numbers.

Activity metrics can include the number of:

 

  • Phone calls
  • Outgoing emails
  • Social media interactions
  • Customer conversations
  • Scheduled meetings
  • Demos or sales presentations
  • Proposals sent
  • Referral requests

6 Ways to increase sales performance

Now that you know what sales performance is, why it matters, and how to measure the success of your sales team, let’s take a look at the best ways to improve your selling performance.

 

1. Invest in sales enablement

Sales enablement means providing your sales team with the content, coaching and analytics to target buyers, sell more effectively, and close more deals: 

Recent surveys from Gartner indicate that today’s B2B buyers only spend 17% of their time meeting with potential suppliers when considering a purchase, compared to 27% of time doing their own online research.

With so many customers looking for high-quality content during their buying journey, you need to supply the information that delivers value and makes it easy for your sales reps to sell. Your sales enablement content can include things like:

 

  • Ebooks
  • Blog posts
  • Demo messaging
  • White papers
  • Best practices
  • Webinars
  • Competitive battle cards
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Pricing breakdowns
  • Email or call scripts

 

Upgrading your sales playbook can also help you scale your organization and provide your sales reps with the information they need, when they need it.

 

2. Update your sales strategy

Gartner says 80% of B2B sales interactions will occur via digital channels by 2025. Has your sales team adopted a digital-first approach to meet customers’ latest buying preferences?

Only 23% of B2B reps believe they are as effective in virtual sales as they are in a live setting, and 93% of salespeople reported experiencing significant challenges with remote selling.

Changing digital preferences is just one example of how customer needs are changing, and your sales organization must adapt to survive and thrive. Revisit your sales strategy quarterly and adjust as needed so you always stay relevant.

 

3. Make decisions backed by data

Hunches won’t cut it – today’s sales organizations must make decisions based on real data. With sales analytics from a robust sales enablement platform, you’ll have a deeper insight into buyer and seller behavior, learning exactly what works throughout the sales process.

For example:

 

  • What drives engagement?
  • What actions by your sales team lead to more conversions?
  • Where can coaching and training make a difference in the performance of your team?

Using metrics can help you effectively forecast revenue and optimize your sales performance.

For many sales teams, it’s difficult to know whether you’re tracking the right metrics. When you’re drowning in data, it’s hard to see what’s valuable and what’s not, or make smart data-backed decisions.

If you’re new to data-driven sales management, start with a small number of the most important sales performance metrics, then expand your dashboard once you're comfortable spotting opportunities for growth.

 

4. Develop a strong coaching culture

According to Gartner’s research, only 40% of sellers say they work within a well-established coaching culture at their organization. Only 42% of sales reps say managers are held accountable for providing good sales coaching.

A comprehensive sales coaching program is critical for improving sales performance. By mentoring your sales representative using personal, one-on-one relationships with qualified peers or managers, you can help them evaluate their own performance, explore the areas where they need to improve, and feel a greater sense of engagement and agency in their role.

To develop a successful sales coaching program, break down key initiatives into smaller objectives, then assign actions to reps and sales managers and keep them accountable. Learn more about sales coaching in our blog post, 5 Top Sales Coaching Techniques for Your Business.

 

5. Harness every channel to provide an exceptional customer experience

A recent survey by McKinsey & Company found that 94% of B2B decision-makers say omni-channel sales models are as effective or more effective than pre-pandemic strategies.

With customer expectations at an all-time high, sales organizations must deliver a seamless experience across all channels, so they demonstrate ongoing value and create trust.

Ensure that your sales organization delivers a consistent experience for prospects and customers across all sales channels, including your online platform, social media, and physical locations.

 

6. Make customization easy

Customers expect content relevant to their needs, but personalization is frequently a cumbersome process for sales organizations.

Focus on preparing a few foundational pieces of content – like an ebook or a customer deck – then find ways to personalize that content in small ways for different audience personas and industries. You can also add templated emails, social content, and other assets into your sales enablement solution to make the personalization process quicker and easier.

Sales reps can also customize content within your sales enablement platform by rearranging text and images, adding data from your CRM, and introducing key talking points that address specific customer needs. 

 

Improve sales performance with Pitcher

Pitcher’s sales enablement solution gives your sales team the tools and insights they need to improve performance by providing an all-in-one application that’s seamlessly integrated into your CRM.

No more switching between applications – your field teams can start a conversation face-to-face or remotely using the same application. By delivering valuable content at the right time to the right customer, you empower your field teams to engage and provide your marketing teams with the insights needed to optimize sales content and close the feedback loop.

Pitcher’s omni-channel platform helps you deliver seamless experiences across all channels by connecting sales planning, marketing, and execution into a single solution. Real-time analytics give you the foundation for making data-driven decisions and easily coaching your sales team so that you can improve sales performance at every level. 


Book your demo today to see Pitcher in action to find out how a smarter sales enablement platform can help your sales reps succeed..

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