Are there ways to improve your sales team's performance even if you’ve already tried everything? Check out this list of sixteen areas of improvement you can look into so that you can optimize your sales initiatives and get the most out of them.
YES! I have good news for you because there’s always a way to improve your sales team’s performance—regardless of how well they’re doing (or not). No matter the industry. No matter the situation. There’s always room for growth.
We know because we’ve experienced this firsthand (many times before).
That’s the aim of this article: to give you access to the lessons we’ve learned.
Here at The Sales Connection, we’ve worked with different sales teams in different industries. We’ve worked with different sizes, situations, and team dynamics. We have worked with those at the top of their game looking to improve that all-important 1%.
We’ve also worked with struggling teams that can’t break through the glass ceiling.
Each situation differs, yet each one has certain aspects in common.
In this article, we share 16 ways to improve your sales team performance—whatever the circumstance!
Now is the time to grab your notebook. Don’t just read these tips. Critically think about them! Take note of the most relevant ones. Take action! There’s no miracle cure here. This is a guide to help you improve your sales team performance so you can finally level up!
This may sound obvious, but much of your success comes down to your talent. There’s a difference between a high-performance sales professional and one that struggles to meet their targets.
However… there’s a common misconception people struggle with. Because it’s not just about talent, but rather how good of a fit someone is in YOUR sales team. Do they align with your culture? Do they stride toward your vision? Do they share the same values? Do they compliment other people (and their skills, personality, etc…) on your team?
Another key component of your sales team’s success comes down to your structure. What does your hierarchy look like? How do you communicate from the top to the bottom (and from the bottom to the top)? How does your team collaborate and work with one another?
Different businesses need different sales structures. Identifying these can be hard, which is why many of our clients come to us. They’re unsure where to look and where to begin. This is fine. Nobody expects you to have all the answers. What matters is you start asking the right questions!
It always comes down to your systems and processes. When you have a small team, you can get away with winging it—although even then it isn’t ideal. Yet as soon as you scale, everything falls apart unless you have solid systems in place.
If you want to improve your sales team performance, look here. Analyze your existing systems and processes. Identify gaps. Fix these! Optimize what you have and build new ones.
Another key element is the strategy your sales team works toward. A talented salesperson is only as good as the strategy they’re part of. Sure, you can rely on your salespeople to do all the work. But is this how you expect success to arrive? Of course not!!
Success follows strategy. Build one for your sales team and keep them on the same page.
Following on from above… you can only get your sales team on the same page (and keep them on it) if you’re organized. Much of this comes back to systems, processes, and SOPs. Set your people up for success. Give them the tools they need to not only perform but also stay on top.
The same applies to you. Set yourself up for success. Get organized. Become a productive machine!
When it comes to building a high-performance sales team, you have to set clear yet challenging goals. For the team as a whole, sure, but also for each individual. Every person differs in this regard.
They’re motivated in different ways.
You have to not only acknowledge this but embrace it!
Challenge your people. Have a clear vision, but also work with each person individually. Tailor goals around who they are and what they’re capable of. Challenge them. Always challenge them!!
If there’s one thing we see again and again it’s a lack of training and resources for salespeople. It’s one of the drivers behind us writing articles like this. We want to help salespeople grow and evolve. Yet few too businesses seem to care about this.
Want to stand out from the crowd? Take training seriously!
It not only helps improve your sales team performance but gets your people onboard. They want to get better. They want to feel valued. Training is an unfair advantage most businesses seem to forget about!
Moving away from your sales team, it’s important to keep your customers in mind (at all times!!).
One of the best ways to improve your sales team performance is to step into your customers’ shoes. What do they experience? What would they like to experience? What do they need help with the most?
It’s not just about solving their problem but creating memorable moments. Make their experience with you one to treasure. Doing so is a surefire way to improve your sales team performance.
We live in a world driven by data. It’s everywhere. You likely have lots of it available to you at a touch of a fingertip. The question is… do you use it? Do you listen to it? Do you base your decisions on it?
The honest answer for many is NO. They track data and tick boxes but overlook it. This is a terrible idea. Data matters. It’s often the secret ingredient between a good and great sales team.
When we work with a new client, we ask the question: is this sales team set up for success?
Too often the answer is no. We may see a talented sales team, yet it’s one set up to fail. Sometimes it’s down to mismanagement. Other times a lack of systems, processes, or resources. The exact reason differs each time. But the point is simple: you get to choose how you set your team up…
Success or failure? Empower them or stifle them…
Again, focusing on your team as a whole matters. Yet it’s important to remember your team’s built-up of individuals. Each person differs. They have different personalities, styles, motivations, goals, desires, dreams, and much more.
Never forget this. Always appreciate how each person’s unique. Embrace this fact. Set them personal goals. Give them specific training. Give them the individual attention they deserve. Once you stop treating everyone the same, you may find you improve your sales team performance overnight.
This follows on from the last point because you cannot do this once in a while. An annual review means nothing. This is a constant commitment. You need to meet with your team—both individually and as a group—on a regular basis.
Speak to them. Guide them. Ask for their feedback. Make sure they’re on the same page.
The downside of the last few tips is that it *can* lead you to micromanage your people. Don’t do this. Observe, keep them accountable, and communicate at all times… but DO NOT stifle their talent.
Let them do their job. Again, each person has a unique style. If they’re the “right” person for your team, trust them. Empower them to succeed and let them work their genius.
A common issue we see when we work with our clients is they allow a once-great sales team to grow stale. Complacent is a killer. Not just in a sales team, but in most areas of life.
There’s no such thing as a perfect anything. Your sales team is no different. You have to keep growing, improving, and moving forward. As a leader, this rests on your shoulders. Keep people motivated. Challenge them. Do everything you can to kick complacent to the curb.
Following on from above… you have to build accountability into your culture. It’s important to hold yourself accountable, but also everyone else on your team.
Build a culture where they hold themselves accountable.
Build a culture where they hold one another accountable!
Accountability is a great way to improve your sales team’s performance.
Culture… a word we’ve used a few times in this article. It plays such an important role in improving your sales team performance—as we discuss in detail here: How To Build a Sales Culture.
It’s something we encourage you to study in full. In fact, there are a few other resources you should look at if you want to find more ways to improve your sales team performance:
Although we’ve shared 16 ways to improve your sales team performance, they’re by no means the only ones to consider. There are more. Although these are the ones that stand out to us after working with dozens of clients of all types and sizes.
The point is, there’s no such thing as a perfect sales team.
There’s always room for improvement. That’s your job… to improve!!
Easier said than done when you have all the responsibilities you do. You don’t have the time. You don’t have the answers. But after reading this, you now know the questions to ask. You also know some of the next steps you need to take—whether it involves you doing the work or hiring an agency like us…
This is where we come in, so your next step is to explore this page and Apply To Partner with US — we’d love to speak with you and learn about your business so we can give you the exact next steps you need.
Kayvon has over two decades of experience working with high-level closers and perfecting his sales methodologies. He has earned the title of Canada’s #1 pharmaceutical sales representative and continues to share his expertise as a keynote speaker and through his multi-million-dollar coaching program.
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