If there’s any field that requires constant productivity, it’s sales. Few fields have the same demands and pressures for constantly hitting numbers, whether those are weekly outreach goals or annual sales quotas. For sales reps who are always on the go, it takes focus and a strategic plan to consistently deliver at the right level.
What steps can sales leaders take to keep their teams motivated and producing? Here are five tips.
1. Focus on Training
Building a productive sales team starts right after you hire (and arguably, when you hire). Onboarding your sales team members in the right way is one of the most important steps that you can take to ensure sales reps are productive. Do they understand their goals, why their targets are set where they are, and what technology and support are available to reach them? It’s also useful for managers to spend time understanding what motivates individual sales reps to personalize their performance plans.
2. Look for Automation Opportunities
Sales automation tools have never been better. Are there automation opportunities that you’re missing? Take a closer look at how automation technologies can free up your key sales reps to help them focus on higher value activities. Smart choices include customer relationship management (CRM) software, research tools, presentation software and other tools that can help speed up the more routine parts of their job. Instead of tackling administrative tasks, your sales reps can focus managing people and making the close.
3. Use Tiered Targets
In a piece for the Harvard Business Review, the authors highlighted the effectiveness of a tiered target system to help motivate performance. Create three levels of sales goals. The first is what the average salesperson historically attains. The second is the “highest level” that the average salesperson might attain in a good month. Finally, the third is a level that only the company’s elite performers have attained. With this structure in place, managers were able to tap into inherent competitive dynamics and aspirations of their team to help them move forward.
4. Have Strategies for Your Top Sales Performers
Top sales performers can often drive a disproportionate amount of your company’s business. This type of sales rep takes an unusual performance plan to motivate continued growth and performance. One strategy is to consider lifting the commission caps; basically, create a system where sales performers can be rewarded to the outer limits of their potential. It benefits both the company and the sales rep.
5. Continuously Move the Needle Forward
It’s important that the sales performance curve continues to rise. Year over year, companies need to set more audacious goals. If performance expectations don’t continuously rise, sales reps won’t continue to strive and evolve. By continuously moving the needle forward on what you expect, you’re strategically setting the course that will help sales reps in your team to adjust their performance expectations.
In tomorrow’s Advisor, we’ll explore how the “sales sprint” technique can help individual sales reps and managers get more important work done through short, focused work periods.