How to Close Sales Performance Gaps and Boost Revenue
Some sales reps thrive in sales roles and continually meet and even exceed the targets put forth by their managers. However, others don’t achieve the same results and experience sales performance gaps that aren’t sustainable for a business relying on adequate revenue.
Filling your business with natural talent is one way to boost revenue, but making sure your business model is established for anyone in a sales role to succeed can be much more effective. If you need a helping hand to ensure you and your team can thrive in your business, consider the following helpful advice.
Use Sales Tracking Technology
One of the most challenging parts of being a sales rep is keeping track of all your meetings, emails, and calls with potential and current clients. Using a sales tracking Excel template might be how you track everything from discussions in the pipeline to accounts you have worked on and the performance of all reps.
These features can be helpful for both sales reps and management teams to learn what each rep is doing and the expected outcomes of each. Excel templates are also straightforward to understand, simple to use, and easily integrable with all manner of data sets.
Create Sound Sales Processes
A lack of sales processes is one of the most common problems sales reps and management teams face that contribute to performance gaps and lost revenue. These can be dialogue you use to close a deal or a pitch you rely on to describe your products and services to a prospective new client.
Your sales process might even outline the steps you take once you have a customer’s attention and how to follow up at a later date. Without processes in place, many sales reps fall back on their own unique methods that may or may not work.
As a manager, having these prewritten processes and policies in place can ensure you can provide a consistent sales service to local businesses. All new sales team members who come on board will understand your requirements, and everyone will use the same techniques to achieve the revenue and results you desire.
Provide Adequate Training
It may not surprise you to learn that one of the many prevalent causes of performance gaps is related to inadequate training. You may understand your products and services inside and out, but that doesn’t mean your sales team has the necessary training to sell them convincingly and professionally.
You may be in a position to offer the training they need, or you might decide to put together a training guide that features the aforementioned sales processes. Alternatively, you may see the value in hiring a professional trainer who can work with your team to identify their shortcomings and teach them new techniques to boost their sales.
Check in Often
Unless you have already invested in sales tracking templates or technology, you may not know just how many deals your team has closed or whether they’re on the right track. You may also not be aware of any problems they’ve been having or whether they’re under any stress.
Get into the habit of checking in with your sales teams often, regardless of whether they appear to have everything under control or not. When you hire anyone new, make sure they have everything they need and communicate with them as often as possible to ensure they feel supported and taken care of in their new role.
Look After Existing Customers
It can cost as much as five times more to welcome new customers into your business as it can take to nurture the ones you already have. While expanding your customer base is crucial for business growth and revenue increases, it’s of equal importance to make sure you’re putting time and effort into looking after customers that may help your business grow from strength to strength.
There are many different ways you can prioritize your existing customers. With the right computer software and templates, you can include client information and reminders to check up with your customers every X weeks or months.
You may also see the value in allowing your customers to share in your successes and business celebrations. For example, providing them with branded merchandise on business anniversaries and inviting them to lunches to discuss new products or services may be how you keep the relationship strong and close any potential sales performance gaps.
Identify Why a Gap Exists in the First Place
It’s crucial to identify why the most common sales problems exist before you can put plans in place to combat them. Sometimes, it’s system and process related but, other times, it’s directly linked to your team’s sales techniques.
Lack of Preparation
You generally can’t contact a current or prospective client without first preparing for the call. You need to identify what you’d like to talk about, come up with answers to questions that might be asked, and have a firm understanding of the products and services you have and how they relate to each unique business.
While most experienced sales reps understand the importance of being prepared, not all do. This is where creating sales processes comes in handy.
It’s easy to look at sales data and blame individual sales reps, but poor management can also be to blame. You may not have provided each rep with the attention and training they needed or failed to check in to make sure they were confident with the tasks they were given.
Some leaders also fail to provide their team with the technology and software necessary to organize their client lists and sales information. Take a look at your processes and see if your team has a solid foundation to work from. If they don’t, you may find that small changes may make a world of difference.
Inadequate Listening Skills
When your team knows your products and services inside and out, it’s only natural for them to want to share everything they know with potential customers to show them how wonderful they are. However, the listening to speaking ratio may be lacking in your team, and they may be spending more time advertising a product than listening to the client’s needs.
If you can, sit in on a sales call or meeting to learn each rep’s sales pitches and techniques. You may then be able to gain insight into whether their sales productivity is low due to their pitch or for another reason.
Closing sales performance gaps and boosting revenue is never an easy task, but it’s completely possible by making a few small changes within your business. Make sure your team has everything they need to hit the ground running, including software and templates, consistent processes, and management support.