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Three Key Strategies To Improve Sales Performance

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Three Key Strategies To Improve Sales Performance Hero Image on FiveRings Marketing blog
“How can I help my team improve sales performance without pushing them too much?”
Building a top-performing sales team isn’t just about creating high targets and expecting everyone to meet them. It requires a thoughtful, systematic approach. Your goal as a sales leader is to identify the problems, provide the right support, and build a strong, collaborative culture.
This blog offers practical advice for removing obstacles in the sales process. It also provides tips on supporting your team through tough times to help them meet their targets.

Strategy 1: Identify The Bottleneck And Eliminate It For Good

One strategy to improve sales performance is to identify where the bottleneck lies and eliminate it for good. This graphic is from a FiveRings Marketing blog

Bottlenecks can lead to wasted time and effort for many sales teams. Research from Salesforce shows that reps are spending less than 30% of their time actually selling.

When you notice your sales team missing their targets, the first step is to look at the data. You’ve got to identify where the problem lies and what needs improvement. Ask yourself these questions:
  • Why isn’t my team closing deals?
  • Is it because they’re struggling at the start of the sales process, or do they get stuck during the final stages?
  • Or maybe the issue comes after the first discovery call and they can’t seem to move forward?

Figure out where in the sales process the bottleneck is, then focus on the part of the process that needs improvement and come up with a tailored solution.

The right solutions often involve hands-on practice like running mock calls, which can vary depending on the experience level of your team. Are they new reps still in the learning phase, or are they seasoned reps just going through a rough patch? Here’s how you might approach the issue depending on the situation:

If The Problem Is At The Start Of The Sales Process

Let’s say your sales team is great at starting conversations but struggles to move beyond the initial discovery calls. They may need to work on two things:

  1. explaining the purpose of the call right at the beginning
  2. setting clear next steps

Making these small changes can significantly smooth things out.

When a salesperson opens a call by sharing what they hope to achieve and what happens next if the prospect is interested, the process becomes clearer and success is more likely.
It’s also important to check a few other things during a discovery call:
Discovery Call Performance Checklist created by FiveRings Marketing
These details can make a big difference in moving deals forward.

If The Problem Is At The End Of The Sales Process

When prospects are in the middle or closing stages of the sales cycle, your team should have already done one thing:

Build enough rapport with them that they won’t disappear without an explanation.

When prospects choose another company over yours, they usually tell you why. If your team struggles in these later stages, check how they discuss pricing and whether they are demonstrating the value of the product.
If pricing keeps being a problem, and it’s a common issue across many deals, this might point to a bigger issue with your company’s pricing strategy. However, if only one sales rep struggles with this while others are doing fine, that rep might need specific training on how to better discuss pricing.

Sometimes, the problem at the end of the cycle is that the prospect decides to do nothing. In this case, you need to find ways to make the deal more compelling. You might need to create more urgency or get the prospect more excited about the benefits of closing the deal. If your salespeople aren’t managing to do this, they’ll need targeted training. Otherwise, go over your sales process to enable your team to guide the prospect to a close. This could involve introducing new strategies that reduce any hesitation or friction from the prospect’s side.

Strategy 2: Keep In Mind The Human Element In Sales

Sales performance can never be linear. It has its highs and lows.
Sales performance will always have its highs and lows. That’s a given.
You’ll never have sales be completely linear all year round. That doesn’t exist. Even if your industry doesn’t experience seasonal changes, your salespeople might. This happens because your salespeople have personal lives, which can affect their energy and enthusiasm at any given time. External factors like family issues or personal challenges can affect their mindset and, in turn, their sales performance.
Sales involve more than just skills, it’s also about the motivation and well-being of your team. Always remember that salespeople are human. They can have bad weeks, challenging months, and even rough quarters.
Sometimes, your team doesn’t need more training, they need more support. Building a workplace where they feel appreciated and supported can also improve sales performance and morale by a lot.
As a sales leader, you may ask yourself: “What can I do about things beyond my control that impact my team’s performance?”
While you can’t control everything that happens in your team’s personal lives, you can shape their work environment. You can help them feel seen and supported by recognizing when someone is struggling and starting supportive conversations. Letting them know you’re there for support can help them recover and do their best.

Understand this: yes, many things are out of your control, but they are not out of your influence.

Strategy 3: Train Your Team Constantly and Revisit The Sales Process When Necessary

high-performing sales organizations are twice as likely to provide ongoing training as low-performing ones according to Spotio

Did you know that high-performing sales organizations are twice as likely to provide ongoing training as low-performing ones? (Source: Spotio)

No matter how skilled your salespeople are, there’s always room for improvement. Role-playing is an invaluable tool in any sales team. You’re never too old or too experienced to benefit from role-plays, right?
Sometimes, sales reps might stray from the script, adopt bad habits, or start incorporating language that isn’t ideal. Role-playing helps identify these issues by providing real-time feedback. It helps even the most seasoned salespeople see when they’re off track. It also provides the opportunity to practice new techniques in a stress-free environment.

*Note: We’ve shared some great sales training tips and strategies in another blog to help boost your team’s performance.

Now think about this: what if the problem isn’t with your sales team but with the process they’re asked to follow? An outdated or inefficient sales process can affect even the most talented salespeople. It’s important to review and update the tools and resources your team uses regularly: Are they enough? Do they effectively meet your team’s needs? etc…
Improving your sales process and tools can significantly empower your team to achieve better results. You might realize that you want your team to perform well, but they don’t have the right tools–case studies, up-to-date collateral, executive introduction, and others. When your team isn’t well-equipped, this becomes a reflection of your leadership and the support they get from the company.

Bonus Tip

Company incentives or bonuses can sometimes get old. Salespeople often work harder and stay more motivated when they compete against each other. Because salespeople tend to be naturally competitive, organize friendly contests here and there to keep them motivated and focused.
Decision Making Tree to Improve Sales Team Performance created by FiveRings Marketing

Improve Sales Performance Starting Today

Improving sales performance isn’t about quick fixes. It requires a clear, systematic approach:
  1. identifying the problems
  2. implementing the right solutions
  3. continually supporting your team

An effective sales leader helps their team reach its targets. They also create a culture where people enjoy their work and are not afraid to share their ideas.

FiveRings specializes in helping B2B companies drive more sales. Let us help you connect with your target market and fill your calendar with qualified sales meetings.

Check out our B2B client success stories and see the impact we’ve made on other businesses.

Ready to get started? Let’s chat.
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