3/23/12 7:19 AM Rebecca Whittenberger


How to improve sales performance through planning, better communication, and using an interactive web tool.

Companies rise and fall based on their sales performance, so how do high performance companies grow their revenues and increase their profitability? Having a great sales team is a good start, but how can you take them to the next level?

The creation of a clear roadmap is an important place to start. Understand who your happiest customers are and try to get more like them. Think about:

  • The value your product or service delivers for your satisfied customers. What problems do you solve? Are these problems shared by others in his industry or in his job position?
  • What are the characteristics of your customers? Many times there is a persona or profile that you can develop based on job titles, industries, age, gender, income and other factors. Use the internet, list providers, chamber lists and networking events to find similar types of people.
  • Define your goals and make them clear to the sales team. Set realistic but aggressive expectations, and help your team understand how they can realize their individual goals.
  • Know and clearly communicate your sales process and conversion rates. Start with the end sales goal in mind for each individual sales person, and establish daily and weekly activity levels based on your conversion rates. Let them know how many presentations need to be made to generate the sales goal.

All of this requires excellent communication and relationship building with the sales force. After all, sales plans are good, but they often lack the connection with the sales force to really make a big difference.

With busy schedules and sales people out on appointments, it is often difficult to find the time for one-on-one individual meetings. Email and voicemail let you communicate, but they lack the feedback and insights that can be gleaned from a conversation.

 

Assisting with new technologies

Fortunately, there are technologies that can assist sales managers with asynchronous communication. One new technology is a secure, interactive tool that provide sales managers with the ability to:

  1. Deliver a compelling video presentation to sales people. Video email is far superior to regular email because sales people can see your body language and hear your tone of voice. It grabs their attention. It also makes sure that your message is heard and understood. A Wired magazine article cited that only half of emails are actually understood because they lack non-verbal cues that make face-to-face communication clear. Video solves this problem.
  2. Include a survey in your email. Responses to survey questions provide leaders with valuable feedback. Imagine the ability to know if sales people understand key product features or the details of sales promotions. There is often a great difference in levels of understanding that impact sales performance. Regular survey questions allow you to uncover issues before there are performance problems.
  3. Explain important documents. Web messaging tools enable you to include documents, audio files, and videos in one package. This provides you with the unique opportunity to step sales people through important documents, product information, and sales collateral just like you would in a sales meeting.
  4. Ensure a message is read and being acted on. Real-time reports provide you with feedback regarding how much of your message was listened to and which documents where viewed. If someone is ignoring you, you will know it and will be able to take appropriate action.
  5. Send password-protected messages. If there is a message that you want to make certain isn’t forwarded to other people, you can create password-protected messages that can only be read by the recipient. This can protect sensitive information from being forwarded to a competitor.
  6. Track reactions to proposals. It is possible to provide the sales force with the ability to select from a library of web message proposals. Reports about prospect reactions to proposals can be collected to enhance information about the likelihood of deals closing. This can be a great enhancement to your current CRM reports.

Share this infographic with your team for a quick guide on how to improve sales performance at your office. 

HOW TO IMPROVE SALES PERFORMANCE.png

 

Regardless of what tools you use, great sales plans and excellent communication are the keys to accelerating your sales growth. The enhancement of your sales force productivity is a big win, especially in a tough economy. Happy selling!

Today's blog post written by Brad Gant

10 Steps of Consultative Selling Free Download