5 Proven Sales Management Strategies to Improve Performance
Sales managers; what are you doing to ensure your team hits quota this month? Next quarter? For the year? With 58% of sales teams increasing in size in the U.S., it is vital that managers have a strategy in place to not only elevate their reps to reach their goals but ideally surpass them.
Establishing a management strategy is the first step of a successful manager. The performance of sales reps varies greatly – even among those who have the same amount of experience. Some may not properly understand the products or services your company is selling, and others may not be properly trained or may be in need of guidance, mentoring, or someone to coach them daily. Whatever the specific case, the root cause of most sales performance issues can be traced back to a lack of having sales management strategies in place. And, as a manager, it is your responsibility to ensure that reps have the proper knowledge, coaching, and training they need to succeed.
After all, only 42% of reps expect to meet quota, and the truth is, only 26% of reps will hit their numbers this year (Salesforce). However, by having a strategy in place to teach, coach and train – along with the right technology tools – managers can boost morale and uplift underperformers to turn them into top-tier sales reps. Below are 5 broad-reaching sales management strategies that we believe leaders should adopt to achieve greater team success this year.
Sales Management Strategy #1: Define goals – for both individuals & teams
Communicating with your team and setting goals at the beginning of the month is essential to hitting your numbers at the end of the month. Ensure your reps have a concrete goal to work towards, and that everyone is on the same page. How can reps be expected to perform to a standard if that standard is not well established and visible to them? Further, establishing team goals is just as important as setting goals for individual reps to work towards. Doing so will provide reps with both motivation and incentive to perform to a higher standard.
Sales Management Strategy #2: Continuously train all reps – even veterans & top performers
Sales training should not be a one-time event. For reps to perform their best, training should be reinforced on a monthly, or even weekly basis. It is the responsibility of a sales manager to ensure that reps are up to date with all product updates, service changes, and so on. No matter how successful your first training session is, it is only natural that reps won’t be able to hold on to every piece of information. Recurring training sessions, therefore, set reps up for success, rather than leaving them at a loss.
Sales Management Strategy #3: Always be coaching- seize opportunities every day
Managers must set expectations for their teams, but they need to make sure they follow up with reps and target any problem areas along the way. Giving reps weekly, detail feedback will allow for continuous improvement and higher performance standards. Specifically, utilizing call activity data can allow sales leaders to identify their reps’ strengths and weaknesses, enforce script adherence, and identify behaviors of successful reps to set an example for others.
Sales Management Strategy #4: Implement technology tools that fit – not the other way around
While managers should focus on training and coaching initiatives, these tasks may be enhanced with the adoption of a sales enablement tool. With a sales tool, managers can access 100% accurate data on their reps, rather than base their management on hunches. This way, coaching and training can be articulated and improved because sales enablement provides mangers with the visibility need to make better decisions for their teams. If you aren’t managing you team based on actual numbers, you likely aren’t managing them to the highest standard.
Sales Management Strategy #5: Celebrate success regularly – every individual win is a team win
Managers; it never hurts to dedicate yourself to improvement. However, make sure to recognize and celebrate how your reps are already succeeding along the way. Team morale and office culture plays an important part in your reps’ daily performance. Make sure to balance emphasis on improving numbers with celebrating small successes. As team morale improves, it is likely that your numbers will as well.
How Current is Your Sales Management Strategy?
By implementing these sales management strategies at your organization, your team will be better prepared than ever to excel and surpass sales goals this year. What works in sales is constantly changing; and in order to succeed, it is imperative to update outdated practices, technologies, and even management techniques. With these strategies, managers can ensure their teams are in-the-know with the latest information and technology updates, and that reps are properly prepared to reach success over the phone.