In today’s competitive business climate, it is a shock to recognize how many companies lack information on the effectiveness of their sales teams. However, the issue is not a drought of information, but rather a lack of information that is targeted and contextual enough to provide value to sales management.
Sales enablement tools give companies the insights they need into the daily activities of their sales teams – but the tool itself is not enough. Here are 3 ways sales managers can take advantage of data to improve sales and increase revenue this year:
1. Manage to a standard.
If you can’t manage they day-to-day activity of your sales reps, you can’t measure your output and you can’t hope to improve performance. As a manager, you should know the phone behaviors of your top 10% reps and use this data to set benchmarks for the middle 60% of your team. Without this information, how can a manager establish a standard of behavior that defines success within a role?
Sales activity predicts success, and the daily activity of your team is a company asset. Every interaction has the potential to provide insight into best practices if it can be properly analyzed and applied. If you don’t know what works, you cannot manage to a standard or hope to improve the performance of your sales team. So, set a standard and expectations for your team, and don’t give reps room for error
2. Hire and onboard new reps with a clear, reasoned blueprint for success.
Once you set a benchmark that is representative of success as well as a baseline, you are ready to optimize the performance of your team for sustained success – and this goes for new hires as well. Giving new hires a clear blueprint for success from the get-go is vital so they know what exactly they need to do beyond training to be successful.
Whether that means “ride-alongs” with more seasoned reps, company demonstrations, and so on, establishing clear guidelines will reduce the time it takes to make a rep successful and it will expose and improve hiring and promotion of managers as well.
Putting guidelines in place puts reps on the right track while giving them the freedom they want and need. This establishes two-way accountability between reps and managers. It is a manager’s responsibility to ensure that a new rep is properly trained to follow the blueprint, but it is then the rep’s responsibility to adhere to it.
3. Understand the rep-to-customer behavior patterns that drive customer loyalty and increase revenue.
A true sales leader understands the ins and outs of the phone activities that are being conducted each day by every rep. As a manager, you can either use this data and apply it to daily processes at your organization, or waste it and the opportunity to drive revenue and growth.
At the end of the day, by managing to a standard and properly prepping new hires, managers should be able to identify successful behaviors and replicate these across their entire team using activity data. As a result, rep performance will be optimized – as will your organization’s revenue potential.