One theme is constant in C-suites and board rooms around the country these days: Growth.
Whether it’s how to get back on a growth trajectory, or how to continue it, growth is on the minds of leaders across businesses of all sizes and in all industries. A key component of your revenue-generating strategy is the success of your sales force. Last year, nearly 60 percent of sales reps expected to miss their quotas. In light of that, do you have a firm grasp on your sales team members’ performance, strengths and weaknesses? If not, now is the time to assess. Start by asking these four questions.
Do your systems and processes support a high-performance sales organization? A consistent sales process helps keep your sales force moving in the right direction. While a sale itself may have varying levels of complexity, the process should be as systematic as possible.
A strong sales process considers the customer, the type of sale (consultative or transactional), average sale cycles and pipeline management principles. It also provides direction on the various stages of the customer relationship, from beginning (prospective customers) through maturity (ongoing relationship management and sales opportunities).
How does sales leadership impact your sales force? Pressure to produce is always strong, and it’s not unusual for top performers to be elevated to leadership positions — without receiving training. Upskilling sales leaders to become coaches and mentors is as important — if not more so — than focusing on individual contributors. Companies often underinvest in sales leaders, even though they have the most direct access to those who generate revenue. Make sure you have curriculum and performance resources that specifically address sales leaders and empower them to coach individual contributors.
Do you have the right people in the right roles? Successful sales leaders take time to uncover the gaps. Rather than relying on intuition, data-driven assessment allows you to study your team’s productivity and performance so you can truly understand their competencies.
It also gives you the opportunity to consider if you have the right people in the right roles with the right skills to get you where you need to go as a business. By conducting an evaluation before you launch a new sales training initiative, you’ll know what type of sales training to invest in, rather than guessing what might work.
How motivated are your sales professionals, and how are they motivated? Kick-off meetings. Trips and prizes. Compensation. Organizations find ways to motivate sellers. But which ones are your rock stars, those who outshine, outperform and outachieve in any economy?
Mindset makes the difference. Successful modern sellers are intrinsically motivated to take ownership of their territory or book of business. They think of themselves as entrepreneurs — go-getters who set audacious goals and do whatever it takes to reach them. The entrepreneurial mindset is about looking beyond what is immediately in their view and placing the focus on a bigger-picture vision for their territory or book of business to determine how quickly and profitably it grows.
Revenue may be the primary measure of your sales team’s performance, but as a business leader, it is vital to assess all of these components to build a foundation for the ultimate success of your sales team — and your organization.
Amy Franko is CEO of Amy Franko Associates and a LinkedIn Top Sales Voice