4 ways to improve the performance of your sales team

Sales managers sometimes use a quote to motivate their teams. These words indicate that nothing happens in a business until someone sells something. A flurry of activity can occur behind the scenes of a business. But it takes sales of products or services to instigate or sustain these activities.

A sales team consists of the people who generate revenue for the business. However, they also become guardians of your brand as they develop beneficial relationships with customers. When your sales force burns out or runs out of steam, it can negatively impact the success of your business. That’s why it’s so important to equip your team with the best players and take advantage of their strengths. Below are four ways business owners or sales managers can achieve this.

boost the performance of your sales team

1. Use tech tools for hiring and training

All managers have blind spots when it comes to hiring team members and evaluating their job performance. Sometimes you only see snippets of customer interactions or focus too much on quarterly results. Recruitment processes, including interviews, can tilt hiring processes in favor of some candidates while neglecting others.

Recruiters tend to look to similar people or candidates who remind them of themselves. Everything from job descriptions to interview questions can be plagued by confirmation bias. The same judgments can occur when leaders conduct performance reviews and identify training or mentorship opportunities. They base their decisions on what they think is a good salesperson, often only listening to their gut reaction or personal experience.

But other people’s ideas and outside tools are often needed to get a more objective and accurate perspective. For example, technologies using artificial intelligence can run sales performance analytics to determine what qualities top performers possess. These tools use benchmarks and data from customers, sales teams, and business results to arrive at unbiased conclusions. Managers can quickly identify beneficial training opportunities that will make a great hire.

2. Set realistic and meaningful goals

Motivation and empowerment start with a goal. If your sales team doesn’t know their target, you can’t expect them to target it. Similarly, a team won’t see the point of trying if the goal is too ambitious. As a manager, your employees rely on you to steer the ship by giving them something achievable to achieve.

Goals can also align with popular motivational theories. For example, you can offer bonuses to team members who meet or exceed their annual sales goals. While a bonus gives sales teams a financial incentive, not all employees are motivated by money. Some motivational theories, such as Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, place financial needs at the bottom of the pyramid.

Your cues should appeal to higher-level needs, such as self-esteem and self-actualization. Sales teams will also feel empowered by non-monetary rewards and recognition, such as positive feedback and expanded assignments. Even though sales is a numbers game, employees often want to know the “why” behind a given target. Managers who tie sales goals to an overall goal give sales teams additional context and meaning.

3. Create a culture of trust

In theory, most managers know the dangers of micromanagement. However, knowing something in the back of your mind and putting it into practice are two different beasts. Some leaders create cultures based on fear rather than trust because they haven’t experienced anything else. As creatures of habit, people often repeat what they know and see others do, even with opposite intentions.

With micromanaging behaviors, sales managers may believe they are helpful or coaching their team. Yet the effects of micromanagement can feel like bullying. Some experts even claim that this style of leadership is a form of workplace bullying. In addition to a loss of motivation, employees can suffer from depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem and confidence. Your sales team might also be afraid of losing their jobs or facing retaliation from you or other company executives.

Unfortunately, a culture of fear causes employees to go through the steps and perform the bare minimum. They stop contributing their ideas and knowledge, saying yes to everything the leader says to avoid confrontation or job loss. Creating cultures of trust, where managers step back and show they believe in their employees’ abilities, empowers them. They are more likely to speak up, innovate, and feel motivated to achieve company goals.

4. Practice open and effective communication

Good communication must exist for employee-employer relationships to work. When sales teams guess what comes next and what managers mean, it creates confusion. When people are left behind or caught off guard, it’s doing the team a disservice. You could also cause frustration if you expect employees to communicate but don’t practice what you preach.

Team meetings and individual meetings are methods generally used by managers. Bringing the group together helps ensure that everyone is on the same page. Individual discussions give employees the time and space to clarify questions and discuss situations that may not apply to the team. Both group and private meetings involve face-to-face time, which creates an instant, two-way feedback loop. Employees get what they need to do their jobs and you get an idea of ​​what’s happening in the field.

However, effective communication is not something that only happens in meetings. Managers can practice good communication in emails, voicemails, documents, and online chats. For example, forwarding an email conversation between you and your boss to the team without any context will be confusing.

Although the email may contain useful information, employees will not know what to do with it. Add context to clarify why you’re forwarding the email and what actions you expect your team to take. This way the team won’t dismiss the email details or worry about how it applies to their work.

Empower sales teams

Sales teams that feel empowered and motivated tend to deliver the performance companies want. Successful teams develop the quality of the customer relationship necessary to generate figures. But sales reps need strong leaders to deliver the desired business results. Business leaders who use effective technologies and leadership styles can create environments that encourage rather than block success.

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