Four Basic Tips to Optimize Sales Performance

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By Solomon Thimothy

Sales, especially B2B sales, is a difficult job. Whether you’re cold calling, emailing, or trying to convert inbound leads, every salesperson hears dozens of “nos” before every “yes.” As a sales manager, your job is to coach and guide your sales team toward overcoming the dreaded “nos” in an efficient and strategic manner.

An efficient and optimized sales department is key to increasing sales and scaling the company, regardless of industry or size. That’s why optimizing your sales process and operations is vital to increasing revenue and the success of the company.  

As a sales manager, there are four basic steps to keeping you grounded and focused on increasing sales efficiency and revenue goals.  

Create the Big Picture

Everyone needs something to aim for. Making more money or closing more deals isn’t enough, though. A sales manager needs to create the Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) for the entire sales team. Everyone on the sales team has to be aware of your BHAG. Whether that’s closing $5 million in new revenue in a given year or reaching a quarterly revenue goal, it has to be specific. Your BHAG also has to be audacious enough that it motivates everyone to work just a bit harder while understanding the big payoff for doing so.

Optimize for One Metric

After you set the big picture, it’s time to get down to business. Before you can start making any real changes, it’s important to select one metric on which to focus. What is the one thing that will help you get closer to the big picture? Is it more calls? More appointments? Whatever that metric is, optimize for it and don’t stop until you’ve gotten there. Once you’re happy with that one metric, you can move on to optimize another metric. This focused approach will allow you to continuously make your sales operation more efficient without keeping track or trying to take on too many things at once.

Track and Analyze

Once you’ve chosen that one metric for optimization, it’s time to start tracking and analyzing. Gather sales numbers, call data, appointment numbers, or whatever other metrics you typically review, and start charting your progress for that one metric. Analyze how that metric differs from day to day, month to month, or even from salesperson to salesperson. Review these numbers with your sales team so everyone is on the same page.

Incentivize the Right Behaviors

As a sales manager, it’s easy to fall into the “performance trap.” In highly stressful and competitive companies, the sales manager usually defaults to a mindset of “perform or you’re out.” While it’s true that salespeople are paid to sell, they also benefit from the traditional incentives and mentorship other employees get. Incentivizing your sales team beyond meeting their quota numbers can go a long way. After all, you need a committed army of salespeople if you’re going to make your big picture happen. Incentivizing and energizing your sales team creates a sense of “we’re all in this together.”

Always Be Learning

Today’s sales tactics are vastly different from those of 10 years ago. Technology and the availability of information on the Internet have changed the way most people make buying decisions. While fundamental sales tactics may not have changed, there are many new things that can be learned. As a sales manager, you are expected to be the best at what you do, so make sure you’re on top of the latest tactics by attending sales-focused workshops or conferences – like Sales 2.0. You never know what new trick you’ll learn. Even better, you will find yourself surrounded by other salespeople who might have just the solution to your current problem.

Being in charge of improving sales is no easy task. Viewing sales as a broader goal – not just an individual’s performance – and optimizing will make it easier to achieve that one huge goal you’ve set. Making iterations to processes or tactics, measuring and tracking, incentivizing your team, and continuing to learn will make that once Big Hairy Audacious Goal a lot more attainable than you first thought!  

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 1.32.13 PMAs the founder and CEO of OneIMS and Clickx, Solomon Thimothy has built his career around his passion for helping other businesses grow an online presence and thrive in the digital world. Solomon works with clients big and small to develop uniquely customized and highly effective marketing strategies that meet every company’s individual goals. Follow him on twitter @sthimothy.

About Lisa

Editorial Director at SellingPower.com.
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