Sales teams are under tremendous pressure to consistently perform at high standards. And when the numbers take a dive, sales teams are often the first department to be blamed. To quote a Reuters report published this past March:
“Oracle Corp blamed its rapidly expanding salesforce for a severe miss in third-quarter software sales and warned that its ailing hardware business will lose more ground this quarter, driving its shares 8 percent lower on Wednesday.”
Ouch. It’s never a great feeling to be blamed for poor sales results. But challenges are also opportunities to learn and improve. In addition, savvy sales leaders learn to capitalize on the competitive instincts of salespeople and use mistakes to foster a desire to do well and hit higher benchmarks.
As we assembled the agenda for our upcoming Sales Performance Management Conference, we identified some key areas of focus for sales leaders who want to make serious improvements that will lead to consistent, long term success in the realm of sales performance. Here are four best practice areas that track to sales performance — plus, get a preview of which speakers will offer solutions in these areas during our October 16 and 17 event in San Francisco.
1. EFFECTIVE SALES MANAGEMENT
According to research published by ZS Associates published in their book, Building a Winning Sales Management Team: The Force Behind the Sales Force ”average managers bring all of the salespeople that they manage down to their level. On the other hand, excellent managers bring excellence to all their territories.” In short, it’s not likely that sales teams will succeed in the long term without the leadership and management skills of top-notch sales managers.
Session not to miss: “Breakout A – Great Frontline Sales Managers: The Critical Factor for Maximizing Sales Performance.” Thursday, October 17, 10:45 am – 11:30 am. Join Norman Behar of Sales Readiness Group as he shares best practices and strategies for developing your frontline sales managers, including how to transition your star sales reps into great sales managers and how to apply four critical management abilities to improve sales performance.
2. HIGHLY EFFECTIVE MOTIVATIONAL STRATEGIES
In part, motivation includes a great comp plan that helps align sales rep behavior with broader strategic goals. (Transparency in paying and tracking commissions doesn’t hurt, either.) But a motivational sales culture is just as important. For long term success, sales leaders need a motivational approach that keeps top reps happy and loyal.
Session not to miss: “Selling with Noble Purpose: How to Drive Revenue and Increase Customer Engagement.” Thursday, October 17, 9:45 am – 10:15 am. During this interactive session, Lisa Earle McLeod, Founder & President, McLeod & More, Inc., will reveal why the salespeople who sell with noble purpose outsell salespeople who are primarily focused on sales targets and money.
3. AN OPTIMIZED SALES FUNNEL
Increasingly, the sales funnel for many B2b organizations starts with online content as prospects conduct independent research on products and services. The question is how to capitalize on that activity, moves leads into the funnel quickly, and help reps identify the ideal customer so they can prioritize pursuing deals that are most likely to close.
Session not to miss: “Breakout B – Supercharge Your Sales Funnel.” October 16, 3:40 pm – 4:25 pm. Are you happy with your sales funnel? Or could you be doing a better job of optimizing leads and capturing your best selling opportunities? In this session, Michael Behrens, Senior Vice President, eMarketing, WebMetro, and Jonathan Gray, Vice President of Marketing, Revana, will share how sales, marketing, and sales operations can collaborate to attract, engage, and convert leads in high volume (without increasing marketing spend).
4. A GREAT VALUE PROPOSITION AND GREAT SALES MESSAGING
Do you know what your reps are saying to prospects and customers? Do they communicate winning and well defined messages that prospects find engaging and compelling? If your reps don’t have access to the right messaging at the right time, they’re probably losing out on opportunities and possibly losing business to competitors that have their messaging on point.
Session not to miss: “Unlocking Sales Force Effectiveness That Drives Business Results.” Wednesday, October 16, 3:05 pm – 3:35 pm. This session will help you understand how you can train your reps to differentiate themselves and quickly stand out against the competition. Perry Cole will share the strategy and process CooperVision used to establish compelling sales messages, train its sales reps to communicate those messages and a clear value proposition, and ultimately have with buyers highly effective conversations that turned into more closed deals.
Register between August 28 and September 30 for the Sales Performance Management Conference in San Francisco to take advantage of our early-bird special.