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Sales & Service Integration

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7 Min Read

4 Hacks to Improve Your Sales Team’s Performance

Your business’s health – its survival, even – depends on sales.

So how do you motivate your sales team to perform at their peak? Here are some ideas.

Sandler Training is well-respected for its sales expertise. Brian Sullivan, now VP of Sandler Enterprise Selling with over 30 years’ experience in the field, offers several ways to motivate a high-performing team. We’ve added a “hack” to each one for putting his advice into practice.

Hire for a broad range of skills

Depositphotos_91558174_m-2015 (1)It’s not necessary for sales associates to have the same personalities and strengths. “A sales team member skilled in online sales may not be great at face-to-face interactions, but they can round out your sales team and share their expertise with the other team members,” writes Sullivan. “Assembling a hybrid group of sales team members gives you the best chance at closing every sale.” Encourage team members to reflect on their strengths and weaknesses and set a culture wherein your team utilizes the strengths to minimize the weaknesses.

Hack: Don’t overlook introverts. In today’s technology-driven sales environment, utilizing inbound or email marketing, for example, “demands an ability to research a customer, see the world from the customer's perspective, and adapt to the customer's situation and specific response,” according to an article about sales and introverts written by Geoffrey James, contributing editor for inc.com.

If you want someone skilled in authentic relationship-building, hire an introvert and honor their innate nature as you provide training in your sales process. They will likely be eager to learn your CRM system and will catch the vision for its capabilities in supporting customer relationship development.

Hire for and nurture a competitive spirit

When competition is a healthy complement to teamwork, it can be a powerful motivator as colleagues spur each other on to achieve their best. As Sullivan says, “People who golf, run marathons, or play other sports are driven to compete. Ask about a time when they experienced victory in everyday life and how that success felt.”

Hack: In the spirit of Fantasy Football or Basketball, Rick Hanson, a VP with Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Security, recommends setting up Fantasy Sales Teams. Let your employees pick which of their peers they want to team up with to reach a goal. Get creative and have some fun with it. (You can read more about how HP’s Fantasy Sales Teams work in this post by Marci Martin for Business News Daily.)

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Set realistic goals

Yes, stretch goals are powerful, but unrealistic ones set your team up for discouragement rather than achievement. Even small successes can keep them going. It’s like mountaineering: climbers know that if they set out for Everest right away, they’ll die. Instead, they first conquer smaller summits and work up to the top of the world.

Hack: Use your CRM’s customizable dashboard to track progress toward goals; visual measurements provide sensory reinforcement. Acknowledge each goal reached – the number of new contacts, proposals, sales, repeat customers, referrals, sales, etc. – and celebrate goals achieved by team members individually and as a team.

Provide consistent training

Tickets to events and cash incentives are great, but one of the biggest motivators will be opportunities for growth. Ongoing professional development increases employee satisfaction and engagement.

Hack: include training in your CRM system. When your team learns how to use it confidently, CRM will be a game-changer for sales process efficiency and relationship-building with your customers. After the initial adoption and orientation to the CRM, don’t consider training a done deal. Plan for periodic refreshers and clean-up. Quarterly is not too often.

If you’re encountering resistance to consistent system use, consider running an incentive program that rewards high CRM performers, just as you would for sales all-stars. For instance, the representative who enters the most contact notes or sends prompt follow-up emails could win a lunch with the CEO.

How do you incentivize your sales team? What procedures would you like to standardize to support their best work? Let’s talk about it. The office line is open …

Topics:   Sales & Service Integration

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