Growing your sales and building your business can be difficult to juggle. That is why it's crucial that you focus your efforts in three key areas: your sales team, CRM system, and management team. With those in mind, you can improve your sales planning process and streamline your growth. 

Based on those key areas, here are five tips I’ve found effective for improving and growing sales:   

1. Sales reps need to all use one application.

Ever seen a football team split their offense and defense up to practice on different sides of town?  Probably not.  Even when everyone’s job is a bit different, a team needs cohesiveness and streamlined efficiency that only comes from working in the same area. A CRM system with a robust business data solution provides that single place for your sales teams to collaborate, sell, and acquire new customers, building a solid platform for your growing business.

2. Sales reps need a powerful prospecting tool.

There is a reason we call it “prospecting” and just like the miners back in the days of the wild wild west, we too need our pick and axe. You want to have a great tool, which your whole team can use to provide insights to effectively communicate with prospects, and also helps find new customers that are waiting to be discovered. In my experience, I’ve found that prospecting tools that are designed with salespeople in mind are the most beneficial. Even more beneficial are tools built within Salesforce. Our salespeople live in Salesforce day-to-day, and providing easy access to prospecting means they are spending more time selling. A tool like is perfect for this.

3. Choose what you’re measuring and monitor those metrics

Img_data_wwh_analyticsAs you are building up your sales organization, it’s imperative to monitor key activities in order to identify what is working and what is not working. Reports and dashboards help to highlight what you can improve on as well as how to scale your business—all at a glance.  This empowers you with better insight to align your sales team more effectively as you move forward.

I do recommend keeping it simple and picking only key metrics. If you’re just getting started with Salesforce, where you can measure anything and everything, it is important to only measure a few things. For example, our key metrics include the number of inbound leads by marketing channel, client conversations, new opportunities, opportunities scheduled to close, and wins.

4. Tap into sales reps’ competitive nature.

Want to know if someone is competitive? Ask them, “What creates a stronger emotion from you… winning, or losing?” Most competitive people hate to lose a lot more than they love to win, and salespeople are hyper competitive beasts. Competition, contests, and gamification are a great way to tap into that competitive nature, and get people rallied and focused on the right things. And if you’re doing point #3 above correctly (measuring), there are plenty of opportunities to layer on some competition around one of those metrics – e.g., make more calls, progressing opportunities faster, and closing more deals. If you can measure it, you can motivate it.

5. Always be recruiting.

If you have ever looked at how often your clients’ profiles change: titles, positions, or companies, you will understand how dynamic our corporate world is.  While you might be pleased with the team you have in place, you should ALWAYS have some reps in the queue.  You never know when one or more of your current team decides it’s time for a change.  It’s tough to have that seat stay empty while scrambling to fill it from scratch.  The more potential employees you have on deck, the quicker you will fill the spot with someone you like and trust.

The keys to building a winning sales organization are the same tenants that will sustain a successful sales team and allow continued growth, year after year. Adopting a CRM solution with a single application, using prospecting tools designed for sales people, being deliberate and concise about what you use Salesforce to measure, tapping into your team’s competitive nature and always being prepared from a personnel standpoint, are five effective ways to positively impact your sales force.

About the author

Bob_Marsh-1Bob Marsh is the CEO and Founder of Detroit-based startup LevelEleven. He
has almost 20 years in sales and sales management, and played a key role in
establishing HelloWorld as the dominant player in digital engagement
solutions. In 2012, Bob launched LevelEleven, a company gamifying CRM with
high-impact competitions, and introduced its flagship product, Compete,
which has since seen incredible adoption. Within the first six months
LevelEleven secured over 70 clients - including Comcast, Delta Airlines,
the Detroit Pistons, and OpenTable. Bob is a thought-leader in the sales
management and enterprise gamification space. A native Michigander, Bob is
passionate about revitalizing Detroit and nurturing the startup ecosystem
that has developed in the city.