As the head of sales, you are responsible for bringing in revenue.
To do so you need to build a strong sales organization.
As you look at how you are going to achieve your quota this year, you need to figure out what tweaks you need to make.
I have been there. As a former VP of sales I looked at my discretionary budget, excluding salaries, travel, entertainment and meetings to figure out what initiative(s) would have the greatest impact on driving more sales.
Hence, I have developed the VP of Sales Playbook. Here are 5 areas you can look at to improve the performance of your team.
Certainly adding more sales people will help grow your sales. Most organizations will expect you to take on more sales quota to justify the increase in head count.
The key when hiring sales reps is to identify top performers so it is critical that you have a solid hiring process. One of the things I learned early on is that high-performing sales managers hire 8’s and 9’s and lower performing sales managers hire 5’s and 6’s. So the challenge here is to do a great job hiring and onboarding top sales reps.
The best sales plans if not executed well yield poor results. Some industry experts strongly agree that execution is critical and everything else is just talk. As a sales leader, it is important that all sales reps are clear in what they need to do to effectively execute the plan.
The key to effective execution is clarity of communication and sales manager follow up in the field to ensure all sales people understand and know how to execute the plan.
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Studies have shown that CRM can have a positive impact on the customer experience especially when you are in a complex sales environment. From personal experience, adopting new technology tends to be disruptive to a sales organization in the short term.
With great solutions such as Salesforce, which allows you to connect with your customers in a whole new way, you can reap the benefits of adopting technology into the sales process.
The caveat here is that 50% of new CRM implementations fail. The question then becomes is it the technology or the people? Successful implementation requires strong IT presence and senior sales leadership championing the project coupled with frontline sales management to ensure compliance.
New business is the lifeblood for growth. Getting marketing to improve quality and quantity of leads provides the organization with opportunities. When sales and marketing are working well together we can achieve far better sales results.
The challenge here is that sales management needs to be onboard. Leads need to be better qualified, followed up on and the sales process followed to move from lead to business. One of the key success factors with this initiative is sales manager coaching to help sales people effectively follow up and close leads.
Improve the selling skills of your sales team will certainly improve sales performance. Companies who follow a sales process always outperform those who don’t. Having a formal selling process that all your sales people know and use is a great step forward.
If you follow a selling process, ongoing refreshers will have a positive impact. Like any skills training, the key is to reinforce the skills post training to ensure the learning’s turn into behaviours and competencies.
The best way to turn those learnings into on the job performance is sales manager coaching. Your sales managers need to be out in the field and coaching sales reps to utilise and improve their selling skills.
Of course, there are a number of additional initiatives you can employ to drive more sales. All of which will have a positive impact on sales.
There is a common thread to performance. Developing a team of STAR sales managers who can effectively coach, hire and manage performance will make any of these sales initiatives more impactful.
I suggest you need to ask yourself the following questions:
How can you improve the competencies of your sales management team?
What are we doing to support the development of our sales managers?
How do I engage these people so that they can engage the entire sales team?
Do I have the right people in sales management positions?
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Steven A. Rosen, MBA one of the sales world's most prominent thought leaders, is now a Salesforce Sales Community contributor. This community is a new collaborative networking group for sales executives sharing best practices and innovations in sales leadership. We encourage all Salesforce customers to join Steven and other top sales thought leaders in the new Salesforce Sales Community.