High commission rates and free gym membership aren’t the main ways to help your sales reps perform better.
Rewards still play a great role in making the team more productive (see Point 5) but they are only the visible section of the iceberg.
Productivity is related to deeper questions and we will discuss them below.
1. Keep your CRM software clean and organized
91% of companies with more than 11 employees use CRM software.
It’s the tool for B2B lead generation that stores all your contact info in one place, your interactions with contacts (emails, calls, website visits), your tasks, reminders, etc.
Sales reps may spend hours and days creating reports, finding customer details, etc. A well-organized CRM tool will allow your sales team to save time and get rid of manual tasks.
If you still don’t use a CRM tool or don’t do it to its full potential, that might be a reason for low productivity.
2. Care about the quality of leads
If leads aren’t converting, whose fault is it? Is the marketing team bad at generating quality leads or is the sales team bad at negotiating?
Start with checking it with the marketing team. You should first make sure that your blog posts are targeting the right keywords and your ads are targeting the right audience.
Thus, you minimize the risk of getting leads that will simply be deleted from your CRM.
3. Set up training procedures
Depending on their size and interests, companies can prefer in-person training over online training and vice versa.
In sales, being a good listener, evaluating the prospect’s situation, showing empathy are skills that can’t be skipped. And any sales rep should possess (or learn) techniques that help build long-term relations with customers.
However, there are procedures that are typical of only your company and your sales reps can’t learn it via online courses.
For example, nobody can describe your product/service, buyer personas, buyer goals, and challenges better than you.
In some companies, there are specialists who are only responsible for employee training and keep them updated when things change.
If you can’t afford in-house training, you should at least provide your sales reps with written materials. Here are some questions your sales reps should have answers to:
1. What are the benefits of your product/service and how does it stand out from competitors?
2. Who are your ideal customers and what goals, challenges do they have?
3. What objections do they raise and what are the most frequently asked questions?
Besides, you should allow time for your sales reps to use your CRM software effectively (remember Point 1). It’s another piece of the puzzle that will make the training process complete.
4. Share feedback to make progress possible
No sales rep is perfect, especially if they are new to your company or new to sales at all.
You can improve their sales productivity if you take care of them and follow simples rules of sharing feedback:
1. Be specific with your comments. “I don’t love the way you talk to clients” or “You are making too many mistakes during work” aren’t constructive comments. You should clearly mention what’s the problem and what’s the best way to avoid it next time.
2. Start with positive comments. If your sales rep is making mistakes all the time, there are things that he/she is doing properly. Don’t focus only on negative moments and try to notice positive aspects as well.
3. Make the conversation two-way. Your sales reps aren’t children who don’t understand what they do and who should be punished for their mistakes. Try to listen to them and understand their point of view. Maybe they have something to share with you as well.
4. Avoid comments during public conversations. The best way to give feedback is when you are having a one-on-one conversation, verbal or written. We all feel uncomfortable when judged in front of coworkers.
5. Show solutions and help to get better. There won’t be any improvement if you talk only about mistakes and gaps.
Use sales productivity metrics (call-to-conversion rate, call-to-conversion period, number of touches before conversion, etc) to evaluate performance and offer practical solutions towards increasing it.
5. Thank your sales team and reward
HR professionals and CEOs are constantly looking for new ways to motivate and reward employees.
Some company benefits are fixed (e.g. free coffee/tea, playroom, paid day-offs, etc), while other benefits are performance-based.
So what’s the best way to incentivize your sales reps and increase their productivity? Here are a few ideas:
1. Set sales quotas and offer higher commission rates if they exceed the quota,
2. Allow your sales reps to choose their reward (within a certain budget),
3. Order office upgrades (new chair, headphone, desk, dual-monitor system, etc),
4. Offer extra paid day-offs,
5. Gift cards.
About the Author:
Michael is a member of the editorial team at Leads At Scale. His main areas of expertise include business growth, inbound, and outbound marketing & sales.
He is a walking wanderer and a travel enthusiast.