CEOs and business owners are constantly seeking ways to improve sales performance to increase profits and shareholder value. The never ending need to increase sales is more critical today than ever. Additionally, to make your company sellable in the future, and to increase the value of your business, 25 - 50% or higher growth year over year is paramount.
Below are 12 ways to address sales performance and increase sales now:
1. Sales Goals / Sales Compensation
As the CEO, you are the only one that truly understands your company's needs for sales and your Sales Goals and Sales Compensation Plan are critical. Review your Sales Goals at least monthly at your weekly sales meetings, and motivate your sales team at least quarterly by highlighting the upside of your Sales Comp Plan as a key factor in improving sales performance. Also, review your Sales Compensation Plan every six months to ensure it provides the maximum motivaion and return on your investment.
2. Sales Training
If your sales training is inconsistent or non-existant, simply ask your salespeople to describe the steps in your sales process or perform a discovery meeting effectively in a role play. If they are inconsistent in their responses you need to provide more sales training. Sales process and closing skills must be at the center of your sales team's culture and training. Document and review your sales process in sales meetings and role play to improve your sales techniques.
3. Sales Pipeline
You gained higher sales activity through effective use of your CRM and daily goals, and now your sales pipeline is packed with unqualified prospects that will never buy. Train your sales team to seek out qualified prospects with a decision maker, need, urgency and a budget. By focusing on qualified prospects only, you will increase your sales pipeline and sales substantially.
4. Effective Use of CRM
All salespeople need to properly and consistently use your sales CRM prospecting database and track sales opportunities. Otherwise, they slip through the cracks due to reduced tracking, reporting and accountability. Train your sales team to properly use your CRM effectively to improve sales, profits and shoreholder value.
5. Post Mortem
Take the time to learn how to improve sales when you lose out on a sale. Also, take time to learn something when you win a sale. That knowledge is power. You need that information if you expect to improve your sales performance across your sales team. Input this information into your CRM and take ten minutes at sales meetings to recap lost and won sales opportunities.
6. Sales vs. Service
When salespeople spend too much time on customer service issues and not enough time selling new accounts sales suffer. Sales will increase when your salespeople focus their time on doing what they do best...selling.
7. Sales Metrics
You are focused on the weekly number of sales calls when you need to focus on all the metrics: daily sales calls, qualified weekly appointments, new opportunities in the CRM, monthly proposal presentations and monthly, quarterly and annual sales goals vs. actual sales. Holding your salespeople accountable is a critical driver of sales. Focus on the above and you'll increase sales performance substantially.
8. Sales Presentations
Consistency in each salesperson's discovery meeting process, sales presentations, proposal presentations and closings are critical to your success. Role play at sales meetings on a regular basis to perfect the sales process, sales presentations, overcoming objections and closing techniques.
9. Overcoming Objections
In your on-going training at sales meetings, provide the sales team with sharp answers to the most common sales objections they face every day. Overcoming objections can be the crown jewel of closing sales, so cover these in your sales meetings and closing meetings with prospects.
10. Professional Trainer
Hiring an outside sales trainer/business consultant can generate a tremendous return on your investment. Improve sales by reviewing all aspects of your sales department and sales team and provide professional sales training to all sales reps at your company.
Referrals improve sales and reduce the sales cycle so set goals for referrals and emphasize them in all weekly sales meetings. Referrals represent the least course of resistance and highest quality customers.
12. Sales Tools
Make sure your sales team has all the necessary tools to maximize sales, including brochures, sales presentations, customer lists, testimonials, a CRM like Salesforce.com and other sales tools and materials.
Sales success always goes to the team with the best management training and sales skills. CEO Advisor provides professional sales training, CRM set-up and training, goal setting to optimize sales results.
Contact Mark Hartsell, CEO of CEO Advisor, Inc. for a no cost initial consultation at (949) 629-2520, by email at MHartsell@CEOAdvisor.com or visit us at www.CEOAdvisor.com for more information.