Excellent sales performance is a never-ending quest — there’s always room for improvement. But the tactics you use ultimately depend on whether you’re working toward individual or team sales goals.
But first, let me stress that striving for sales performance goals doesn't have to become overwhelming. There are several small steps you can take that will move you and your sales team leaps and bounds forward.
Let’s take a look at some you can start implementing today.
Sales performance has to do with how effectively your team performs over a period of time. In other words, it’s how well your team meets its sales goals.
As a sales leader, you can track your team’s sales performance at an individual and a team level to spot opportunities for improvement and successfully manage overall output. Some key sales performance metrics include sales conversion rate, average sales per rep, and total revenue.
Sales performance is driven by your sales team — no surprise there — as well as your sales strategy and pool of prospective and current clients.
It shouldn’t be surprising to learn that sales performance directly impacts your bottom line. After all, when your sales team performs at the highest level possible, you give your customers the best experience possible. And happy customers are paying customers.
Sales performance can also directly affect your company’s growth. When your sales team is effectively performing at its best, they’re able to tackle additional opportunities and are more likely to convert new leads.
Before you start measuring your sales performance and identifying ways to improve it, it’s helpful to know how your team’s performance compares to the industry average. After all, numbers mean nothing without context.
According to Ruler Analytics, these are the average conversion rates for B2B industries:
If your numbers look a lot different, don’t panic. These are industry averages, and you should consider your knowledge of your specific market to determine your sales performance benchmarks.
Chances are good you’ll see room for improvement no matter what. So without further ado, here are 14 tips for improving personal and team sales performance.
If your day-to-day sales process is a hectic mess, chances are your performance is suffering too. Getting organized and finding a system you can stick to can put you miles ahead.
If you’re not sure where to start, look to your team members for inspiration. Are any coworkers on top of their tasks or consistently hitting their quotas?
Pay attention to how they manage their days, or better yet, ask them to walk you through how they designate time for all their tasks and responsibilities. You’ll likely come away with new ideas (and inspiration).
Understanding your role on the sales team helps you identify key activities that have a direct, positive impact on the whole team’s success. By focusing on these activities, you improve your personal performance while boosting your team’s performance at the same time.
Getting a clear perspective on your role also helps you identify growth opportunities and new skills to learn. For example, if you struggle on cold calls, you might actively work on sales call techniques and set goals for measuring your growth. Speaking of…
Remember SMART goals — those specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-sensitive targets? They’re essential for improving your sales performance since they allow you to compare where you’re currently at to where you want to be.
Whatever goals you set, remember to keep them reasonable. While achieving a stretch goal feels rewarding, you still reap tangible benefits if you allow yourself to aim for a goal within reach.
To keep your goals top of mind, write them down on Post-Its. Stick those notes to your monitor or another spot that’s in clear view. And to help hold yourself accountable, share your goal with your mentor, sales manager, and team.
It’s easy to get caught up in the numbers, and while data does talk, qualitative metrics can be just as important.
Adding qualitative key performance indicators (KPIs) to your analysis lets you identify how quickly you can apply new skills and whether your growth is meeting your expectations. It also helps you stay positive and reminds you that, even if the numbers look off, you’re still moving forward.
Other qualitative metrics you can keep tabs on to monitor your sales performance include:
You're not alone if you feel absolutely lost when it comes to improving your sales performance. This is why sales coaches exist. A good sales coach identifies areas for improvement as well as skills and behaviors you’re currently crushing.
You might be able to find a sales coach within your company, but many third-party coaches also offer one-on-one services. Before you choose a sales coach, ask them a few key questions to determine if they’re a fit for you. Some places to start include:
It’s only natural to grow in your career, but how quickly you grow typically depends on the planning you do beforehand. That’s why listing out personal development goals is important.
Choose one to three specific skills you want to focus on this month. Then, list the steps you’ll take to work on those skills. You should also define what successfully developing these skills looks like.
Some sales teams may already have sales training and personal development plans in place, so it doesn’t hurt to check with your team leader first.
Customers can smell bullsh*t a mile away — it’s true. So ensure you’re up on the latest knowledge of your sales market, including your competitors.
You should also conduct thorough, in-depth research on each current and prospective client. Understanding how the market drives their business (or doesn’t) can help you craft a sales pitch tailored to their current needs. It also shows you care — and are likely to give them a high-quality experience throughout your relationship.
Transparency helps foster a successful team. Communicating sales goals is a great place to start adding this quality to your management style.
By focusing on a clear message that includes the goal, the why behind it, and how the team will get there, you help individual sales reps craft their personal sales performance plans. Some science-backed communication rules to keep in mind as you share sales goals with your team include:
Growth can make or break a job for most people. And when your salespeople don’t learn new skills and grow into their strengths, your team and company also suffer.
It’s important for sales leaders to craft training that meets the needs of their particular team. But sales training aside, it’s helpful to use outside resources to cover any gaps. Sites like Skillshare and Udemy are ways to complement your team training.
Feedback shouldn’t be reserved only for annual performance reviews. Instead, share feedback with your team daily, and commit to meeting with each sales rep one-on-one at least every month.
These check-ins can help you re-communicate your team’s goals and the “why” behind them. They also let you listen to any challenges your reps face and provide help. And, of course, feedback is a great way to reinforce positive behaviors as well.
P.S. Did you know that simple sales compensation plans and incentives are much more motivating than complex plans? Find out more in our sales compensation plan guide.
Tracking all the data that goes into measuring sales performance is quite a chore. So work smarter, not harder, and implement sales performance management software.
This type of software helps you automate sales processes, track data using visual reports, and spot areas for improvement, often in real time. A good sales performance SaaS also allows you to monitor individual rep performance and specific sales activities. Some may even help you with sales forecasting as well.
Some top-rated sales performance management software to check out include:
Don’t hide the numbers behind your office door. Instead, go over team progress together. This helps your sales reps understand the data they’re looking at and gives them context to understand whether a dip is a small blip or a worrying trend that needs action.
Some teams publicly display leaderboards to help everyone stay on the same page. Leaderboards, like those that serve as the platform for Arcade’s sales gamification, also encourage fun contests and help the team pull together when someone falls behind.
While training and resources guide your team in the right direction, a mentorship program builds on that with personalized coaching experiences. Mentorships also take the responsibility for training off your shoulders and get your team to pitch in.
Mentorships provide multiple benefits to your team, including personalized coaching for the mentee and leadership experience for the mentor. (And teaching is one of the best ways to learn new skills.)
As a sales manager, you help set your team up for success by ensuring everyone feels welcome and heard. This includes taking note of and addressing any accessibility issues, welcoming diverse talent, and helping everyone feel included.
It also means you may need to show up for the hard decisions, like shutting down intolerance or offensive conversations.
A safe space also means each member of your team knows they can ask a question and get a respectful answer without fear of retribution or their reputation suffering. After all, we all start somewhere, and questions are a great way to learn.
Another easy way to boost sales performance, both on a personal and team level, is to make it into a game. Compete against yourself and aim to beat your number of closed deals or sales calls from the day or week before.
For teams, compete against each other to see who tops the charts by providing the best customer experiences or who creates the most leads.
Arcade helps turn your sales process into a fun challenge, whether you’re an in-office, hybrid, or fully remote team. And we’ve found that gamification has a direct impact on sales performance — including an increase in productivity and sales.
Our software lets you set up team-wide tournaments, bounties, and races. You can also add personalized incentives for sales reps to complete tasks and earn points. Best of all, Arcade helps you keep the team’s goals — and progress toward those goals — front and center for everyone to see.
Work doesn’t have to mean all the fun ends. Give Arcade a try and ask us for a demo today.
Tap into a sense of friendly competition to encourage higher performance.