As sales professionals can truly contribute to the growth of any organisation, keeping an eye on their performance might as well be vital for your business. This, however, is much easier said than done. How to start measuring the efforts of your sales team, then?
First of all, you should make sure you have top talents on board. Every business needs effective sales professionals – otherwise it won’t develop much. Plus, there’s no point in investing time and effort in measuring one’s progress if your sales team doesn’t care much about their performance. Hire highly-motivated people who are empathic, confident, patient, ambitious and charming. While recruiting, pay attention also to your potential employees’ communication and multitasking skills, as well as the ability to listen and understand customers’ needs.
Once you make sure everyone cares about increasing productivity – it’s time to find the right measures and keep track of your sales team performance. Here are the best tips for tracking (and optimising) the performance of your sales team to get you started.
How to measure and improve your sales team performance?
Define specific goals
Even though your sales agents will most likely be motivated by different things, setting specific goals for everyone has certain benefits. Above all, you can easily boost team spirit this way, and also make sure that the company’s mission is aligned with sales team goals. At the same time, all team members can hold each other accountable, which affects their performance as well.
Remember that your goals should be SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timely. As you can see, your sales strategy should be challenging but doable. The more accurate your goals are, the more chances your team has to achieve them and get motivation for the next tasks.
Choose the right KPIs for your sales team
There are numerous metrics and KPIs you could keep an eye on, but the key is to choose ones that actually matter for your business. The most popular KPIs you could pay attention to, are:
- Lead Response Time – the amount of time between the initial inquiry and the sales rep’s answer,
- Customer Acquisition Cost – the total cost of acquiring a new customer,
- Average Sales Cycle – the amount of time it takes for a prospect to go through all the stages of your sales funnel before becoming your customer,
- Revenue – the amount of money you receive within a specified period of time (in this case, businesses tend to go for the monthly recurring revenue – the amount of predictable revenue expected on a monthly basis),
- Average profit margin – the average profit made across all products, services, and sales channels.
Of course, these are not all the KPIs you could keep track of. There’s a wide range of team and individual activity metrics too, which is why you should do your research and choose the ones that will suit your team best.
Take advantage of the available sales tools
Once you decide which metrics you’re going to track, though, you have to figure out how you’re going to track them. What proves to be helpful at this stage is to take advantage of the dedicated sales tools, especially those that offer visual reports that can be tailored to the needs of your team.
Interestingly enough, high-performing sales teams tend to use nearly three times the amount of sales technology than underperforming ones. That’s hardly surprising, given that powerful software can not only automate certain tasks for your team, but also help you keep an eye on how fast these tasks are being completed. This is usually possible with a proper CRM system – but there are other tools you might want to give a try. For example:
- Uplead: to quickly find and connect with qualified prospects,
- Shared Contacts for Gmail: to share Gmail contacts with your team,
- CloudTalk: to make and receive more calls, and collect data on your callers while you’re at it,
- Harmonizely: to make it easier for your prospects to schedule appointments with your sales agents.
As a matter of fact, there are plenty of useful sales tools on the market that can help you track the performance of your sales team, and essentially take its productivity to the next level. In order to make that happen, though, you need to choose the right software for your team. Think your sales process through – if there are any areas that could be automated and improved, it might be high time to do your research, find at least a few alternatives to take advantage of, and try them out to see whether they’re a good fit for your team.
Review your sales team’s activity regularly
If you’ve already set the goals for all your sales agents and figured out how to measure your their performance, it’s time to hold everyone accountable. It will be much easier if you organise team meetings on a regular basis, and recognise the efforts of your team members (or lack thereof). Going through the numbers will not only help you keep an eye on the performance of your sales agents, but also keep them motivated at all times.
Additionally, let your team review a project or a given period. Your employees can notice operational issues that you are not aware of. Get feedback on procedures, methods and tools that our company uses. That way, salespeople can have an impact on their work and be more engaged on a daily basis.
Always look at the bright side
Speaking of motivation: it’s often what contributes to the overall success of a sales team and thus, the health of a business. That’s precisely why you should always look for things to celebrate, rather than complain about. Giving credit whenever it’s deserved can be a real morale-booster.
Keep in mind, however, that the decrease in productivity might happen – in fact, it’s very common. As long as you know that your sales reps still care about their performance, there’s no need to worry. The only thing you should do is understand what’s been happening, get through the tough times, and support your team to find their way to being productive again.
Find out what works best for your own team
Finding out what works and what doesn’t for your sales team is essential in tracking and optimising its performance. It applies to the right goals, metrics, and ways to measure them properly. In fact, measuring the productivity of your sales agents can help you identify any issues, address the challenges, and improve the results of your sales team in the long run.
Still, even though keeping track and optimising one’s performance doesn’t seem that difficult at first, it can get quite challenging at times. It’s mostly because there are many obstacles that may stand in your way: such as unclear goals, irrelevant sales metrics, unmotivated team members, or even the resistance to adapt to new sales tools and processes. Through proper management and proper software, though, you can easily address these challenges and take the performance of your sales team to the next level in no time.