5 Efficient Ways to Improve Your Sales Performance
July 8, 2022
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Nobody wants a mediocre sales team, but how can sales teams improve performance quickly and efficiently? Having a sound sales strategy can help you improve results quickly–and if implemented right away, you may see the difference this year.
For example, a Hubspot study found that 65 percent of sales leaders who beat revenue targets in 2020 had a dedicated sales enablement team. You can see great results by implementing revenue enablement in your organization.
This article will take an in-depth look at what affects sales performance and some ways you can improve performance in a few months time. Best of all, you’ll be able to take action on these ideas immediately.
In this post:
Factors that impact sales performance
What factors play into how well your sales reps perform? You might think you already know the answer, but some surprising elements may not be top of mind.
Goals and price alignment
This is one factor that many sales managers overlook. But, unfortunately, misaligning the price and strategy you pursue and your sales reps’ scorecard can cause catastrophic results.
For example, one organization found that a significant new product rollout failed because the product was priced low to capture market share, but sales goals were focused on profit margin. As a result, the sales team didn’t focus on selling the new product since it didn’t align with their goals. They spent time on other sales instead.
By incentivizing the sales you’re positioned for, you can keep your eps focused on your business goals.
To align your strategy, you can offer incentive compensation or evaluate how your sales compensation plans are structured. For example, at WorkRamp, we reworked the compensation plan structure for reps to make a push for new logos. This strategy helped reps achieve accelerators faster and meet quotas based on new logos. In addition, this strategy allowed reps to put their focus in the right direction.
Customer service experience
The marketing team can raise awareness about your product, and the sales team can sell it, but what happens next affects whether your bottom line grows or falls. The customer service experience can not only make a huge difference in customer churn, but it can also impact your overall brand reputation, affecting the ability of your reps to close deals.
Availability of materials
Do your sales reps have the materials they need to ensure every interaction with the customer is valuable and impactful? Do reps spend time creating their own call scripts, customer persona documents, or other resources?
“I have often heard this referred to as making deposits instead of just withdrawals with prospects or customers,” says Stephanie Middaugh, Director of Enablement at WorkRamp. “Ensure that your reps are providing value back to the prospects and really creating that consultative selling approach.”
Your sales reps will have a better chance for success if they can quickly find important brand information to send to prospects or review the qualifications for a specific type of sale.
This is also tied to sales productivity and efficiency. Are reps spending their time in a productive manner, working on moving deals forward? How many clicks does it take them to find the information they need? How many different departments or Slack channels do they need to ping before they get an answer?
The sales and marketing budget
Sales and marketing need to work together, but sometimes they compete for the same budget dollars and undercut each other to succeed.
It’s essential to allocate sufficient funds for each department. Marketing must operate in digital and traditional channels to drive brand awareness and generate leads. Unaided, reps aren’t going to be able to shift a customer’s understanding of the brand or the product’s value. Instead, invest in ongoing training to ensure sales reps have what they need to close deals.
How to improve sales performance
You can use various strategies to boost your sales team performance in just a few months. Here are several to consider starting right away.
Align marketing and sales
Your sales and marketing teams should work together seamlessly, but often they may have friction or misalignment.
When marketing moves in a different direction than sales or vice versa, it can cause inconsistency between departments. Make sure that the ideal customer persona is clear, both departments are using the same customer journey documents, and that sales and marketing both talk about the company and products using the same language.
Optimizely discovered the power of sales and marketing alignment when they used WorkRamp to centralize training and certification. They aligned sales, marketing, and customer success across a consistent go-to-market message, and this raised their average deal size by 60 percent and dramatically increased their enterprise pipeline.
“In a B2B world, your messaging creates memories,” according to Melissa Regan, Senior Sales Enablement Manager at WorkRamp. “If we’re going to create a memory for customers, we don’t want to create conflicting memories.”
When sales and marketing are in lockstep, you’ll have far more success in a short amount of time.
Use social selling
Social selling, or connecting with ideal prospects through social media, is how to find and nurture leads today. More than 50 percent of revenue across 14 major industries is generated by social sales. Cold calls are far less effective than engaging with prospects digitally, providing helpful information about your business, products, and more.
This approach depends on building long-term relationships and is well-suited to the B2B buying cycle, which takes longer and has more stakeholders than B2C sales. According to Linkedin, 78 percent of social sellers outsell peers who don’t use social media. You can use social media to target key decision-makers, create relationships, have valuable conversations, and move through the sales process much more efficiently.
Leverage revenue enablement
Sales and revenue enablement teams have been gaining a lot of traction, and for a good reason. Sales enablement adoption has increased by 343 percent over the last five years. A revenue enablement team can dramatically improve your results, whether this is a good sales year or a tough one.
Revenue enablement serves to equip your sales team with the resources and knowledge they need to be successful. Enablement includes creating content for sales and marketing, clearly defining and updating customer personas, training sales reps, and more.
In HubSpot’s survey, revenue enablement teams focused on eight types of content, including email templates, call scripts, pre-call checklists, testimonials, and product demos. These teams also evaluate and implement technology and tools that facilitate team productivity, sales training, and coaching at the rep and manager levels.
As you leverage revenue enablement within your organization, you’ll see improvements in your sales performance and bottom line. For example, Handshake used WorkRamp to implement revenue enablement and doubled revenue by increasing the average deal size across the sales department.
“We’ve really leaned into the continuous learning capabilities of WorkRamp to double our revenue YOY and increase average deal size by 15 percent. Since adopting WorkRamp to train our tenured reps, we’ve overachieved on each of our quarterly sales goals.”
-Mark Riley, Senior Enablement Manager, Handshake
Improve customer service
If you don’t emphasize your customer experience after the sale, you’ll lose current customers and make it much harder for your salespeople to win deals. In addition, your overall reputation will suffer.
One of the first steps is to ensure that your customer service team feels valued and appreciated. Highlight the things team members do well and offer shoutouts and praise across the company to give them visibility. Not only will this keep them motivated, but also how they are treated will influence how they treat your customers. You can also work with your revenue enablement team to provide ongoing training so that your customer service representatives understand your products, policies, and how to manage challenging customers.
Finally, emphasize to each person in your company that a positive customer experience is everyone’s job. Any time a customer interacts with someone from the team, they should have a great experience that leaves them feeling good about your brand.
Create a referral program
Now that you’ve got strong customer service, it’s time to start asking current customers if they know anyone else who could use your services. You can offer a variety of bonuses for referrals, from free products and services to recognition or special access to additional resources.
The power of a referral program can be significant. Some 59 percent of companies with referral programs report a higher lifetime customer value, 69 percent report a faster time to close, and 71 percent report higher conversion rates.
Maximize your revenue this year
There are a number of tactics that can help you improve your sales performance in the next several months. One of the most important is to have a dedicated revenue enablement team. This group will oversee efforts to ensure that all aspects of the sales process are efficient and effective, giving you the best return on your investment.
Want to learn more about how you can use WorkRamp to scale your revenue enablement efforts and create on-demand training to improve performance? Contact us to schedule a free demo.
Complete the form for a custom demo.
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Anna SpoonerWorkRamp Contributor
Anna Spooner is a digital strategist and marketer with over 11 years of experience. She writes content for various industries, including SaaS, medical and personal insurance, healthcare, education, marketing, and business. She enjoys the process of putting words around a company’s vision and is an expert at making complex ideas approachable and encouraging an audience to take action.
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