Many sales leaders assume hiring additional salespeople is the quickest route to improving overall sales performance — but we’d have to disagree. Since over 80% of revenue typically comes from 20% of existing sales reps, expanding the sales team doesn’t necessarily mean that revenue will grow as much as expected. Rather, it’s more cost effective to instill sales best practices in your existing sales force, generating more top performers with greater output at a lower cost. Sales leaders agree, with roughly 79% of sales executives reporting that improving existing sales reps’ productivity enables the team to achieve goals sooner. Although sales best practices vary slightly between industries and individual businesses, there are five consistent strategies that work across the board to improve performance. As a sales leader, it’s useful to discover how you can integrate these tactics into your company’s practices.
1. Use a content management system to keep sales content organized
Sales enablement content offers no help to reps if they can’t locate it quickly and easily. With the right sales enablement tech, sales leaders gain the ability to organize content and maintain a standardized system. Sales enablement software organizes content into a cohesive, easy-to-navigate system that makes finding and sharing resources much simpler for reps. Rather than fumbling through messages trying to find the right link, reps can find and share impactful content at opportune moments in their buyers’ journey. This capitalizes on time, helping move buyers to the next stage of their purchasing journey. By using the right information at the right time, reps can increase win rates and boost performance.
2. Sales best practices require monitoring content performance
Not only does content management keep sales collateral organized, but it allows sales reps to have a better understanding of existing content and its performance. The right sales enablement technology should capture both buyer and seller data, allowing the entire team to make data-driven decisions about how, why, and when to share sales collateral with buyers.
Seller data captures valuable information such as which pieces of content top performing sales reps use most, along with when they share it with buyers. Sales leaders can leverage this data to inform the entire sales team on sales best practices. For instance, say the data shows top-performing sales reps always share a certain infographic with buyers to motivate them between two specific stages of your unique buyer’s journey. Sales leaders can leverage these insights to train the rest of the team on the most effective ways to use and share content.
Buyer data, on the other hand, captures information such as what content buyers are viewing and for how long. Sales leaders can use this information to understand what content buyers respond best to. In turn, sales leaders are better aware of what content resonates most with buyers. For example, consider a situation where sales leaders notice that buyers consistently make a purchasing decision after reading a short case study. The study showcases a customer who saved their developers up to 8 hours per week with its SaaS platform. Knowing this information, the sales leaders can direct the rest of the sales team to use this case study in late-stage sales discussions as a sales best practice.
3. Track sales performance to make data-driven decisions
To discover which sales reps on your team account for that 20% driving 80% of revenue, consider tracking performance through key KPIs. By tracking KPIs both across the entire team and for individual reps, sales leaders can discern the strengths and areas of improvement in each sales rep’s performance. A few KPIs to track include:
- Lead-to-Close Ratio: Compares the total number of leads to the total number of closed deals.
- Sales Cycle Length: Determines the average number of days it takes for deals to close, from the first contact to a signed agreement.
- Win Rate: Describes the percentage of deals closed after entering sales discussions with a lead.
- Up- and Cross-selling Rates: Indicates how frequently reps sell the buyer additional or upgraded products.
4. Personalize sales training with sales enablement software
The reps that make up a high-performing sales team offer a diverse set of qualities and
skills — so why would you offer them one-size-fits-all training? Since sales training can boost individual reps’ performance by 20%, tailoring training to address their specific needs and areas of improvements can make a drastic difference in performance.
Data captured by sales enablement software can indicate precisely where a rep may be falling behind in their sales performance. If a rep consistently loses clients after speaking with them on the phone, yet performs beautifully during in-person sales meetings, the data will pinpoint these strengths and weaknesses. Then, by leveraging these insights, sales leaders can create a unique, personalized training program to target those areas and upskill reps. The right sales enablement software allows sales leaders to create asynchronous training videos, enabling reps to learn at their own pace. Sales leaders assign the most relative training sessions — such as a video on sales calls — to reps. Reps then watch the videos on their own time, completing the training session by the assigned due date. This means that when reps require additional training, sales leaders don’t need to halt the entire team’s daily work for a training session.
5. Create open communication between sales reps and leadership
One of the most important tools for sales best practices? Communication. Without open communication between sales leaders and reps, existing processes don’t improve. When reps feel comfortable communicating their struggles, they can indicate current roadblocks and process inefficiencies to leaders. Businesses using effective communication tools are 3.5 times more likely to yield stronger results.
For example, consider that several reps may find that the company’s current method for inputting information into the CRM is very time-consuming and takes away from the time they spend selling. Reps can independently bring this up in one-on-one meetings with their manager. Then, the manager can seek solutions to the reps’ problem, which may result in either a new process for CRM input or investing in CRM automation. As new problems arise, reps continue suggesting changes to their manager, streamlining the entire process for everyone.
If you’re looking to improve sales performance and create top-performing sales professionals, start by implementing sales best practices in your current team — don’t just hire new sales reps and hope for the best. Offering existing sales reps the tools and training they need to perform at their best is more cost effective, timely, and convenient.
Book a demo with Prezentor and empower your reps with effective content management, personalized sales training, buyer behavioral data, and more.