The art of bringing the greatest productivity out of your sales staff can feel complicated and challenging. It can feel like there must be a "secret formula" for success here. After all, how come to some sales teams seem to naturally "click", while others flounder and perhaps even internally clash?
In truth, some competing sales teams - or, more to the point, their managers - might be utilising tricks you aren't using or maybe even know. Those sales techniques might include...
1. Drawing a line between your job and other distractions
As award-winning author Kevin F Davis writes in a piece for Salesforce's Quotable magazine, many sales managers allow their salespeople to direct their responsibilities more often than vice versa.
For example, a sales representative might often report a problem to you before you pledge to look into the issue. However, you should teach reps to tackle their own issues and so free up time for you to spend doing what should be your primary responsibility: developing effective salespeople.
2. Coach one or two members of your B team
One strategy commonly followed by sales managers is focusing their coaching efforts on their A players in an attempt to help land the most lucrative deals. Alternatively, you might extend your helping hand more often to the C team, deeming them most in need of your help.
However, by instead honing a B player to make them an A player, you can spur more competition among the A players and thus encourage them to perform even better than they already do.
3. Be more proactive with your coaching
Do you tend to reserve performance reviews for particular periods, like just one specific time of year? In doing so, you could be frustrating your salespeople - as you could be telling them about their inefficient sales practices long after they have used them.
Sadly, such performance reviews remain standard in sales departments. These reviews have a purpose, but you should observe reps in action to deliver what would properly be called coaching.
4. Regularly draw upon sales channel analytics
Your sales team has a broad range of channels through which it can promote the company's offerings. However, which of these channels would be the most effective for such use can be a difficult question to answer. For this reason, you shouldn't overlook sales channels analytics.
As another popular author, Bernard Marr, has commented in a Forbes article, for each of your current and potential channels, setting some conversion rate goals will help clarify your aims.
5. Spot negative patterns so that you can nip them in the bud
It is crucial that your team members have an unwavering belief in the overriding vision. If you see such belief - or morale more generally - faltering in any of your salespeople, then difficult conversions might be necessary, as this LinkedIn article makes clear.