Published by : Fab Calando
Some sales principles aren't subject to cyclical trends or patterns. Their effectiveness over time testifies to their immutability. These are rules to which sales forces from all walks of life can refer.
We've compiled these sales fundamentals based on the experience gathered since 2008 that have had the most significant impact on our clients and blog readers.
Add these principles to your playbooks!
To increase sales force performance
1. Know how to recognize the attributes of a good salesperson
The typical image of a good salesperson differs considerably from reality. The truth is, you can identify them with specific and measurable traits, such as a high sales percentile and high sales DNA. Did you know that only 7% of representatives are part of the elite?
2. Get a complete overview of your sales force
To increase your sales profitability and grow your business, you may have considered sales training, a new recruitment approach or the implementation of a better compensation plan for your representatives.
It is a good start, but it is not enough.
In total, 7 components must be considered to have an efficient and profitable sales force:
- Sales infrastructure
- Sales management
- Lead generation
- Sales messaging
- Sales capacity
- Sales force structure
- Sales recruitment and talent development
3. Keep your reps motivated
When a sales team isn't motivated, the whole company suffers. The role of the representative is sometimes a daunting one, and it's just as challenging for the director who must offer support to each.
Based on the primary emotions of fear and desire, 3 actions can be taken to motivate your sales team.
For sales growth
4. Understand who develops the sales strategy and who executes it
A clear sales strategy is necessary to achieve better results. The sales leaders, either the VP of sales or the company president, should establish it. Sales managers are responsible for its execution.
Do you find this principle too simple? It is one of the best-kept secrets in the industry.
This article reveals this secret technique to increase your company's sales.
5. Follow the best practices of a productive sales force
Sales activities impact the increase in your company's revenue. To achieve your sales objectives, the right behaviors must be executed consistently and by following your business tactics.
This article lists the 10 best practices for sales growth.
6. Adapt to new situations
An unfavourable sales context is cause for anxiety for any company manager. It may seem incompatible, even unrealistic, to increase sales in a down market.
However, the leader who knows how to gain market share from the company's competitors can increase sales in a stagnant or declining market.
For effective sales management
7. Understand the role of the sales manager
The sales manager must spend at least 80% of his or her time ensuring that representatives properly execute sales strategies.
On a daily basis, their work is divided into 4 different areas: they need to allocate half of their time to coaching, and the rest to motivation, accountability and recruitment of representatives.
This article details the roles and responsibilities of the sales manager.
8. Plan regular meetings between the different groups in your sales force
A company manager should prioritize regular meetings with his or her sales managers. These conversations provide a follow-up on the sales force's activities and provide the opportunity for coaching.
Here are 18 relevant questions that business leaders should ask their managers to maximize this valuable meeting time.
For exemplary sales leadership
9. Know how to set realistic but bold objectives
Sales objectives are the target to which both managers and representatives must keep their eyes fixed. The challenge for sales leaders is to set them right - neither too high nor too low.
Realistic and bold goals are not set based on mathematics. There are 3 keys to setting achievable and motivating sales objectives:
- Knowing who sets sales objectives;
- Knowing how to set sales targets;
- Knowing how to ensure that the objectives are met.
10. Evaluate the performance of the sales team
Objective results dictate informed decisions. More specifically, they must meet 3 sales needs: evaluate performance, diagnose issues and serve for growth.
Here are the 7 sales KPIs that should be monitored by any sales leader.
To have a successful sales force, you need to understand the strengths and weaknesses of every member - from the reps to the sales managers and leaders.
Can your salespeople sell consultatively? Are they ready to do whatever it takes to succeed? Can they overcome the resistance of prospects? Do your sales managers have the skills what it takes to do the job effectively?
Only a sales-specific sales force evaluation can give you that.