Measuring sales performance isn’t that difficult. You can see how well your sales team and procedures are doing simply by measuring sales growth, new customers and repeat business. But, identifying the factors and actions you can take to make sure your sales figures are everything they can be is considerably more complex.
The difficult part here is gaining insights into the factors that affect sales performance and why they influence how customers perceive your business and your offerings. If you can do that, you can discover what drives sales and how you can do things better to optimise sales across the board, right now, and in order to shape future business strategy.
Here are five areas to focus on to make sure your sales process is operating as efficiently as possible.
1. Defined goals
In order to measure sales performance you need a benchmark. That starts with defined objectives, whether that’s customer retention, repeat sales, order size, or greater market share. Know what you want and be realistic about what you can achieve. Once you set those deliverables, you have a baseline from where to start measuring, improving and fine-tuning sales processes and future business strategy. Just make sure you have a sound methodology in place for capturing and analysing data to form the basis of your metrics.
2. Trained staff deliver higher sales
If your staff don’t know what they should be doing, how to do it, or if something is interfering with their ability to do their job, they won’t perform well. And sales will suffer! Make sure you staff are fully trained in every aspect of their role and have all the tools and resources they need to drive sales. One area where this is strategically important is customer service. Your sales team have been hired for their ability to sell, but if they can deliver great customer service while doing this, the result will be even greater sales. After all, your frontline staff are selling much more than a product; they’re selling your business.
3. Understand customer needs
Make sure your sales team understand the customer’s business model. What is it they need from your company and how can they deliver that in a way that adds value at the customer’s end? Create ways to source detailed feedback from your team on how the customer reacts to the various processes and stages that make up the sales journey, as well as any changing needs within the customer base. You can use all of this to develop your product further, or even cross-sell other products that meet customer needs. Create solutions that meet customer needs.
4. Reward excellence
It’s your business, but that doesn’t mean you should take all the credit for producing a great bottom line. Delivering service that goes the extra mile is what leads to an exceptional sales performance and that only happens as the result of the individual efforts of your sales team. So it needs to be recognised and rewarded. That way, it will happen more often. Incentivise your people to perform and you’ll see the results of that reflected in your sales performance. Your sales team are your elite frontline in the war for sales. Support them in every way you can!
5. What are the competition doing?
Always research the competition and see what they’re up to. How is their business performing? If they’re doing well, or even taking business from you - examine why that’s happening. Conversely, if they’re performing badly, look to see what they’re doing wrong, so you can avoid it doing it too. And if you are taking business away from your rivals, make sure you know the factors that are making that happen and promote them further. Pay special attention to customer service strategies utilised by the competition that could be embraced by your own business for greater success.