By: David Jacoby on January 3rd, 2011
Sales Management Strategies to Increase Sales Revenue
When sales leaders face higher growth expectations, they need to drive increased productivity from existing sales teams. Many sales leaders will also hire new salespeople to take advantage of the projected increase in customer demand.
While we would all like to find the “secret sauce” to achieve, or exceed, our revenue goals and increase sales revenue, those of us who have been doing this for years know that the only real “secret sauce” is planning for success and executing against our plan.
Evaluate Your Sales Team
Developing a top notch plan requires evaluating your current sales team and identifying skill gaps. In particular, here is a list of four key focus areas to evaluate your team:
- Consultative selling skills: Do they have the requisite skills to add value throughout the sales process?
- Product knowledge: Do they have the requisite knowledge to communicate the benefits of your solutions? And, equally important, can they describe how those benefits align with your customers priorities?
- Communication and Interpersonal Skills: While these are more difficult to train than selling skills and product knowledge, they are essential skills for sales professionals. Ultimately, buyers purchase from people they enjoy working with and who communicate clearly.
- Motivation: This is an essential behavior that is often overlooked but typically manifests itself in sales peoples’ work ethic, commitment, and drive to succeed.
Develop an Onboarding Program
If you are adding new hires, develop an on-boarding program that allows sales people to ramp up as quickly as possible. Great on-boarding plans typically include:
- Product training: Keep in mind that the training should focus not only the features of your products and services but, more importantly, how these features benefit your customer.
- Industry overview and competitive landscape: Sales professionals need to understand your industry and your competitive points of differentiation.
- Consultative selling skills training: The training should be structured as customized workshops that are highly relevant to your industry, and provide ample opportunity for practice before they begin selling to real customers.
- CRM training: It is essential that their sales activity and results are captured so you can monitor performance, and understand what actions have taken place with each customer
- Your expectations!!! New hires need to understand your performance expectations both in terms of results and the specific behaviors that drive results.
Manage Sales Performance
Lastly, don’t neglect the importance of performance management and ongoing coaching. It is much easier to course correct early in the year than later in the year.
As sales leaders, we need to manage performance, identify areas for improvement, and provide sales coaching to help our sales people achieve their full potential. We also need to remember that sales professionals often encounter challenges (internal and external), and that it is our responsibility to lead, motivate, and inspire our teams.
About David Jacoby
As a Managing Director at Sales Readiness Group, David helps large B2B sales organizations improve sales performance. Previously, David was a Principal at Linear Partners, a sales consulting firm providing sales strategy, sales operations, talent management, and interim management services to emerging growth companies. In the past, David has served as Vice President of Business Affairs of Xylo, Inc., where he was responsible for the Company's business development, sales operations, legal affairs, and financing activities.