Improving Sales Performance


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Sales managers and senior officers are stressed because their sales teams spend too much time in the office and are not meeting sales goals. With shareholders and the board getting more agitated over results officers are in the danger zone.

Look around most sales offices and you will find cliques of sales teams speaking with each other and not their most vital asset- their customer. Sales professions complain over accounts. And, sales managers spend too much time on discipline rather than more important strategic issues.

There is the realization that something needs to change and drastically. When the activity shifts from tactics to strategy the following occurs:

1. Morale. Any sales manager in the business long enough will tell you that when individuals sell they succeed. As sales improve so does morale. That said it is vital that selling professionals focus on their most important activity- meeting existing clients to sell them something.

2. Productivity. When the focus of sales professionals creates a bevy of activity there is more productivity. Simply put busy individuals are more productive.

3. Stress. As the intensity of activity increases managers are left with less discipline and more results. Sales directors gain more freedom and more time since professionals are involved in issues that keeps them motivated and results focused.

The problem today is that there are so many people issuing such poor advice that sales directors and senior managers are uncertain what to do. Cold calling, training, et. al. are not the answers to creating a collaborative, action based sales team. There are several issues that require attention to help reduce the stress and increase the workflow.

Here are five concepts that require focus:

1. Lack of Accountability – Because of busyness sales managers are not providing the proper key performance metrics that hold individuals responsible for leads and pipeline management.

2. Lack of Relationships – Business professionals conduct business with whom they know and trust. Have sales professionals focus on relationships not units.

3. Lack of Good Advice – There are so much bad advice out there from training to coaching etc. One problem is your firm tries training because someone told you to do so. However training is an event. Nothing alters in a seven-hour day. Behavior must change from proper knowledge transfer. In addition, the training will fail because implementation fails when events sit in a binder!

4. Lack of Personnel – No intervention will work unless you have the proper talent. Lack of proper hiring leads to attrition, morale and overall productivity issues.

5. Lack of Customer Centrism – The purpose of business to acquire and retain clients. This is done with proper relationships. Research illustrates that almost fifty percent of every transaction involves customer service.

Sales managers and their teams are in a battle for survival. Stress is high and productivity is low. It is necessary to begin investments that alleviate the issues and increase the results that you seek from each individual and the sales team. Ask any sales manager when results are prevalent there is more freedom, more contentment and simply more of everything.

How does your organization deal with sales productivity issues? Do you have succinct stories or best practices you can share? Provide a quick comment below.

©2010. Drew j. Stevens Ph.D.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Drew Stevens
Drew J. Stevens Ph.D. (Dr. Drew) is the author of Split Second Selling and the soon to be released Ultimate Business Bible and six other business books on sales, customer loyalty, self mastery and business development solutions. Drew helps organizations to dramatically accelerate revenue and outstrip the competition. He conducts over 4 international keynotes, seminars and workshops per year.


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