At a recent Mentors.ie event Sales Development Mentor Barry Brennan discussed how to set up your Sales Team to consistently achieve their sales performance. He started by saying that for any sales team it is critical that they have and believe in a strong competitive product or service proposition.
Barry believes there are 4 key characteristics underpinning top class sales performance. These include the team bring
- Well Challenged
- Well Motivated
- Well Resourced and
- Well Rewarded
It is critical that there is clarity and buy in from sales team members around stretching but achievable sales objectives. For this to happen, sales team members need to be centrally involved in discussing and setting annual sales targets. Management must ensure that the targets are stretched but sense tested and always grounded in reality. Accurate sales targeting can be based on CRM (there are a multitude on effective CRM tools suited to SMEs on the market at present) Customer Relationship management where growth plans are anchored in tracking and predicting individual customer behaviour.
“In other words targets are based less on hunch and intuition and more on real market and customer insight”
A Sales team needs to have a real sense of ownership from setting their own goals and targets, that they are not so stretched that they are not achievable. There is nothing worse than a team significantly missing Q1 sales targets and implicitly giving up on hitting the annual number, often citing the lack of involvement in setting what they feel are now unrealistic and achievable plans. Good motivation also comes from clear, consistent reporting, analysis and constructive feedback.
It is important to have weekly, monthly and quarterly rhythm around performance reporting, analysis and follow up actions.
For any successful sales team it is important that a recruitment and support programme identifies, trains and develops your best sales people. Successful sales managers talk about getting the right mix within their sales team – favouring pioneers over settlers. The pioneers are individuals who are always prepared to raise the cross bar, always up for the challengee and often pulling the average performers or settlers with them.
Well-designed incentive plans adequately discriminate in compensation between top, middle and bottom performers. Top performers accomplish wonderful sales results, measured by revenue, growth or profits according to company business priorities. Middle performers deliver solid results and represent the bulk of the sales force and associated sales results. Bottom performers either develop as sales people and deliver higher sales results, or are inspired to pursue a career more in line with their interests and abilities. These are the cold onerous facts of managing a sales organization, and incentive analysts and designers spend infinite hours examining correlations of sales results and sales force demographics including performance, competencies, customer assignments, territory balance, etc. Variable pay is designed to reward performance and while fairness is an important thought, sales organizations are at their core are meritocracies.
To discuss your organisations Sales Performance cal us today for a no obligation business review on 01 8058053 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.