Simply chasing money may have worked once upon a time for sales teams, but today’s high performance sales reps are better schooled. They have been through customized inside sales training and understand a far more sophisticated methodology for selling success.
A modern and high performing sales culture, whether inside or outside sales, has five major characteristic activities:
- Focus on data
In today’s competitive marketplace, it is not enough to drive a sales team by gut feel. Technology allows us to keep close track of what works and what does not. It is these insights that should drive our decisions about where and how to play. Beyond making better decisions about the kinds of customers we should seek, data help us more accurately forecast future business. Gather the data, turn it into insights and then make them public. The entire company should have access to the information that can help them make decisions in alignment with your sales strategy.
- Measure performance
How can you improve performance if you have no baseline measure nor expected standards? Every salesperson should have specific goals and should be accountable to them. Whether those goals are weekly, monthly or quarterly, their achievement of those goals should be celebrated and their lack of achievement should be examined. There may be good reasons why a salesperson did not reach their numbers, but each case should be reviewed for the cause of failure so everyone can learn how to do better next time. Accountability is a critical building block of a high performing sales team.
- Balance individual and team goals
Few true salespeople are content to have all their sales results buried in team numbers. And yet you want your team to be able to work collaboratively together. Plan your compensation package to support both individual and team effort. A little competition keeps team members sharp and always striving.
- Keep on learning
There should be no end to improving one’s sales skills. Even the best sales rep can get better. A portion of team meetings should be devoted to looking at what needs fixing, talking about common obstacles, or practicing sales behaviors that matter most. The team that learns together, stays together and hones their inside sales skills for success.
- Stay flexible
Change is constant. To be successful, you need to adjust to changing circumstances. You may need to change the way you position yourselves in the market, fix a problem in your sales process, or shift your definition of a sales target. Be ready to modify sales plans as needed to stay on top of your game.