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How to Improve Sales Effectiveness

October 18th, 2017

Do you measure the effectiveness of your sales team on a regular basis? Do you know that sales effectiveness can be measured and improved? To a lot of salespeople, sales effectiveness might come across as a vague term often tossed in the sales meetings. As a sales leader, the best you can do is to help the team understand the meaning of sales effectiveness and how it is related to the other elements of sales cycle such as sales productivity and sales efficiency.

Yes, educate the team not only about your product’s features but also about how to be effective in selling. It doesn’t matter if you have a nascent team or a cadre of experienced sales reps. It is important for your bottom line’s health that you reiterate and revise your sales processes and goals with the team.

Tips to improve sales effectiveness

To focus on conversion is just one aspect (a major one though) of sales. The following tips can improve team’s sales effectiveness with the ability to improve the conversion plus bottomline:

1.) Set the metrics to measure sales effectiveness

Carefully select those primary metrics that you will use month over month to measure your
team’s effectiveness. These could be following:

  • Sales reps quotas. Are the quotas aligned to company’s sales target?
  • Conversion rate
  • Number of appointments won to demo the product
  • Length of the sales cycle from identifying to converting
  • Percentage of time spent in identifying prospects versus time spent in pitching to the prospects
  • Percentage of time spent in tailoring the marketing content
  • Number of times prospects don’t respond to your reps

Here are some of the metrics that shouldn’t be counted when setting up goals:

  • Number of calls made in a day
  • Number of emails sent in a day

These two metrics  are misleading goals. Your rep might have completed the quota of making calls and sending emails without getting any appointment! Does that mean they are effective salespeople?

2.) Ensure the availability of right tailored content at the right time

Basically this means aligning your marketing team to sales so that they can fulfill the need of  sales team. Your organization depends on the performance of sales department. Make other departments work around it so that sales can focus on pitching and closing the deals. You don’t want the sales reps to waste their time in editing the sales and marketing collateral. Of course, in B2B selling the marketing content, campaigns etc need to be personalized. Let the sales rep give their input to the marketing and let marketing do the editing bit. In Account Based Selling Model it wouldn’t be wrong if you keep one copywriter and a designer at an accessible range, for a group of sales reps, to just tailor the content.

3.) Provide training to strike effective conversation with stakeholders

Time you invest in listening to what your sales reps say to the decision makers in various accounts. The conversation needs to be monitored so that you could give constructive feedback to the reps. Say, your rep has sent mails to the prospects or tried to get in touch with them over the phone but all in vain.

If your team is confident that the identified prospects have a need then there is something else that needs  to be fixed from your side to get stakeholders’ attention. This could be sales collaterals, which we have discussed in the previous point. Or it could be soft skill training plus the content of the conversation, which needs to be practiced over and over again.

As part of the sales training you can bring all the reps handling various accounts under one roof and let them share their stories on how they lost or won a particular deal.

4.) Feed data into the sales process

This takes us back to the first point where you set the metrics to measure the effectiveness. Now the insight from here needs to be fed back to improve and optimize the sales process. Once you tweak the process and see some result you can go back and revise the metrics again- add some more metrics to the list such as  sales meetings per month, number of training sessions etc. With the insight from every metric it becomes easier to strengthen the sales process.

5.) Invest in right CRM to improve sales effectiveness

Gone are the days when sales reps used to maintain diaries and excel sheets. The market is flooded with plethora of CRM and other tools. Invest in the right kind of tool to assist your sales reps in moving fast towards conversion.

A sales team is the critical component of your organization and for the business to progress it is vital that the team is effective in selling. So, make sure that you give value and importance that sales team deserves and concentrate more on improving sales effectiveness rather than on conversion rate.

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