What is sales performance? It’s the measurement of sales activity and corresponding results compared to the sales expectations and quota. Good sales performance is highly valued but it can also be elusive to achieve for many salespeople and organizations.
The key to good sales performance is consistency. Anyone can have a good sales month, but a high-performing salesperson and sales team can meet or exceed expectations for an extended period of time through different sets of economic circumstances and competitive situations.
First, let’s discuss ways sales reps can improve their individual performance.
How to Improve Your Sales Performance
1. Start with the right mindset.
Your mindset as you approach a deal can greatly impact the final outcome. If you don’t think you will be successful, you will be right. It usually takes several years to become a high achiever with consistent sales performance. If you aren’t there yet, try creating an annual vision board.
A vision board is where you assemble pictures and phrases of what you want to achieve and why you want to achieve it. It helps you remember the why of your sales career when you run into the inevitable pothole, and is a powerful exercise for visualizing success.
2. Improve your business acumen with an emphasis on your vertical market.
Business acumen, or the level of understanding you have in regards to how a business runs, gives you credibility and trust when you are positioning your product or services. When you’re looking to improve your sales performance, strengthening your business acumen (specifically in the vertical market you are selling in) is critical.
HubSpot Sales Manager Mintis Hankerson says:
"You need to understand your customer’s business before you even reach out to them or draft the first email. As a sales rep the key to success is to understand how your prospect is approaching their buying process, what their intentions are, and how you can accommodate and fit into that."
You can take small steps to improve your business acumen each day. Try reading credible business publications, or digging into relevant financial reports for deeper understanding.
3. Get organized.
One of the biggest factors in sales performance is ensuring you are focused on the right task at the right time. Chances are if you don’t allocate time to complete work (such as putting it on your calendar) it’s unlikely to happen.
If organization isn’t your strong suit, get help quickly. Ask an organized team member to walk you through their workflow to give you some ideas.If you are spending mental capacity trying to juggle too many priorities, it’s hard to focus on your prospects, which can hinder your overall performance.
4. Review all pertinent data for your role and position.
Most salespeople are assigned a sales quota and activity metrics that will help them achieve that quota. Some organizations publish these numbers so salespeople can compare their results with high performers.
Reading the data and incorporating it into daily activity is key. HubSpot Sales Manager Tiki Biswal offers this advice:
"Understand what your ‘sales macros’ are. Most people are familiar with macros, or macronutrients, in the context of healthy eating. In that instance, you track how many carbs, proteins, and fats you eat to better understand what you’re consuming and help you reach your goals. This same thought process applies to sales.
Think of your metrics and KPIs as your macros. If you don’t understand what metrics or KPIs you need to overachieve, then you’ll have a hard time gauging your performance. The metrics you need to hit could be vastly different than the other reps on your team.
I once had a rep on my team that was ‘doing everything right’ but still missing her quota. We pulled some data and noticed that her discount percentage was 15% higher than everyone else on the team. After some coaching on negotiation and closing, she was able to steadily increase her Average Sales Price."
Understand that your personal definition of success may be different than that of your peers. This is why knowing where you stand according to metrics that are most relevant for you is important information for improving your performance as a sales professional.
5. Set concrete goals above and beyond basic job expectations.
Most salespeople want to overachieve their quota, so setting personal goals that exceed quota expectations provides a bit of wiggle room. If your goals are not written down they are not goals, they are dreams.
Defining what you would like to achieve, how you would like to achieve it, and then sharing this information with your managers and team members can help keep you accountable.
6. Build a personal development plan.
The great part about a sales career is that there is a lot to learn at every stage. The best way to accelerate your development is to create a personal development plan that defines what skills you want to improve within a specific amount of time.
I suggest picking one or two specific skills to focus on each month and documenting the steps you take to show improvement over time.
7. Find a sales coach or mentor.
Having a sales coach or confidant outside of your organization can provide valuable perspective. An experienced sales coach with relevant experience will likely have more bandwidth and valuable perspective that can support your development in ways your immediate manager might miss.
8. Track your progress in quantitative and qualitative ways.
Document your success. Track your sales performance on a weekly and monthly basis so you can have evidence of your progress. Additionally, tracking your own progress can provide a high-level understanding of your performance and how it relates to your sales organization’s success.
Source - Read More at: blog.hubspot.com