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Monday, December 9, 2019

Executive LifestyleStats Gate

(Amazing) Sales improvement strategies and other magic tricks

So now you know that missing targets and dropping sales are not the issues with your sales team alone. But knowing that you’re not the only one is a bigger concern and not a relief. This means there is something collectively wrong with the methods of sales management around the world that needs immediate correction.

– 66% of salespeople do not meet their targets – HubSpot
– 77% of executive buyers say that salespeople don’t understand their problems and cannot help – Forrester research
– 78% of buyers claim that salespeople don’t have relevant case studies to present or share – Forrester research
– 39% of a sales rep’s time is spent on selling or talking to prospects, only. – HubSpot

Experts have found the following to be the major reasons for the consistently dropping sales performance of your company.

  • Training blunders – They don’t understand your company’s product or service properly
  • Mentorship potholes – They don’t have adequate guidance.
  • Recruitment errors – They lack the skills or simply hate their job

Here, except for the last reason, the other two can be easily improved with the right processes and systems in place.  

Continued Training and Learning

It is no secret that salespeople are busy beyond measure. Unpredictable work hours, absolute commitment and a lot of stress. And amidst all this, completing training once is a task enough that the idea of “continued training” seems only bizarre.

However, according to a study by Harvard business review, 87% of the learnings of live training are forgotten within 30 days. And another study suggests that the companies who do put a strong emphasis on sales training see a growth of 16.7% in their annual revenues.

In situations like these, it is crucial to implement a training strategy for consistent learning. The following strategies work best.

  • Coaching your team through different customer interaction scenarios. You can create case studies for peculiar clients and train your whole team with a more practical approach.
  • Allowing them the freedom and flexibility that they need even while training. This will help in boosting their own confidence as well as their confidence in you as a leader.
  • Making their learning material accessible from the easiest of places like their smartphones.
  • Building a strategic routine plan of action for your team and making sure they stick to it. Divide the training course content into digestible chunks to help your team in understanding and retaining it in a better way.
  • Making immediate implementation of training lessons a daily practice. Practical reinforcement is the best knowledge retention policy and your team can highly benefit from it. You can also take the help of gamification techniques and strategies for making training more interesting.

Using technology

Today, almost all the processes of your sales team, including their daily reporting and training can be automated with the tiniest bits of efforts, all thanks to the constantly evolving technology.

And the best way to reap the numerous benefits of these advancements is to find the best compatible mix of technology for the advantage of your team, such as

  • LMS or Learning Management System: This new age super learning system can be effectively used for sales enablement, i.e., providing the sales team with the tools, content, skills or knowledge that they need for doing their jobs efficiently.

    Relationship building, communication, presentation, documentation, time management, persuasion are some of the very crucial skills that a sales rep is supposed to have for a successful career.

    An LMS provides all kinds of necessary learning material in an extremely accessible way. It also enables gamification and content in the form of interactive multimedia which can shorten the learning curve of your team substantially.
  • Virtual Whiteboard: One of the biggest challenges that come in the training, orientation and collaboration of a sales team is that the entire team is highly distributed geographically because all the sales rep take care of different clusters.

    Virtual Whiteboard is a software that takes care of all these challenges by providing a white board online which helps in the real-time collaboration of an entire team in a highly intuitive way.

    This platform assembles features like audio and video conference, real-time document and screen sharing, collaborative document editing, live chatting and much more at a single place to make the ideal softwares for training and working of remote teams.

Streamlining processes

Did you know that even NASA’s folly in processes resulted in the disintegration of their $193 million Mars climate orbiter satellite? This is how important streamlining and documentation of processes are.

If the smallest mistake of a bunch of rocket scientists can cause them so much, imagine how much your business must be losing because of your lack of processes.

Streamlining and documenting your process will help you in several ways, such as,

  • It will give you an easy and transparent tracking system when you wouldn’t have to rummage your inbox to find out the root of a problem. Tracking numbers and statistics can also become easier and automated.
  • You will be able to do your budget forecasting in a much better way. This is because having a traceable work system allows you clearly the movement of your dollars.
  • It will eliminate data duplication efforts because when everyone knows their responsibilities and reporting, your team will be soon on auto-pilot without any communication gaps.
  • Documentation can even help you in increasing your monetary savings.

In the end

All that matters is that you keep your hardworking sales team motivated. All these strategies are only meant for them to bring out their A-game in every meeting. And being their team leader, only you can create an environment driving enough for all your teammates to work harder every day.

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Anna Papadopoulos
Editor, writer, teacher, consultant. Advocate for plain language, journalism, free speech, and tolerance. Feminist. Based in Sydney, Australia.
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