Salespeople tend to be highly competitive and driven individuals. Set them a target and apply a commission-based incentive and they’ll apply 100% of their focus to meeting that goal.
Works well, right?
But what if there was a way to make each of them even more effective? A way to accelerate the sales department’s performance and therefore drive more sales and increased income for your business?
The trick is to remove any leaderboard tactics from your sales department and replace them with a teamwork culture. This means that while every individual still has their own targets, they’re actually working together to ensure everyone succeeds and the team’s overall goals are met. And to ensure this works, everyone needs visibility of their own goals, as well as the team’s. They need to be able to track performance in real time so they know when an extra push is needed or if a tried and tested sales method is no longer enough.
But before we get onto how you track and monitor…
Why is a team environment so important for driving sales?
Patterns can be identified
The beauty of tracking everyone’s performance in one place is that patterns will be much clearer. Look at one person’s sales performance, or set of feedback, and you won’t see very much. But, if four people are receiving very similar feedback then that’s important insight that must be considered. It could be your product needs improving, your pricing is wrong or the competitive landscape has got tougher.
Resource can be allocated more effectively
If one individual is having a particularly bad quarter, by looking at the team as a whole, you can see who is way above their targets and can perhaps spare resource, who might need extra budget or where training support should be offered.
Essentially, by seeing a fuller picture of the situation in real time as well as over a period of a few months, you’re able to gather insight to make informed decisions about your sales strategy, product development and marketing.
Emotional support and collaboration
Sales can be a high pressured, stressful environment to work in. To to be able to give your team an environment where they’re working with their peers; rather than against them, will help speed up the recovery in the event of a dip in performance or confidence.
Also, if a problem is identified, i.e the approach isn’t working or the competitive landscape has changed, finding a solution to the problem will be easier if the sales department can come together and develop some ideas; rather than working in isolation.
How to make it work
As mentioned, for this to work, your sales team needs visibility of their own goals, as well as the team’s. They need to be able to track performance in real time so they know when an extra push is needed or if a tried and tested sales method is no longer enough.
Not only that but the information needs to be easy to access, simple to interpret, and straightforward to maintain, thereby minimising your sales team’s time away from sales work. A visual map of progress towards goals is a highly effective tool for this.
As mentioned in our articles on OKR (objectives and key results), you need to set your team clear objectives and up to five key results to measure progress towards them. You can also have initiatives which set out what you’ll do to achieve the key results. The OKRs need to flexible, transparent, measurable and aspirational.
This should be recorded somewhere where every member of the team can access it easily to keep focussed and clear about why they’re doing each task.
Find a platform to track and measure progress
Checking in irregularly and infrequently is only going to throw people off track and targets will be missed. Choosing a platform where achievements and performance can be reported on as frequently as every hour, and displayed immediately for the team to see, is vital.
Sales isn’t just about number of purchases or signed contracts. There are also prospects, leads and ex-customers to consider. Progress with each of those groups needs to be recorded and monitored too.
Tell a story with the numbers
Statistics and percentages won’t cut it. Heck, there are so many numbers to consider, it’ll be overwhelming for anyone to look at and will quickly become ignored.
Your sales team needs to see their progress in charts and diagrams that map out how far they’ve come, and what’s left to do.
By displaying the progress in this way, it’s easier to digest and discuss as a team, particularly if morale needs a boost or if the team needs recognition for a hard job well done.
Charts or timelines are also particularly effective for teams where sales fluctuate wildly due to specific calendar events or promotions. Targets can be set for each event and then a visual progress sheet will help the team see how close they were to meeting their targets and quickly compare that performance with previous years’ efforts.
Did one event lead to a huge bump in leads? If it’s displayed clearly in the form of an online chart, then you can quickly make the decision to move one of your team off of the task of keeping ex-customers warm and get them closing some of those new leads.
Pictures lead to faster decision making.
How can StaffCircle help?
StaffCircle is a communication and performance management tool for office based and non-desk based workers. Accessible via any device, it gives the user instant access to tasks, worksheets, company information, performance reports and news.
Every employee has their own objectives dashboard which they and their manager can see in chart form in real-time in order to review progress quickly and easily. Performance analytics is built in giving the user unrivalled visbility into how each member of the team is performing and who needs extra attention.
Vitally, team members can see how their objectives fit with the team’s and the overall business goals, enabling everyone to focus on supporting business growth.
Get in touch for a free demo today.