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Faster, better — 5 strategies to boost your sales team productivity
There are two kinds of great salespeople: Those that are born and those that are made.
Did you luck into a nonpareil staff of born-ready, out-of-the-box, great salespeople? If so, congratulations! May we tag along with you on your next trip to Vegas?
Because if you’re like the rest of us, you know you need to cultivate sales talent. In addition to smart hiring, thorough onboarding (time to productivity) and clearly communicated sales goals, business leaders must also commit to training and developing top performers.
Here are a few strategies that can help your sales team development initiatives.
1. KYP — Know Your Personnel
It’s a truism no matter what field you’re in: business, sports, spying, online dating — you need to know who you’re dealing with. What makes them tick? On the flipside, what turns them off, or leaves them adrift? Because whether you’re doing B2B or B2C telesales, inside sales, field sales, or any combination, the hot and cold buttons are different for everyone on your sales team.
Are you guilty of any of these sales team development sins?
- “Eh, Stevie’s a pro. If he gets some resistance, he’ll figure it out. He’s a self-starter.”
- “Our sales leads are top-notch. Caitlyn used to do cold-calling, so closing sales with our warm leads will be easy for her.”
- “Terry’s clientele includes Fortune 500 companies. He’ll have no problem selling to the little guys too.”
You probably recognize all three of these scenarios are asking for trouble. These common traps can ensnare you — and derail your sales goals and the careers of your sales professionals. Avoid these traps and more by taking the time to get to know your team. Not sure where to start? Try Inc. Magazine’s 25 Revealing Questions That Build Better Work Relationships.
2. Make Career Development an Ongoing Priority
Train and retain. No less of an authority than Sir Richard Branson has this to say about developing employees: “Train people well enough so they can leave. Treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”
Does this sound like you? If not, you’re in a fight with one hand tied behind your back when it comes to retaining your top-performing sales team members. Fortunately, there are ways to use gamification and other training tactics that will resonate with your sales team.
The journey your employees take is mutually beneficial not only if you achieve reduced time to productivity, but also when you use an effective engagement program. Let’s face it, you don’t want to train your best sales people only to have them later take their skillset to your competitor.
Here’s how you keep them: Get them on board thoroughly and efficiently. Keep the engagement going by energizing your sales teams with an incremental learning process that stacks successes. And get busy on these next strategies.
3. Recognize Achievement
One of the keys to keeping your sales team engaged lies in recognition programs. Recognition inspires continuous engagement that pays dividends in highly productive, long-term employees.
Rewards programs and peer recognition let employees know they’re valued. In turn, they improve performance. The secret is in gamification, rooted in your sales team’s own language. Our experience shows that the most successful rewards programs engage participants in friendly competitions that award points and keep up-to-date leaderboards top-of-mind.
Don’t miss the mark. Assure those participants are incentivized and rewarded in a way that matters to them. This comes back to KYP (above). Be sure you know what rings their chimes. Open that dialogue. It may not be what you expect.
4. Enhance Career Mobility with Increased Connection
Here’s something you may not already know: Enhanced social connection can be a powerful growth strategy. To get there, you need to be able to offer career mobility powered by social connection — both with management and among sales peers.
You demand growth from your sales teams. Your telesales, inside sales and field sales teams, in turn, want to work in an environment that delivers a viable opportunity for career growth. To keep your sales teams engaged and around for the long-term, foster career development with vigorous onboarding and engagement programs that bring out the best in your personnel through a robust community. And you can have a little fun with it by employing gamification programs.
Promote. Offer. Dangle those carrots. By planting the seeds that show you care, your employees will be more likely to put down roots. And here’s a competitive advantage that will help you go even farther: Career Mobility is the win/win engagement strategy that really delivers growth when combined with a well-connected workforce community.
What’s in a community? All the tribal knowledge that can’t be summed up in a training manual or easily conveyed by a manager. Communities can be structured around marketing channels, regions, interests, participant types, or any other criteria natural to your organization. Sales team members communicate, collaborate and exchange best practices within or across communities, while they are accessing up-to-date data, marketing information and leaderboards that inspire competitive achievement.
Build it and they will sell. When your sales organization becomes a community with a reputation for encouraging professional advancement, your retention and sales development efforts can enter a whole new realm of sales growth.
5. Analyze. Uncover. Take action. Repeat.
Real-time analytics empower management and help uncover key talent. There’s someone in every organization that lives by “if you can’t measure it then it’s not worth doing.” That person might be you.
If it is you, or if you are interested in keeping on the good side of that person, demand a comprehensive suite of real-time reports and dashboards. The best SAAS solutions empower human resources professionals and other managers to track performance and the ROI of every engagement initiative. With that, you will uncover critical insight into which tactics are most effective, through every strata and milestone of your sales organization. With real-time analytics at your fingertips, time to productivity metrics can be closely monitored and achievements can be quickly celebrated.
Not blessed with an endless supply of peerless, born-ready sales talent? Combine these winning sales development strategies with Rallyware’s training and engagement platform to take your sales productivity to the next level.
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