Sales Performance

Every organisation should be looking for better performance from their sales team. But while expectations are always high, superior sales performance doesn’t just happen – it’s the result of talent, effort, and perhaps most importantly, organisational investment.

That’s where SLP sales performance management and coaching comes in.

Generating more sales is a collective effort. While salespeople have the most obvious role to play, sales managers and a wealth of cross-functional teams, from marketing to HR, will also contribute to the success of the whole.

Our SLP sales experts are ready to get every cog of your sales motor working in harmony. Our performance management and coaching takes a holistic view of your sales approach, then offers the insight and guidance you need to achieve growth that you’ve never seen before.

What is sales performance?

As the name suggests, sales performance is a measure of how your sales professionals perform, both as individuals and as a team.

Sales performance is measured over a specific period of time, often monthly, quarterly or annually, using KPIs that reflect the responsibilities of the salespeople and the goals of the business. Common metrics include revenue, profit, conversion rates, and number of meetings/presentations/proposals presented (but more on those later).

Tracking and measuring these sales metrics allows you to monitor and manage sales performance, with the aim of giving your team the skills, knowledge and resources they need to hit, and ideally exceed, their sales targets. 

All of which brings us neatly to sales performance management.

What is sales performance management?

SLP sales performance management is our systematic approach to managing and improving sales. It sees the implementation of a range of processes designed to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and overall performance of salespeople and teams.

Sales performance management will mean different things to different organisations. At SLP we take into account your unique situation, goals and needs, then craft a performance program to suit. Our sales performance management could therefore include any or all of the following:

  • Defining sales goals, targets and KPIs.
  • Creating sales strategies and processes.
  • Leaning on tools and technology to streamline and automate the sales process.
  • Identifying talent gaps and crafting talent acquisition strategies.
  • Setting relevant, clear, measurable and actionable sales performance expectations.
  • Developing a collaborative, supportive and driven sales culture.
  • Developing a healthy accountability structure in which managers have control over the opportunity pipeline and conduct weekly one-on-ones with their salespeople that align with global best practice.
  • Incentivising, motivating and coaching salespeople to achieve peak performance.
  • Providing management with the right training and coaching material to develop your team in-house.

Sales is the most competitive of fields, and your competitors will always be looking for ways to get ahead. If your team isn’t continually improving, your organisation will be left behind, because to stand still in sales is to go backwards. SLP sales performance management ensures your team continues to enjoy a place on the leading edge.

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Evaluating sales performance

At a surface level, evaluating sales performance seems a relatively simple task: bigger numbers = good, smaller numbers = bad. But scratch the surface and you’ll soon realise that a wealth of complexity lies beneath, making sales performance evaluation a rather involved task.

You need to understand exactly what ‘good performance’ means for your sales teams. You’ll need to establish a process to measure and analyse this performance, including the most critical metrics to track and the targets that you need to hit. Finally you’ll need to identify ways to improve upon this performance – there’s no such thing as perfection in sales – in order to meet (and ideally exceed) business growth goals.

These can all be difficult steps to take, particularly if a business has become set in its ways or even blind to its mistakes.

At SLP we’re a team of expert sales coaches who can offer a fresh view of your sales performance: what you’re doing well, the most pressing areas of improvement, and strategies you may have never thought of before. We guide you on the complex process of sales performance evaluation, and open up incredible growth opportunities while we do it. 

We use the world's number one sales force assessment tool to show you how your people and process compare to global best practice, and how to improve your performance, based on 30 years worth of global research and data collection.

How to improve sales performance

Just as every business is different, every recipe for sales success will be different – there’s no single sales performance formula that will work for everyone.

That’s where we come in. SLP sales performance management and coaching begins by getting to know your business. We then use this knowledge to provide your salespeople with the tools they need to succeed, and sales managers with the knowledge and techniques to drive continual improvement within teams.

Improving sales performance can take any number of forms:

  • Ensuring your salespeople understand their responsibilities, objectives and KPIs, and how these feed into the broader goals of the business.
  • Adopting technology and techniques that make sales processes more efficient and effective.
  • Providing your salespeople and teams with the training and resources they need to succeed.
  • Taking a clear and consistent approach to performance management, like regularly offering feedback on how to increase sales team performance.

What are sales performance metrics?

Evaluating sales is a numbers game, and the secrets to success are held within business data. The good news is that every modern organisation has access to the necessary information. You just need to release the insights hidden within, which is a matter of tracking the right metrics.

Sales performance metrics are crucial for sales success. They form the foundation of performance management, so form one the initial focus areas in SLP sales performance management and coaching. These metrics can be split into three main categories:

Performance metrics

These are the metrics most commonly linked to sales: revenue, conversion rates, new leads,  client acquisition, customer lifetime value and the like. These metrics give a very clear indication of how efficiently and effectively sales are being generated.

Operational metrics

A step back from the sales frontline, operational metrics focus on the indirect actions that nonetheless make sales possible. Consider metrics like cost per lead, email response times, meeting acceptance rates, sales cycle length and other admin and productivity-related metrics.

Professional development metrics

The most successful sales organisations are those that establish a culture of continuous improvement that extends to professional development. How much time do your salespeople and sales teams devote to education and training? How well do they apply the things they learn? While these metrics tend to take a longer term view, they can be surprisingly revealing.

What are key performance indicators for sales?

The most important sales performance metrics will change from organisation to organisation and salesperson to salesperson. At SLP some of the main KPIs we focus on include:

  • Revenue per sale
  • Total sales revenue
  • Revenue vs cost (salesperson and sales team)
  • Client acquisition
  • Client retention
  • Customer lifetime value
  • How salespeople spend their time (networking, lead generation, pitching, admin, etc.)
  • Email response times
  • Conversion rates (e.g. percentage of pitches that result in a sale)
  • Leads in the sales pipeline
  • Resources (time and money) invested to make each sale

Your business will guide the sales performance metrics that are most important to you. The performance of a real estate agent will be measured very differently to the performance of a B2B salesperson, who in turn will be measured differently to a salesperson at a retail telco.

No matter what shape your sales team takes, at SLP we’re ready to help it to be better, faster and stronger. Our performance coaching and management experts can build a  high-performing sales team that is more skilled, more confident and more motivated than ever before.

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