With 2022 coming to a close, it’s prime time to start planning for 2023. Like anyone else, you’re focused on what you can do better — especially when it comes to sales. Often, many sales leaders assume hiring more reps will enhance the team and increase overall sales — but this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, training your existing sales force and focusing on improving their skills can increase individual reps’ performance by 20%. Improving best practices among your existing team is a much cheaper (and smarter) investment to generate a strong sales department. By focusing on the right sales growth strategies, you can foster stronger performance in all of your reps that leads to the predictable growth you want for 2023. Below you’ll find five best practices to do just that.
1. Keep Sales Content Organized
Content organization isn’t just a must-have — it’s also alarmingly easy to implement. It’s a simple change that has a huge impact on your team’s ability to perform their jobs effectively. Organized content removes roadblocks reps could run into throughout the sales process, and helps them identify what additional content may be needed. Reps can find precisely what they need, when they need it — and if there’s something missing, they can easily identify the gap and connect with content creators within their organization to enable their success.
Consider this: your sales rep is speaking with a prospect who’s most interested in your SaaS platform’s ability to automate time-consuming, manual upkeep tasks. Your rep looks toward your content bank to find resources to share with the prospect, finding an eBook on the product’s features, an ROI guide on the time saving potential, and a blog on all the use cases for the product within the prospect’s industry. Your rep realizes a relevant case study highlighting a current customer’s experience using the product would be impactful, but you currently don’t have one available. From here, they message the marketing team to let them know about the content gap and suggest a solution.
2. Track Sales Performance
When it comes to improving your reps’ performance, having a mechanism for tracking sales performance is an obvious necessity within your sales growth strategy. With the right tech stack, you can use data to track certain KPIs, including:
- Win rate, the percentage of deals that reps close
- Lead-to-close ratio, the percentage of best-fit leads that reps convert into customers
- Up- and cross-sell rate, the percentage of deals in which reps successfully up- or cross-sell additional product
This data will inform which reps are top performers and can help to drive the development of best practices for the rest of the team. For instance, if you notice you have two reps who consistently up- and cross-sell at higher rates, you can determine what they do differently in their sales conversations compared to other reps. You can then work their successful behavioral tactics into future sales training as a best practice across the board, increasing all reps’ ability to up- and cross-sell.
3. Optimize Sales Growth Strategies with Personalized Training
So, you’ve got a training program in place to onboard new hires. But what about ongoing training for your current reps? Continuous training results in 50% higher net sales per rep, so investing in additional training can have a huge impact on your top line. By tracking data, you know which reps may be falling behind their peers, and in what areas. You may have reps who excel at lead-to-close ratio, yet fall behind their coworkers when it comes to upselling.
You can address this through continued personalized sales training. After evaluating performance data, you can assign additional training on upselling methods to your rep who’s struggling in that area. By providing continued training in asynchronous videos, you allow reps to complete any additional training on their own time. Now, you don’t need to interrupt the entire team’s day-to-day work, and reps can complete additional training sessions between their daily tasks as needed.
4. Set Realistic Goals for Sales Growth Strategies
As you look to 2023, you’re likely starting to set new goals for your team to work towards. Setting goals encourages your team to strive towards an achievable target — but only when those goals are realistic. On average, only 60% of sales reps meet quota. This could be because the goals their leaders set are unrealistic in relation to the rep’s performance.
Let’s say you have a rep who consistently outperforms the rest of the team, and one who does moderately well. Assigning those two reps the same goal isn’t fair, or realistic — your top performer will far surpass the goal, while your average rep will struggle to meet it. By creating individual goals based upon prior performance data, you can give both reps lofty yet achievable goals for the new year.
5. Create Open Communication Between Reps and Management
One of the most important sales growth strategies to implement is simple. Open communication. This allows reps to provide feedback on processes so you can continue to improve current practices and adapt as needed. With strong communication channels in place, reps feel comfortable communicating what is and is not working for them and can voice concerns to management. This ensures that when reps encounter routine roadblocks, you can find ways to prevent the same obstacles in the future.
For example, let’s say that you begin implementing weekly, one-on-one meetings with each of your team members to check in. In multiple meetings, reps bring up consistent problems trying to communicate with all parties involved on a deal. As you uncover that the problem is felt by multiple team members, you determine that adopting a new technology tool for enhanced, consolidated, streamlined content sharing and communication with prospects could solve the organization-wide problem.
With 2023 almost here, it’s time to start planning your sales growth strategies to help your sales team perform at their best. By focusing on the team you already have in place, providing them with the tools they need, and ensuring they’re all getting continued training on best practices, you can begin building a strong strategy for 2023 and beyond.
Want to start enhancing your reps’ sales performance? Contact SFE Partners and see how our expert sales consultants can help.