You want to improve your salesforces’ numbers, but how? Even the best CRM and lead management system in the world won’t overcome poor workflow and internal practices. You need better training and processes. Here’s how to keep your team going strong when the going is tough.
Improve Recognition Schemes
Salespeople tend to respond best to recognition and commission-based schemes that are generous. Fixing your recognition scheme is probably a good place to start. Recognition doesn’t always mean money. In fact, many times, people want to receive something other than money (even though money is a huge motivating factor for salespeople).
That means giving them public acknowledgement for a job well done, an award for “salesman of the month,” hosting dinners for the sales team periodically throughout the year when benchmarks are met, and giving feedback in the form of periodic performance reviews that aren’t threatening.
Improving workflow usually starts with the CRM. If you don’t have a customer relationship management system in place just yet, you need one. These applications are more than an address book. They’re a communication hub. They help salespeople coordinate lead generation, callbacks, set up appointments, track sales cycles, and monitor other performance metrics.
Some CRMs will integrate with your social media and website lead gen campaigns too, which allows you to capture leads and feed them through a sales funnel you set up in advance. Train your salespeople on this and it will not only improve workflow but improve sales performance.
Improving compensation is one of the simplest ways to improve morale. Point blank: salespeople are motivated by money. If you’re not already doing so, start incorporating a more generous compensation and commission package. Improve the annual bonus. If you’re not paying a performance bonus, start doing that too.
Use a Better Lead Management System
Lead generation and management is where a lot of sales organizations fall down. Marketing and sales needs to be supported from within, yet it’s common for many companies to expect salespeople to generate leads on their own. This is bad. It puts salespeople into an adversarial relationship with the company.
Using a lead-gen and management program helps alleviate this problem, tying marketing into sales. For example, a lead-gen campaign can be integrated with a lead management program so that the company’s marketing system automatically brings in leads for salespeople and divides them up evenly (or according to some internal protocol).
Blitz for mortgage lenders, for example, can handle all aspects of lead generation and management, from lead capture to follow-ups to appointments and closing.
Last, but definitely not least, improve communication. Sadly, internal communication skills are the last thing sales managers tend to address. It’s odd, because sales is all about communicating ideas to other people. What usually happens is that sales teams are so focused on communicating a sales message that they don’t actually learn the conceptual underpinnings or framework for good communication, as such.
Change that, and make an internal cultural change so that it permeates throughout the entire organization. Your sales force will appreciate it, and you’ll experience fewer headaches.
Tiffany Stevens runs a small business office part time and has a background as a sales consultant team leader. When she has some free time, she likes to sit down and write about what she has learned. You can read her informative articles on many websites and blogs.