Poor sales performance tends to mean salespeople are focused on the wrong thing

Technology has completely redefined sales processes, but at the same time, it’s changed how effective managers handle their teams. Many tools for Internet lead generation can make life easier for your sales representatives, but there’s also a risk of distraction if your team is spread in too many directions. It may be time to assess your sales team and determine if assignments are being created effectively. This can have a huge impact on the number of deals salespeople are able to close.

Managing a team that has an app for everything

“Bring your own device” policies have taken off in nearly every industry, and sales definitely isn’t exempt. Smartphones and tablets allow reps to check emails, follow up with prospects and edit presentations on the run. While mobile devices can create new efficiencies, they can add to challenges for managers, according to Read Write, a mobile apps news source.

Social networks can be a valuable source of lead generation and a relationship-building tool, but they can significantly add to distractions. In addition, mobility has changed sales methodology. In the past, companies could tell new sales employees what the preferred methodology was, but now most reps are more empowered and have their own thoughts about their ideal processes. This can extend to how your team members manage their contacts and handle productivity. Giving your employees a bit more freedom can sometimes be a good thing, but managers need to create a balance between established sales protocol and letting reps determine their own methodologies.

How to encourage better performance

If sales numbers aren’t where they should be, it’s probably a good time to analyze performance and determine how to make improvements. The following tips can help managers boost the effectiveness of their teams.

1. Simplify processes and reporting metrics

Yes, managing an effective sales team is more complicated than it used to be, but your team’s processes and methodologies don’t need to be. All sales strategies should be condensed to an actionable plan, Business 2 Community stated. Managers need to create simple metrics for measuring effectiveness to avoid confusing sales reps. As a manager, you should act as a filter rather than a funnel, and you need to ensure that your team isn’t getting weighed down with too many administrative tasks. With a clearer plan in place, salespeople can spend more time in front of their customers, which is a revenue-generating activity. While some administrative work is necessary, it shouldn’t be a focus for your team.

2. Encourage accountability

If your sales team is going to have the freedom to determine some of their own processes, they also need to take responsibility for their performance. Managers have many tasks to accomplish, so they shouldn’t have to closely monitor their employees at all times. However, this doesn’t mean that your team shouldn’t be able to meet reasonable sales expectations. Managers need to create a culture of accountability to drive performance. Each sales rep should be able to handle their assigned workload, but this is where giving employees the right tasks comes into play.

3. Motivate your team

Effective sales managers listen to their teams’ feedback and act on it, according to a blog post for Salesforce. This can help employees feel like they have more of a say in sales processes, which can help build a stronger sense of accountability. You need to understand that each of your reps has different needs, and coaching them individually can lead to better performance levels and help you refine how tasks are assigned. Engaged, motivated employees are likely to outperform reps who aren’t satisfied with their positions. Respecting your salespeople’s individual preferences can lead to better long-term results.

Assigning tasks has a major impact on performance

In addition to successful management practices, an online marketing system can boost the performance of sales teams in small B2B firms with no dedicated marketers. A marketing automation platform can reduce the amount of manual tasks reps need to perform and streamline assignments to take them off managers.

For example, these tools can help companies establish more intuitive metrics that give sales reps a better indication of performance. This can also serve to reduce the number of reports they need to fill out, saving them time that they can dedicate to revenue-generating activities. Sales professionals should be able to spend as much time as possible meeting with prospective or current clients.

However, some members of the sales team are better at different tasks than others. Certain sales reps may be more effective generating leads, pitching or closing deals. Marketing automation tools can factor this in. When new leads enter the system, the program can assign them to a particular salesperson based on the score. This can improve the sales process and ensure your team is generating the maximum amount of revenue.