How to Drive Consistent Sales Rep Performance
Why is Consistent Sales Rep Performance Important?
Consistent performance from a sales team is critical for three reasons:
- Consistent sales rep performance allows the leadership to more effectively forecast the flow of business through the pipeline. As a result, revenue projections become more accurate.
- Consistent sales performance ensures that all clients experience the same level of quality from each sales professional. This is especially important in large deals in which numerous sellers are engaging a team of stakeholders.
- Coaching becomes more efficient when there is consistency among the sales team. Rather than coaching to a variety of needs, the sales leader can coach in a way that allows the entire team to boost their capabilities in unison.
In short, consistency is the key to bringing the customer the kind of experience that they will value. Consider research from McKinsey which determined that “companies that experience inconsistency challenges often expend unnecessary resources without actually improving the customer journey.”McKinsey concludes that the three Cs of customer satisfaction are “consistency, consistency, consistency.”
How to Drive Consistent Rep Performance
Sales leaders need a plan for aligning every sales professional to the same level of performance. Having a plan in place is important for long-term success because it ensures that sales managers have a way to maintain consistency as new sales professionals join the team.
Use Collaboration to Create Buy-In
Sale managers should seek input from all of the sales professionals on the team. The group’s goal is to answer the question, “who do we want to be?” A clear answer will pay dividends later.
Focus on Communication
The sales leader must communicate their respect for the sellers’ time. Doing so means keeping meetings concise. Make it clear that consistency is a primary goal.
Right-Size Long-Term Expectations
Aligning teams and practices is a gradual process. Leaders should communicate this fact to the sales professionals. Allow time for revising and reshaping the approach.
Align Sales Professionals to a Single Methodology
With a clear, single methodology the sales leader can ensure that each sales professional is following the same protocol for engaging the customer. A leader cannot build the team’s performance if everyone is playing a different game.
Give Attention to Every Stage of the Pipeline
Opportunities at the end of the pipeline tend to get the most attention because they are close to becoming revenue. It is important to also maintain focus on opportunities in earlier stages so that momentum does not waiver.
Get Sales Enablement to Cruising Speed
An effective enablement team can quickly equip sales professionals with everything they need to keep the customer engaged. Make sure the enablement professionals are organized and able to consistently deliver the resources sellers need to stay agile.
Draft a Customer Experience Framework
Write a concise description of what constitutes the ideal customer experience. This statement will serve as an anchor that ensures the standard does not drift over the long term.
Conduct Regular Win/Loss Reviews
Knowing how to be effective means knowing what effective looks like. A win/loss review answers this question. Examine wins and losses by comparing the seller’s actions to those prescribed by the sales methodology.
Boost the Common Payoff
Sales leaders can boost the performance of everyone with common payoff incentives that reward total team performance. This encourages cooperation across the team. Use team meetings to introduce common payoff incentives.
Recognize Recent Accomplishments
Draw attention to sales professionals who put good practices to use. Recognition is important because it illustrates the connection between the act of consistently applying the sales methodology and a closed deal.
Build a Chain That Leads to a Bigger Outcome
Use team meetings to illustrate how accomplishments this quarter are in service of larger, downstream goals like “getting back to growth,” or “reclaiming market share.” To deliver consistent performance sellers need to see that there is both a near-term and long-term plan.
Building Alignment Builds Consistency
In short, consistency is about aligning the entire sales team to a single selling methodology that works in all industries during all market cycles.
If a selling methodology is going to work in all settings it must be agile. This approach seeks to uncover and even use changes occurring in the customer’s world.
At Richardson Sales Performance we are bringing this methodology into the modern selling landscape with our Sprint Selling program.
While the Sprint Selling methodology consists of parts and processes, it is important to remember that what drives it is an agile mindset. When sales reps becomes truly agile, they bring a differentiated buying experience to stakeholders.
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