The Top Five Strategies for Improving Sales Performance

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Last October, we discussed the idea of "Selling CRM to Sales". In this post, we highlight how to improve overall sales performance using CRM.

Is your Sales team performing at top capacity?

According to a recent sales performance optimization study from CSO Insights, over 50% of companies need to increase the effectiveness of their sales teams.  Each business has its own definition of improved sales performance, but generally the metrics related to the goals can include:

* Increasing the number of qualified leads that are contacted by each salesperson,
* Reducing the prospect-to-customer conversion cycle,
* Raising the average sale per customer,
* Growing the overall number of customers served (read more about the "High Value of Customers in Today's Market"),
* Increasing the successful achievement of sales revenue goals
* And more

In order to meet or exceed your company’s sales effectiveness, there are a number of different strategies that can be used.  Arguably, the number one approach is to deploy AND USE a customer relationship management (CRM) solution.  The following are the top five strategies that can help you to achieve your sales performance expectations with a CRM:

1. Make your CRM your primary performance metric tool - set up all of your routine sales reports to utilize your CRM based on the sales metrics your particular business utilizes.  Then expose these reports to your Sales team as well as upper management to use in meetings, presentations, and evaluations.

2. Tie at least a portion of Sales team compensation to your performance metrics - sales people inherently will perform according to their specific compensation goals.  Using your CRM to measure some or all compensation goals will drive results.

3. Managers and sales team leads must use the CRM system - as upper and middle management use and understand the advantages of a CRM the adoption will grow with the entire sales group.  Routinely ask managers or leads to give a report on their group using the CRM data.

4. Communicate the benefits of a CRM - many salespeople can be skeptical about how a piece of software can actually help them to achieve results.  Help them to see CRM benefits from easier contact or lead management, more timely sales data, or more efficient customer management through reminders and follow up prompts.

5. Share CRM results across departments - Marketing, Customer Service and particularly the executive level departments should have an opportunity to review and analyze your CRM reports and metrics.  This transparency will breed opportunities for other departments to see the benefits.  For example marketing can now see how leads are processed and how campaigns impact the sales department.

Your business sales performance has a direct effect on your overall business success.  As your Sales teams become more productive you will realize a higher level of performance and goal achievements.  

Every business is unique in how they motivate their Sales force and utilize their CRM solution.  Do you have a unique strategy for your sales group?  How did you turn the corner for sales performance?  Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below!

Read about CRM best practices if you're considering a CRM solution for the first time, or if you're an experienced user that's evaluating migrating to a new CRM solution. 

by Green Beacon Solutions

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