Sales performance management software is a catalyst for the sales team. The presence of the software solution gives a push to the sales teams in closing more and better deals.
Which means you shouldn’t confuse the SPM software as a direct contributor to the sales numbers. To close the sales performance gap, you need a little more than just software.
You’ll need to invest in establishing sales performance processes and proven best practices. This exercise, in combination with the performance management solution, is bound to give better results.
Let's first gain a better perspective about the sales performance management software before moving into the best practices of sales performance.
What is modern sales performance management software?
If you recall our last posts, you’ll remember the relationship between modern sales performance management software and its impact on your sales team.
Doesn’t strike a chord? Go deeper.
But here’s a short recap on sales performance management software before we go ahead.
A sales performance management (SPM) software assists sales executives in measuring sales operations against organizational goals. The software drives sales recruitment, incentive compensation management, territory management, forecasting, pipeline management, and gamification.
The modern version of performance management tools supports-
- Optimum use of resources,
- Integration with multiple sales tools,
- Supports advanced analytics,
- Recommends course correction,
- Focuses on customer-centricity,
- And Scalable Software.
By leveraging the software system, sales leaders can adopt proactive selling techniques that encourage sales planning, tracking, analyzing, training, forecasting, and incentivization.
Companies that redefine their sales strategies based on performance insights display significant improvement in conversion rate. Hence, investing in modern sales performance management software is wise and gradually becomes a need for most organizations. That’s all that you need to know about performance management software.
Now that you understand the software system, you’ll also realize that the software alone can't change sales performance on its own. To ensure results, technology needs a process and proven best practices.
Hence, we have gathered a few best practices checklists to improve your team’s sales performance in tandem with the sales performance management software.
Here’s the checklist you can follow:
1. Have a sales performance plan with objectives
"Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible." -Tony Robbins.
The first step towards improving sales performance is having a plan for the sales team.
You must check if your organization:
- Has a vision?
- Has an objective?
- Has a sales process?
- Has aligning strategies?
- Are roles and responsibilities defined?
- Is buyer persona and user persona defined?
- Is the sales messaging clear?
- Is there a defined product strategy?
- And is there a success evaluation criteria?
If not, then establishing a plan should be your primary goal as a sales leader. A plan is a direction for the salesperson to understand which path is lucrative and attracts more customers.
A reasonable plan will address all the channels, product strategies, tactics, and responsibilities of each member.
Implementing a performance software solution over a sales plan has a compounding effect on the sales outcomes.
2. Have sales metrics defined and enforced
“When KPIs are not linked to your strategy, you’re wasting huge amounts of time and money collecting information that is not going to benefit the business.”- Bernard Marr
Unless the sales team establishes metrics, it’s hard to conclude if the sales performance strategy and software solution is making any change. So here are a few easy metrics to keep in mind:
- Number of activities completed
It should include the number of emails sent, calls made, LinkedIn messages sent, text messages sent, and connections created on LinkedIn.
- Customer response time
Customer replies on calls and emails need to be addressed and replied to on time. The average time taken by a salesperson to respond to a client is measured under customer response time.
- Successful client conversations
Instead of shooting arrows in the dark, make every call/email conversation measurable. You can evaluate the next steps, the response received, buying stage, connections made, and duration of calls.
- Conversation results
The outcome of the call is as important as the call. Suitable outcomes for the sales team could be a demo scheduled, another meeting requested, requested content, prospect not fit, no response received, etc.
- Conversation feedback
The sales rep must receive concrete feedback on the quality of conversation such as talk ratio, talk to listen ratio, longest monologue time, interactivity, etc.
- Customer touchpoints
The client needs to be followed up and communicated on various channels. Reaching the customer on call is not enough. Emails, messages, voicemails, live conversations, etc., are equally vital channels.
- Number of Next steps booked
Each meeting or conversation must convert into a next step, such as a demo booked or the number of proposals sent.
- Number of opportunities created on CRM
New opportunities created by the sales rep on CRM can be another indicator of sales performance.
3. Have access to the CRM Dashboard
Sales performance is impacted by the progress in leads, contacts, accounts, and opportunities. Tracking them on a single page is extremely important.
Managers can track lead qualification, review conversations, and make actionable notes for reps’ next steps.
The CRM dashboards of Pipedrive and Freshworks are powered by conversation intelligence integration that automatically creates tasks with call recording links, after-sales meetings. Such activities make work easier and reduce a ton of time otherwise invested in note-making.
4. Have access to Sales Conversations
Many sales managers listen and vet sales conversations during their busy schedules. With limited time, it's often difficult to judge which parts should be taken seriously and which can be ignored.
The availability of sales recording and conversation intelligence software enables sales managers to evaluate the performance of sales conversations by locating the crucial moments which are otherwise hard to identify. The calls are analyzed and transcribed by the software, and important moments are earmarked for the reviewer.
Managers should be able to quickly judge areas of improvement and areas of appreciation using this technique.
5. Spend time on performance review sessions
Simply investing in sales performance management software doesn’t solve the purpose. The purpose of performance management is justified when time is spent reviewing the sales processes, strategies, and technology implemented.
Without a periodic review of the sales performance process, the organization wouldn’t be able to gauge the ROI generated. Additionally, reviews help in making occasional and required changes to the current process. After implementation, a new iteration of review needs to begin to evaluate the changes.
6. Separate dedicated coaching time
Today, sales conversation intelligence software can evaluate, analyze, and recommend sales tips using AI.
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Despite excellent analysis and recommendations, the focal concern is- less time spent on-call coaching and training reps on core sales activities.
Let’s say your company employs 2-3 sales veterans with 25-years or more sales experience. But they cannot impart their knowledge to the new generation of reps’ and the purpose behind sales performance management is completely defeated. The software solution can provide recommendations. But the sales managers and leaders must take time from their busy schedules to enforce the suggestions and nurture the team of reps. Without execution of coaching time, you may witness results, but the outcomes would be delayed and inefficient.
7. Communicate with the Team
Last but vital is the communication part of any plan.
Once you implement the sales performance management software and introduce a new strategy- sales leaders must ensure thorough communication of the changes to the team.
Timely communication helps in understanding the benefits at an individual and organizational level.
Pro Tip: Remember, sales performance strategy must have an enticement for the sales team reps. The program should have an incentive and an approach to make the team feel empowered.
That’s all for today.
With these areas covered, the sales performance management software will be a blessing for your organization. Do you feel ready to move forward?
Results first, payment later.