3 Things You Can Do if Your Sales Team is Underperforming
There are many different reasons why your team may not be meeting its goals, but the reason isn’t always obvious. For example, if you hired who you thought were the right people, and they’re a fit with the organization, it may not be right to blame the employees themselves. It is harder to identify outside factors affecting performance, yet you need them to meet or exceed their quotas. Here are three things you can do if your sales team is underperforming.
Have Systems for Qualifying Leads
Identify your ideal customer. Then, create a customer persona that is tied to the latest trends and the state of the market for that product or service. Next, create a lead generation funnel that captures the contact information of leads. This eliminates cold calling and gives your salespeople warm leads.
Use a customer relationship management system to assign a lead score based on their behavior, and have your team focus their time and attention on the best prospects. Furthermore, you should document your process for following up on leads. Determine what follow-up strategies work best, and then make them part of your script.
One option could be to work with a service like Winning By Design. They could give your sales team playbooks with step by step directions so that they have a proven process to follow. This is a worthwhile approach if you don’t have any formal sales process.
Review Your Incentive Structure
Review your sales compensation plan. Many companies cap commissions, though this removes the incentive for top performers. The same is true for increasing the sales quota of high performers. You can demotivate your team by creating incentives for the best performing individuals and groups, too. When one group is competing against others, the lower performing teams may lose their motivation once they have no chance of winning.
Consider creating a pay system tailored to each person so that you keep everyone from low-performing to high-performing sales representatives engaged. Note that these incentives don’t have to be financial. Give them recognition in the company newsletter or call them out at a company-wide function, for instance. Or, they may appreciate extra vacation days. You could even improve the performance of poor performers by rewarding high performers who mentor others.
Learn from Feedback
Your salespeople will have trouble selling a product or service if it is flawed. Instead of ordering them to work harder, let them collect customer feedback and feed it to the product development and customer service departments.
You may need to improve the product itself, the user instructions, or marketing material. Ideally, you’d engage the sales team for feedback during the product’s development. They’re a good stand-in for the end customer. Furthermore, they’ll learn far more about the product and be better able to sell it once it is on the market.
Don’t rely on quick fixes like firing people and shifting key performance indicators. Learn why your team is under-performing and then make systemic changes to improve the performance of the entire team.