8 Highly Effective Strategies For Increasing Sales Performance

8 Highly Effective Strategies For Increasing Sales Performance

Want to help your salespeople make more sales?

Here are eight highly effective strategies for increasing sales performance…

#1. Streamline Your Sales Process

We recommend starting with documenting your entire sales process, examining it for inefficiencies and then addressing those inefficiencies.

If you haven’t taken measures to streamline your sales process before, the chances are that you will be able to increase your sales performance simply by automating repetitive tasks that are currently taking up valuable salespeople’s time. 

Here are some automation ideas:

  • Set up a customer relationship management (CRM) system. CRM apps can help you get organized, centralize all the information you have on each contact and keep track of everything that’s happening in your sales pipeline.
  • Create a lead scoring system for your business. Analyze your sales data, figure out what leads that convert into customers have in common, and then use those common traits to develop a lead scoring system. 

    It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, you can simply rank incoming leads on a scale of 1 to 3, with 1 being the least likely to convert and 3 being the most likely to convert. This can be automated with CRM software. 

    Once you have a lead scoring system, encourage your salespeople to prioritize leads that are the most likely to convert into paying customers. Ideally, you want to use CRM software to automatically assign leads to salespeople and put the highest-scoring leads at the top of each salesperson’s lead list. 
  • Use Zapier to automate your workflow. Zapier allows you to connect various web apps in your workflow with each other and automate repetitive tasks such as data entry.

All this can help you free up salespeople’s time so that they can spend more of it on cold outreach, discovery calls, and product demos!

#2. Be Realistic About Hiring Trade-Offs

Every entrepreneur has to navigate this trade-off when hiring salespeople:

  • People who don’t have any previous sales experience will work for less but will require more training and be less effective at closing sales. They will also be more likely to quit. 
  • People who do have previous sales experience will require less training and be more effective at closing sales but they will also expect to be paid more, both in terms of base salary and in terms of commissions. 

This means that if you want to build a high-performing sales team, you will need to invest in either teaching your salespeople the skills they need to succeed in sales or in hiring salespeople who already have those skills.

It’s important to accept that there’s no way around this trade-off. Remember: you get what you pay for!

#3. Look for These Three Traits When Hiring Salespeople

So how can you know if someone with no previous sales experience has the potential to become a successful salesperson?

You can’t look at their sales track record because they don’t have any. But you can select for traits that are predictive of doing well in sales.

Here are the three most important traits:

  • Perseverance. Do they have experience in persevering through hardship? This can mean doing well in school despite coming from an underprivileged background, competing in sports, completing a large personal project, learning a complex skill, etc. 
  • Willingness to learn. Do they have experience in getting feedback on their performance and then making adjustments based on that feedback? Any activity where they had to learn a complex skill under someone else’s supervision is a good sign that they are likely to be coachable.
  • Career-oriented mindset. Are they interested in building a career in sales or are they simply looking for a job to pay the bills? Ideally, you want to hire career-oriented people. 

Looking for these three traits should help you identify candidates who won’t quit after their first terrible cold call, who will be able to improve based on your feedback and who will appreciate the opportunity to get their foot in the door despite having no previous sales experience!

#4. Provide Extensive Sales Training to New Salespeople

If you want your new hires to perform well, you need to provide extensive sales training as a part of your onboarding process.

Here’s what your sales training should include:

  • Psychology of persuasion training. Sales is just persuasion applied in the business context so it makes sense to start by discussing Robert Cialdini’s seven principles of persuasion that he covers in his book “Influence, New and Expanded: The Psychology of Persuasion”. 
  • Sales theory training. Cover the most popular sales frameworks, ways to overcome objections, popular sales closes, etc. with special emphasis on techniques that have been proven to be effective for selling your product.
  • Target audience training. Introduce your target audience aka your dream customers. Go over both their demographic and psychographic traits. Explain what they are struggling with and how your product can help them solve that problem. 
  • Product training. Introduce your product. Discuss its features, use cases, and limitations. Encourage your salespeople to go through its most common use cases so that they’d have hands-on experience with it. 
  • Cold call training. Provide a cold calling framework that your salespeople should follow. Organize a cold call roleplaying session so that they can practice that framework. 
  • Discovery call training. Provide a discovery call framework that your salespeople should follow. Organize a discovery call roleplaying session so that they can practice that framework. 
  • Product demo training. Provide a product demo framework that your salespeople should follow. Organize a product demo roleplaying session so that they can practice that framework.

Roleplaying sessions should be conducted using the same medium that your salespeople are going to use for the real thing (e.g. they should practice cold calls by actually calling each other on the phone).

Record those roleplay calls, analyze them, and give each salesperson feedback on their strengths, weaknesses, and what they can do to improve. 

#5. Set Realistic Expectations with People Who Don’t Have Any Previous Sales Experience

If someone doesn’t have any previous sales experience, it’s probably safe to say that they have no idea what they are getting themselves into.

New salespeople often quit within the first few months because they can’t handle the amount of rejection that they need to go through in order to close a single sale.

And the ones that stick with it often don’t improve as fast as they could because they start procrastinating on cold calls in an attempt to delay the pain of the rejection. 

One way to deal with this is to set realistic expectations during the onboarding process. 

Tell your salespeople that they need to be mentally prepared for the fact that the first few months are going to be difficult. Dealing with rejection after rejection after rejection is going to feel terrible.

But the more cold calls they make, the more rejections they will get and the less each rejection will sting. Eventually, they will become so desensitized that it won’t bother them anymore.

After you are done explaining all this, ask them to commit to making 1,000 cold calls no matter what. They can quit after that but not before.

The chances are that by the time they make their 1,000th cold call, they won’t want to quit anymore. They will have reached that point of being completely desensitized to rejection. This can help you reduce new hire turnover.

Plus, the more cold calls they make, the more practice they will get, and the faster their performance will increase. So it makes sense to encourage them to get their first 1,000 cold calls out of the way as quickly as possible!

#6. Set an Annual Sales Target then Divide it into Quarterly Sales Targets

You want to set an annual sales target so that your salespeople would have a concrete goal to work towards.

Look at your current sales pipeline conversion rates:

  • What percentage of cold calls convert into discovery calls?
  • What percentage of discovery calls convert into product demos?
  • What percentage of product demos convert into sales?

In theory, the most straightforward way to double sales would be to double cold calls but in practice, you need to see whether that’s realistic. Can your sales team handle the increased workload across the entire pipeline?

Remember that 2x more cold calls means 2x more discovery calls mean 2x more product demos (assuming the conversion rates stay the same). 

Moreover, it’s not just the sales team that’s going to see an increased workload, it’s everyone involved in dealing with clients (e.g. 2x more sales means 2x more customer support tickets).

Play with the numbers to see what can be achieved given the constraints of your business and work out an annual sales target that is realistic. Once you have an annual sales target, break it down into quarterly sales targets. 

Just make sure to account for any seasonal variations in sales that you can predict based on your historical sales data. Say, if Q3 has always been slow for your company, take that into consideration when setting a sales target for it.

#7. Set Daily, Weekly and Monthly Cold Outreach Quotas and Hold Your Salespeople Accountable

Figure out how many cold calls your salespeople need to make to reach your quarterly targets using the current sales pipeline conversion rates.

Then set daily, weekly, and monthly cold outreach quotas and tell your sales team to focus on meeting those quotas no matter what.

Make sure to hold everyone accountable by reviewing their cold outreach numbers at the end of every day, week, and month.

That way, if one of your salespeople starts falling behind, you will spot it immediately and hopefully will be able to help them get back on track.

Also, tell your salespeople that at the end of each quarter, their performance will be evaluated primarily on whether or not they met their cold outreach quotas. 

The reality is that they don’t have complete control over how many sales they make so it would be unfair to judge them based on that.

However, they do have complete control over their cold outreach numbers!

#8. Do Quarterly Reviews to Help Your Sales Team Stay On Track Towards Their Annual Sales Target

You want to conduct quarterly reviews with your sales team to discuss the progress they have made toward their annual sales target.

Here are the two main things that you should focus on:

  • Did they reach their quarterly sales target?
  • Did they meet their daily, weekly, and monthly cold outreach quotas?

If the answer to both questions is yes, then it’s a sign that the plan is working as expected and they should keep doing what they are doing. 

Meanwhile, if they met their cold outreach quotas but didn’t reach their quarterly target, it must mean that your sales pipeline conversion rates have decreased. 

Your salespeople will probably have insight into why the plan didn’t work as expected. Ask them what’s going on.

It’s important that you work together with them to figure out what the issue is and how to fix it.

Missing one quarterly target is not the end of the world but your sales team needs to get back on track ASAP if they want to reach their annual sales target!

Want to Learn How to Scale Sales FAST?

Our co-founder Russell Brunson took our company from zero to $10M in annual revenue in just one year.

Then, he grew it to 100M+ in annual revenue in less than a decade without taking any venture capital.

He’s a great salesman but it’s simply not possible to achieve that kind of explosive growth by cold calling potential customers and pitching them your products one-on-one.

And keep in mind that when he and his co-founder Todd Dickerson launched ClickFunnels in 2014, they were funding the whole thing themselves. 

They didn’t have the money to hire a bunch of salespeople right from the get-go!

So what did Russell do to grow our company so fast?

The answer is simple:

  1. He built sales funnels
  2. He drove traffic to those sales funnels

Since then, he has taught thousands of entrepreneurs around the world how they too can grow their businesses with sales funnels. Want to learn from him?

The best place to start is his best-selling book “DotCom Secrets”. 

It’s available on Amazon where it has over 2,400 reviews and a 4.7 star rating. But guess what?

You can also get a copy directly from us for free. All we ask is that you cover the shipping!

So what are you waiting for? 🧐

@russellbrunson

They say you shouldn’t pick favorites… But this book is my favorite in the secrets trilogy 🙂

♬ original sound – Russell Brunson – Russell Brunson

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