Too often sales teams jump to quick, ineffective solutions when they see a drop in sales performance. By doing so, they fail to address the root cause of the problem.
When quotas aren’t being met and sales performance is dropping, one typical response is to blame the salespeople. However, the truth is that performance issues can arise from a myriad of sources, including management and process issues.
The effective solution to fixing sales performance issues is to diagnose the problem before you prescribe a fix. To address drawbacks with sales performance, companies need a clear understanding of the issues they are currency facing.
An accurate sales diagnosis examines the current state of sales and any associated challenges. Sales diagnostics can identify hard-to-find issues, allowing companies to address hidden issues at the source and concentrate their efforts on areas that actually need work.
Diagnosing Sales Performance Issues
When analyzing the health of your sales team, there are several factors to take into account. Some key components include revenue metrics (everything from revenue to order sizes to product popularity) and competitive position (what does your company do well, and where do your competitors typically win).
Companies should then take a look at their internal structure. Salespeople are motivated by reward structures, for example, so it’s important to take note of how they are compensated for better performances. If an adequate reward structure is lacking, this may contribute to low morale and decreased motivation.
Pricing is another important metric. Salespeople need to know more than simply how much the product costs. By knowing which parts are negotiable and which are not, leaders can recognize opportunities to offer discounts and therefore boost sales.
When diagnosing sales performance issues, companies also need to make sure the right KPIs are tracked, visible, and managed. Some important metrics include number of proposals, average deal size, and sales cycle length. Tracking these KPIs is an important step toward uncovering where sales teams are falling behind.
By collecting and analyzing this information, sales leaders can discover roadblocks and ensure their diagnostics will account for all contributing factors. They can then develop actionable recommendations to correct issues they discovered, thereby eliminating bottlenecks and increasing revenue.
On the other hand, if the right components and metrics aren’t tracked, leaders will have a hard time finding the source of sales performance issues and will struggle to improve sales performance.
Why Regular Sales Diagnoses are Needed
A sales diagnosis should not be a one-time examination of your team’s performance; rather, sales diagnoses should be an ongoing, regular process to ensure the continual improvement of the sales team’s performance.
After performing a sales diagnosis, leaders are able to find the source of their most pressing issues and chart a course for the future. However, after making these necessary adjustments, it’s important to continue to perform regular sales diagnosis to ensure everything is working as it should, and that the desired goals are being met on a continual basis.
This is why it’s vital that leaders set measurable goals and establish clear expectations. In future sales diagnoses, leaders can track their progress and compare with their previous expectations to see if the team is on the right track.
If a team’s goals are not met, or sales performance has not improved as much as leaders had hoped, ongoing sales diagnoses allow leaders to continually adjust their course of action and make corrections, ensuring that the sales organization keeps driving revenue growth.