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Sales Performance Management (SPM): Building an Effective Strategy

Four tips for building a more productive sales culture through sales performance management strategies

Having a strategy in place for sales performance management is key to the success of any organization in every market.  In order to effectively build a sales performance management strategy that will deliver the highest ROI to your organization, you must first understand your goals and the value your offering can provide to your market. Understanding this critical information will allow you and your team to identify sales tools that will help to support your organizational sales goals and improve your sales culture overall.  Below are several tips to brainstorm when you and your organization are working on a strategy for sales performance management.

A sales performance management (SPM) strategy needs to incorporate clear objectives 

Identifying clear objectives to incorporate into your organization’s sales performance management strategy can often times be a difficult feat.  The first question that needs to be answered is what are the sales targets your organization wants to hit? It is also important to remember that a sales performance management strategy should address both long-term and short-term sales goals.  After you decide on your sales targets and objectives, spend some time brainstorming the following questions:

  1. How will you communicate your sales goals?
  2. How will you support and mentor your team to reach your sales goals?
  3. How does your sales performance management strategy capture your customers’ and potential customers’ needs?
  4. Does your strategy align with your organization’s mission and values?
  5. What sales tools will be used to accomplish these objectives?

A sales performance management (SPM) strategy needs to have organizational support

To have the most effective strategy, you need to have buy-in from the rest of your organization’s key stakeholders. The best way to achieve this goal is by believing in your strategy yourself and voicing that belief to the team.  You will also need to demonstrate the value of your strategy to your organization.  What is the anticipated ROI and value that the strategy will bring for both long-term and short-term goals? Finally, prepare yourself for questions, and determine how you plan to handle feedback.

Sales performance management (SPM) should incorporate accountability

One of the most challenging yet crucial aspects of developing a sales performance management strategy is holding your sales team accountable and rewarding success. Sales teams should have a personal connection with the products and services that they are introducing to potential customers.  If a member of the sales team is underperforming based on the realistic goals of the strategy, there should be consequences put into place. Here are a few tips for delivering the message of accountability to the members of your sales team.

  • Determine and voice your expectations to each player in your strategy.
  • Focus on issues, not individual people.
  • Lead by example by enforcing consequences of quotas not being met.
  • Make sure your team understands the key metrics on which accountability is based.
  • Provide qualitative feedback and develop leaders.

A sales  performance management (SPM) strategy should go past the point of sale 

Like any great plan or strategy, variables must be tested and tweaked to improve processes and ultimately deliver higher ROI to an organization.  Revenue is obviously one of the most important metrics that should be measured, but there are other data points that should be reported as well.  A few key sales performance metrics are:

  • Time spent engaging in sales activities
  • Time it takes for your sales team to follow up with a potential lead
  • Win rate
  • Cost of sales vs revenue ratio
  • Sales volume by agent
  • Sales team satisfaction and turnover rate

A sales performance management strategy is the foundation for any successful sales team.  Learning how to develop strategic goals, gain organizational support, understand baseline accountability and measure the results of your sales activities will keep your organization on track and increase your organization’s profitability.

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