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Strategies to Improve Sales Performance

Instructor: Tara Schofield
Meeting and exceeding sales expectations can be done by following some key steps. This lesson outlines effective strategies that can support the success of sales performance.

What is Sales Performance?

In most organizations, there is a team of people who are responsible for driving sales and increasing income for the business. This team, often called the sales team, is focused on providing customers with solutions, meeting the needs of their clients, and selling products and services. The overall result of the team's efforts is considered the sales performance of the organization.

Strategies to Improve Performance

To see increased sales, a company must have strategies to improve sales performance. Some of the most effective strategies are listed below.

Hiring the Right People

There is little doubt that having sales-minded, highly driven people on the sales team will improve performance. Hiring people who like to interact with others, are charming and charismatic, and have a natural ability to sell will often result in an increase in sales. On the other hand, hiring introverts who prefer to sit at their desks and have little or no interaction with others will negatively affect the sales efforts of the company.

Let's imagine you are the sales manager for a prominent, large golf course. Your sales team is focused on selling memberships to wealthy members of the community. You need to fill two key sales positions. Knowing that your sales goals are 15% higher this year than last, finding individuals who will be high performers is a must. You are looking for individuals who are ambitious, intelligent, and can effectively relate to wealthy clientele. Understanding your customers' needs will help you in hiring the right people for your positions.

Training

Organizations often overlook the importance of ongoing training for their staff members. Training is vital to improve sales performance. Improving communication skills, presentation methods, and finding efforts are critical to increasing sales. A consistent training program can be effective in strengthening abilities and helping the team meet their goals.

As the golf season approaches, your team is excited to see a surge in memberships. You have offered weekly training to prepare the current and new team members for the presentations they will make to local business professionals. You have noticed that over the course of several weeks, your staff has become much more effective in their presentations and are stronger at closing the sales. With each training session, the performance of the team improves.

Setting Clear Expectations

For any improvement to happen, the team must know the expectations. If they are expected to improve sales 10% over the previous quarter, that needs to be explained and laid out for each person. Otherwise, the members may anticipate that reaching the same level as the quarter before is acceptable.

You meet with your team and outline the sales numbers from last year. You then explain that the team is expected to bring in at least 15% more this year, explaining the dollar amount. You also meet with each person individually to review their performance from the year before, their anticipated performance this year, and address any concerns they may have. This ensures that each person understands what their expected contribution is to the overall increase.

Measuring Results

Without a way to measure the results, it is unlikely anything will improve. It is vital to have timely and consistent reports that identify how sales are going, if the numbers match the target, and the overall performance of the team. By consistently monitoring the numbers, you can be aware of any problems or areas that are weak.

The second week into your membership sales, you see that corporate sponsorships are lower than you anticipated. When you bring this to the attention of your team, you learn that several decision-makers are out of the office and cannot sign off on the sponsorship package until the following week. This reassures you that the sales performance is on track, just slightly delayed.

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