More than 50% of salespeople don’t meet their quotas, but that doesn’t have to be the case at your company if you equip your salespeople for success.
The sales industry is always evolving and adapting to market changes. When you own a business, it’s ultimately your responsibility to equip your sales team for success. This means making sure that they have the training and the tools they need to perform optimally.
Statistics show that 57% of sales reps miss their quotas, and this number was in a decline for years pre-pandemic. With the pandemic creating an economic downturn, it may be even harder for reps to meet their goals. Other reasons for failing to meet goals include improper forecasting, lack of data-driven sales goals, poor lead generation, and a lack of follow-up.
As a founder, although your team is accountable to you, you’re also accountable to your team. You have to ensure that they have what they need to be successful. After all, when your team is successful, your business is successful. Keep reading to learn four ways to equip your sales team for success.
1. Invest in professional training and development
There are very few people who can get a job done adequately, let alone be a top performer, without the right tools or resources available. In a survey on sales management training, 41% of the companies said they allocated zero budget for sales manager training. While 59% did allocate some type of budget, it was for general management — not for leading a sales team.
Salespeople themselves may be overlooked for basic training that other employees receive, especially if they’re experienced. They may also be accidentally overlooked for training on the technology needed to do their jobs, such as specific software the company uses.
Training employees isn’t cheap, and turnover can cost big bucks due to the need to retrain a replacement. Employee turnover can cost, on average, 33% of an employee’s salary. In 2019, LinkedIn’s Workforce Learning Report revealed 94% of employees indicated they’d stay at their place of employment longer if they were provided with learning opportunities.
Training your employees properly and providing opportunities for growth and development are both worthwhile investments. Your goal should be to not only equip your sales team to make sales but to craft an environment conducive to creating top performers. Many salespeople get little, if any, ongoing training on sales psychology.
Professional development increases employee engagement: a survey of over 2,000 employees found that organizations that offer opportunities for professional development increase employee engagement by 15%. In turn, these businesses saw a 34% higher retention rate when compared to businesses that don’t offer professional development opportunities.
2. Set realistic growth goals
Improper forecasting is one reason that sales teams don’t meet their quota, and this isn’t their fault. The importance of using data-defined targets cannot be reiterated enough. While aggressive goal setting can grow a business, unrealistic goal setting damages employee morale and engagement. No one wins in that situation.
Use waterfall goals to help your sales team tackle large goals in a sustainable way. Building progress at a linear pace helps your team increase their confidence and boosts morale. The “progress principle,” studied by the Harvard Business Review, has found that progress at work impacts not only an employee’s overall mood, but with it, their motivation to make progress. Even small, incremental successes were shown to be powerful enough to create positive momentum.
3. Automate and outsource where you can
Low sales productivity is another key reason teams fail to hit their targets. Recent studies have shown that salespeople spend less than half their time at work — only 35.9% of their time — actually selling. The rest of the time, they’re engaged in a myriad of other responsibilities, such as team meetings, writing emails, entering data, conducting lead research, and scheduling calls.
Reducing the amount of time your salespeople are spending on administrative tasks, such as data entry and scheduling calls, helps improve sales productivity. This can be done by automating processes such as scheduling or outsourcing tasks like lead research and data entry. Eliminating unnecessary meetings is vital as well — we’ve all been in a meeting or ten that could have been an email.
There are a variety of under-utilized technologies available — such as automation, artificial intelligence, and predictive capabilities — that can free up time for your salespeople to do what they do best: Sell. Every minute they spend on things someone else can do is a minute they could have been selling.
4. Develop a coaching/mentorship program
Networking and connecting with people is an important aspect of business. In fact, selling is all about building engagement and creating relationships. Just like it’s important for founders to have a mentor, your sales team can also benefit from a mentorship and coaching program.
Mentorship gives both parties an opportunity to engage in collaborative learning. Mentorship can help your employees increase their confidence on the job, boost their morale, up-skill, and learn new sales strategies. Mentorship has also been shown to improve both startup and survival rates for businesses.
Hiring, training, and properly equipping a sales team with the correct tools, resources, and skills to do their job can be a lot of work. Investing in your employees and their professional development, setting data-driven goal goals, and giving your team the tools to do their job will help you equip your sales team for success.
Having a sales team that isn’t hitting its goals can be frustrating, and it isn’t conducive to growing your business. When you have to handle everything in your business yourself — including the selling — because you haven’t built a supportive sales team yet, it can be a major impediment to business growth.
Salestable AI platform helps business owners ditch the daily grind of “founder selling” by helping them build a streamlined and ready team of dedicated sales professionals to do your selling for you. Co-founders Josh Hirsch and Joe Arioto put their combined 30,000 hours of sales leadership and coaching expertise to work for you on solutions-based sales that will help you free up time to focus on what really matters: Your growth strategy.
If you want to build your very own world-class sales team without investing a ton of time — not to mention headaches or hassles — contact us today. We’ll help you build a dream team to start boosting your sales in no time!