Are your sales somewhat predictable? Are you following a steady trajectory of growth? Or do all your sales results feel like the byproduct of random chance?
If you’re like many sales managers, you can’t help wondering if some of the sales trends within your organization are merely the byproduct of a fluke. If you want to improve, it’s important to get more consistent sales results, so you can have more meaningful information on the tactics that succeed and fail and to have a steady path toward long-term growth.
So how can you do it?
Create a Sales Process (and Other Documentation)
The first step is to formally document your sales process. Too many sales managers try to improvise their sales strategies, allowing their sales reps to approach sales in whatever way they want and changing things up on the fly when necessary.
While there’s certainly room for flexibility and adaptation in any sales strategy, and you don’t want to be a slave to the rules, it’s also important to formally document at least some of your sales process. This way, everyone will be following the same document and the same guidelines; you’ll also have something you can update when you do want to change part of your approach.
Your sales process should list all the details necessary for closing more sales with your target customers. These details include:
- Target audience. Who is your target audience? Which demographics are you trying to reach, and which people are going to be the best fit for your product? The better you understand your target audience, the better you’re going to be able to sell to them. This document is a perfect opportunity to completely capture this customer persona.
- The buying process. You’re also going to want to focus on the buying process. What does the average customer go through on their journey from being a totally uneducated consumer to being someone who is a loyal user of your product? Depending on your industry and the nature of your business, that could mean going through phases of discovery, research, and competitive analysis, followed by a final decision.
- Channels and tactics. Which tactics and channels are you going to use to reach your target audience? Hopefully, you’ll be using various approaches, including things like search engine optimization, email marketing, called outreach, phone calls, and more.
- Defined success. Your sales processes is also important for documenting how you define success. What kind of metrics are you looking for? How often should salespeople be following up with interested leads? What would be a cause for concern and how can you address it?
Additionally, it’s important to keep your sales process and other sales-related documents updated. Whenever you make changes to your approach, it’s important to introduce those changes to your documents. This way, your sales documentation can serve as a single source of truth in your organization.
Educate and Train Your Salespeople
Unfortunately, documents aren’t going to be enough. If you want your salespeople to work as a unified team and help you get more consistent sales results, you need to educate and train them the same ways. Host your salespeople together in groups and teach them the fundamentals of selling your products and services. Give them all the resources, information, and support they need to get reliable results. And if anyone shows signs of struggling, give them some extra support and make them feel comfortable reaching out for mentorship or further education.
It’s also a good idea to encourage collaboration. Salespeople who are friendly with each other and who partner up regularly are much more likely to share tips and tactics, and will be much more likely to work as a team. Consider partnering different sales reps together and fostering bonds between them.
Experiment and Learn
It’s good to have a consistent documented strategy in place to guide your sales team, but you also need to spend time experimenting. If your long-term goal is to boost sales for the organization with more streamlined strategies, you need to tinker with those strategies to find out what works and what doesn’t. Try out new things and pay close attention to your sales metrics as they evolve.
Review and Improve
Finally, take the time to review the performance of each individual sales rep on your team and give them tips for how they can improve. If there are members who aren’t pulling their weight or aren’t getting the same results as their competitors, it’s worth your time to address those differentiating factors and help them become top performers.
The road to optimizing your sales strategy is long and arduous. But with the right approach, you can make your sales results more consistent – and ultimately improve your ROI.