If you could squeeze a little more effort out of your sales team...would you?
Sales is a tough profession, one that takes hard, consistent work, passion, and clearly defined goals to be successful. One of the main reasons why performance management systems are gaining momentum in today’s sales world is that it can be a struggle for many managers to motivate their team to reach their goals.
Performance management systems are SaaS (Software as a Solution) models that often work with a CRM system to help motivate certain activities for a team.
A performance management system can lead sales teams to success
Successful sales teams have certain characteristics and practices that set them apart from less successful teams, and many of these characteristics can be fostered by a performance management system. Here are the common practices of teams that meet their quota - and how implementing a performance management system can help shape teams into successful, activity-driven powerhouses.
Clearly defined sales goals and expectations
The best way to make sure expectations are met is to ensure that sales reps fully understand what is expected of them. Goals and expectations need to be clearly communicated before reps can begin working toward them, and performance management systems can help in a number of ways.
A performance management system that includesscorecards will be a huge benefit to an organization. Scorecards will help you break down team goals into much more manageable pieces such as specific activity that will together lead to those goals, and show individual rep and team progress activity against set expectations. Contests can then be generated to promote the activity it takes to reach the goals that are set. Below are three sets of goals that every organization should put in place before beginning to sell.
1. Individual goals
When managers clearly define the actions that must be taken by each individual, it can help the rep focus on what matters most. Individual goals must be based on leading indicators, which are activities that will point a rep towards an event such as deal close.
Performance management systems allow sales reps have the ability to view their own leading indicators set by their managers (or organization) for the day within their scorecard. This keeps them on track for larger weekly, monthly and yearly goals. Keeping reps focused on the goals they must make individually in order to be successful is imperative to working towards larger team and organizational goals.
2. Team goals
Team goals will help boost team morale and improve collaboration at work. When a team reaches their goal, every rep gets credit which is a morale booster and gives employees a sense of purpose, even if they are struggling in certain aspects of their individual goals.
Team goals sets the expectation that everyone is working toward the same objectives, so employees are more likely to help their teammates. If a rep is struggling in an aspect of selling that another rep is excelling at, team goals might encourage the more efficient rep to share their knowledge and work as a team. If reps share team goals, knowing others are aware of their individual goals as well can keep reps accountable and on track.
3. Company goals
Much like team goals, company goals can help foster the collaboration of individuals within the organization. A good company goal can help align the smaller day-to-day goals with the organization's mission, vision, and objectives. Larger goals such as these help give meaning and purpose to the smaller goals that build into them.
Opportunity for continual improvement
Reps both appreciate and recognize when their leaders invest in their career. Not only can investing in your team help create a positive environment and boost morale, it will also help them perform better. Performance management systems make it easy to present reps with consistent skill development and learning opportunities.
A recent study by CSO Insights showed that organizations where salespeople use the company’s methodology and get consistent coaching from their managers see 73% quota attainment. Another study showed that managers at high-impact sales organizations (organizations where more than 75% of their sales reps achieve quota), are both more proficient at sales coaching and take more time to coach their teams than managers with average and low performing sales teams.
A good performance management system will include a coaching feature to help managers consistently provide feedback to their individual team members. This feature allows managers to view their team members’ progress against their goals in a scorecard, and fill out a pre-made coaching template that is automatically sent to the individual for their review. Sales coaching is a key component of quota attainment that helps managers support their team from anywhere.
Training is another aspect of skill development that is imperative to reps, but must not be confused with coaching. A performance management system will make a rep’s strengths and weaknesses extremely visible by displaying individual goal attainment, allowing a manager to use that information to decide what specific training would have the largest impact on the individual or team. Training is important because it develops high-level knowledge of skills reps need to help them understand their environment and succeed in their position.
The amount of time it takes for a rep to be fully ramped up can be detrimental to a rep’s success. With a good onboarding experience, reps will feel fully equipped to handle their daily tasks, be successful in their position, and are more likely to be retained by the company.
A performance management system allows managers to set leading indicators, tasks, and goals for a rep to accomplish that will gradually help them gain selling skills and become familiar with the position. The manager can view the rep’s progress throughout the ramp up, and the rep can see exactly where they stand in the big picture. This allows all parties to stay up to date on a rep’s onboarding plan and make adjustments if and when they are needed.
Create a motivating environment and culture
The environment you develop can have all the difference on performance and outcomes. Competition, recognition, and visibility are all components of your culture/environment. Let's find out more about each.
A rep’s competitive nature can be enough to propel them to the top, but often the rep’s work environment is what brings this competitive nature to the surface. Friendly competition can drive reps to go the extra mile, and performance management systems are built to foster that.
Reps can see their activities for the day compared to their peers not only on their own computer screen, but also broadcasted throughout their office on TV screens. Managers can hold contests between reps or teams and use prizes to up the ante even more. Stack rankings of contest participants are displayed as well, pushing reps at every level to do their best and making your people better.
Another strong motivator for reps is recognition for their hard work. Broadcasted leaderboards and stack rankings help to recognize the top performers, and contest winners get to be recognized for their performance with a specific goal in mind. Recognition leads to higher satisfaction, increased motivation, and a higher retention rate for employees.
Transparency within an organization creates a culture of accountability. Managers are able to view rep activity in real-time and step in to coach and correct behavior that is lacking, before it becomes a problem. Since people crave recognition and no one wants to be left in the dust, visibility can also motivate reps as their progress is displayed for their peers and managers to see.
Implementing a performance management system can benefit an organization from the bottom to the top. Reps, managers, and executives can all gain more visibility into what activity is needed for success on every level. From broadcasted scorecards, to coaching assistance, to contests and leaderboards, Performance management can integrate with your CRM system to improve work ethic and drive visibility throughout an organization, and most especially with your sales team.