11 Strategies to Improve Sales Performance and Close More Deals

Closing a deal requires a lot of work. And no matter whether your sales team is using traditional or an inbound sales approach, they are likely to report a range of barriers, from problems in connecting with prospects to poor quality leads.

Now there is no complete cure for all your sales problems, but you can try implementing these ways to improve sales performance and thereby minimize and address prime challenges.

Today, traditional sales tactics are losing their efficacy, since they do not match up with buyer expectations. As per HubSpot’s 2016 Sales Perception Survey, the following chart shows the top challenges salespeople are experiencing and analyzed how to address them the Inbound way.

Pro-tip: Download these charts from this survey and use them in your next improving sales productivity ppt.

Source: HubSpot

With that nugget of information, let's have a look at the best strategies to solve sales performance:

1. Know What Differentiates Your Company

Today, the buyers dictate your sales process. They seek information about products from various channels before making a purchase. And only once they have made up their mind, they opt to connect with your sales representative.

Since your buyers are knowledgeable, it isn't enough for your sales reps to rattle off your company’s Unique Selling Proposition.

So, how to improve sales skills?

Your sales rep should have complete knowledge about their product and also their competitor's products. This way when the prospects ask any questions or if he is indecisive whether he should go with your product, your sales representative can explain to your prospects why your products are superior.

2. Know Your Prospects

Before you approach your prospects, you need to know about them like the back of your hand. Here's how you can know them inside out.

Creating Detailed Buyer's Persona: Begin with making a generalized representation of your ideal customer. This will help your sales representative understand your prospects on a deeper level and let them design their sales pitch.

Identifying Prospect's Buyer Journey: Now that you have a general idea of the buyer, it's time to hone in on specific prospects and which stage of buyer's journey are they in.

  • Awareness: This is the very first stage where your prospects are unaware that your company exists. They might not even know that they have a need. Your task is to educate your prospect on what could be the reason behind their problems while making them aware of your company and product. Best way to approach your prospects at this stage is via email marketing.

  • Consideration: At this stage, the problem is clearly defined and your prospect starts looking for a solution. The sales representative's job is to accentuate how the solution provided by your company can deal with all their pain points.

  • Decision: This is the final stage of your buyer's journey where they have shortlisted their options. Your sales rep should devise a pitch which addresses all the important decision-making points like implementation, costs, customer support and how much ROI the product will generate for your prospect.

But how do you know which stage your prospect is at? You can find out by asking them prospecting questions, such as Are you looking for a solution for this {problem} or are you still researching about {problem}?

You can also subtly deduce what stage are they in by using your lead management system CRM software to track what landing page or Ad they are clicking or what campaign converted them.

Bonus: Check out our free Guide on Best Email Marketing Practices, You can quickly understand the best practices for running campaigns effectively.

3. Follow Up With Prospects

Let's have a look at these numbers (since numbers don't lie):

  • As per the sales productivity blog, 35% to 50% of sales go to the vendors that respond first.
  • The odds of a rep connecting with a serious buyer drops by 400% if they respond in 10 minutes instead of five.

These numbers indicate that your sales representative should shorten their response time. But how can you do this? Here are some ways to do it:

  • Firstly, tracking your lead response times using an integrated sales and marketing tool like Teleduce. If you are using email marketing, check email analytics.
  • Offer incentives to your sales reps to respond to leads more quickly.
  • Automate calls to new leads with IVR services, wherein the system will first rattle of your information to leads and if they are interested, they can connect directly to a sales rep.

4. Address Your Prospect’s End Goal

Apart from learning how your product can benefit your prospects and how it can help solve their problems, your prospects are always interested in learning how it could tie it back to revenue and ROI.

So, if possible, provide them with an ROI calculator or formula which will help your prospects understand how much they might be saving or earning by choosing your product.

For the ROI calculator, you can try using Evie.ai website which is an AI assistant.

5. Tailor The Outreach Method

Should you just mail your prospects? Should you call them or meet face to face? Well, it all depends on your prospect’s preference and alter your outreach method according to them.

It's always easier to sell when you’re face-to-face, since build rapport, read body language and pitch more effectively. But if your prospect is busy and would rather speak to you via a phone call, then your sales rep should respect their decision and not push them for a meeting.

In fact, a lot of prospects stick to a call or two and prefer communicating through emails. So, it's always better to use a mix of various sales follow up measures rather than sticking to one.

6. Be Persistent By Creating A Positive Sales Experience

Today, buyers really want to avoid pushy sales representatives. They want your sales rep to listen to their needs, provide all relevant and important information in a timely manner. They want the salesperson to be invested in the success of their business and not just closing the deal. So, your sales rep cannot be pushy and rely on a script.

They should tailor their pitch to the buyer’s business model or industry, goals, and especially their timeline. Creating positive sales experience for your buyers will definitely reflect in your sales productivity metrics.

7. Share Case studies And Use Social Media

With a smart buyer, case studies are the most effective form of marketing. So why not get your sales reps to actively share case studies with your prospects?

Case studies work because they combine equal parts of storytelling, data, and design, and communicate how your products or services have benefitted a particular customer. By giving better insights, they drive engagement and sales.

Social media, on the other hand, lets you humanize yourself to your prospect. This will further increase your chances of them reciprocating to your outreach efforts. Building a rapport with them will help increase the possibilities that a prospect will return your calls or reply to your emails since they will recognise you.

This will go a long way in helping you close a sale. So respond to their comments on Facebook, retweet your prospects tweets, invite them to connect on LinkedIn, so that you stand out from other sales representatives.

Pro-tip: Facebook alone can be an invaluable part of your marketing mix. Here's a guide on Facebook Marketing Strategy to increase engagement and effectively fulfill your marketing goals.

8. Transform Your Sales Approach

To adapt to the age of the buyer, here are a few techniques to enhance productivity in a sales job that will help transform your sales approach.

  • Be Advisory: Building trust with your buyer and help them make buying decisions, rather than just making a sale.
  • Buyer-Centric Approach: Base your entire sales process on a buyer's perspective, rather than the seller. Listen to their challenges and goals, understand them thoroughly and then share concrete plans for the buyer. This will help delight the buyer in the sales process.
  • Personalized Content: As you learn more about your leads over time, tailor your sales content to their wants and needs. This will also help you in identifying the behaviours of customers, leading to better-qualified leads.

9. Follow Up With Old Leads

Sales cycles can be notoriously long and a single purchase decision, on average, involves 5.4 people. So, how to make a sales team more productive?

By making sure your sales reps don’t just write their prospects off if they don't initially respond well. While it is a good practice to break up with them for a while, your sales rep shouldn't completely forget about them.

They should write a note on your lead management system CRM and set a reminder to get in touch with these leads again say, after 6 months or a year down the road.

10. Make The Best Out Of The “Send Me An Email” Request

This is one of the best increase sales productivity tips. Now suppose when your sales rep makes a cold call to a prospect, there are times when they cut you short and ask you to mail your details. Well, they probably mean they are not interested but instead of sending them your old email script and closing it off, you can make this situation engaging by asking simple easy to answer questions. This could be something simple like

“I am not sure where your interest lies and I want to send you something that’s relevant, so can you let me know - are you more interested in X or Y?”

This way, your prospect will probably respond to you and by asking more follow-up questions, you can engage your prospect in a conversation. Even if you are using email marketing software, always make sure to send tailored and personalized emails.

11. Ask To Be Connected

A lot of time you glean your prospect's email address from their company website. But what should you do when they don't respond to their emails and you don't have their number?

Simple, just call the mainline of the company (again, get it from website), and ask to be connected. Just be polite and unassuming and chances are they will help you. Like for example, you can say this to the receptionist:

“I’m hoping to connect with someone who can do XYZ but I am not sure who I should be speaking to. Could you put me in touch with this person?”

It's a simple and effective sales productivity tip, so do ask your sales team to give it a try, and see if it works for them.

How To Measure Sales Productivity?

Now that you have all these techniques at your disposal, how would you measure your sales productivity after implementing them?

There are many factors at play when it comes to conversions and how they happen. But in simple terms, sales productivity can be considered as maximizing time spent on the most significant sales rep activities like prospecting, client meetings etc and minimizing the resources needed to accomplish them such as time spent, money and effort. So, sales productivity formula is

[Sales Productivity = Efficiency x Effectiveness]

  • Where Efficiency relates to the distribution and use of resources ( particularly time).
  • And Effectiveness refers to how well you are using your resources to accomplish your goals.

Use CRM software - Teleduce to Enhance Sales Productivity

Using an integrated sales and marketing CRM like Teleduce will improve your ability to track sales productivity. This multichannel tool will help you discern where you are finding your best leads, what is the rate of converting those leads and what is contributing to your team’s success.

This way you can identify what works and track your relationship with your customers which will, in turn, help your team to repeat the actions that lead conversions.

Give a Boost to your sales team productivity with Teleduce today. Schedule a free demo today!