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Every business aims to grow continuously, year after year. While success can be quite subjective, generating enough sales to drive profits (with hopes of supporting expansions and further development) is usually most businesses’ top priority.
However, achieving this is not always so straightforward. Trying to increase sales without having an understanding of a team’s sales performance is a lot like trying to reach a remote destination one has never been to before without a map, navigation system, or even a remote idea of how to get there. The situation can lead to managers allocating resources to the wrong areas and can be accompanied by unnecessary stress due to underperformance and a lack of direction.
This is where sales performance management comes in. The concept of sales performance management is to gather information on the performance of representatives during the sales process for analysis. With this information, managers can then take action and make changes as needed to improve the performance of their teams and ultimately achieve greater profits as well as effective workflows and processes in the short and long run. Sale performance management consists of the oversight of different indicators that ultimately determine the success of a team. Moreover, having the right sales tools in place can make all the difference in meeting sales benchmarks.
That said, when getting started, it can be easy to get lost in (and even discouraged by) a myriad of sales performance articles touching on different specific areas and making it difficult to see the bigger picture. This puts managers in a situation in which they are prepared to take action but are not sure about where to start. In this piece, we will provide an overall review of all areas of sales performance, including management, analysis, measurement, efficiency, reporting, reviewing, and more.
Sales Performance Analysis
Before they can make practical changes to a sales strategy and properly mentor their sales team, managers must be able to assess the performance of team members. Improvements are only possible with the help of a sales performance analysis. Such an analysis can take into consideration current and past performance and compare it to current goals. Companies can also gauge progress over time through the use of the sales performance formula and adjust as they see fit.
Without the proper information at hand, it may be difficult to recognize areas that are struggling or that could simply work more efficiently. This is especially true when it comes to B2B sales and SaaS.
Additionally, analyzing sales performance can also result beneficial as it can aid the recognition of behaviors that lead to an increase in sales (and that would have otherwise gone under the radar) and allow organizations to incentivize those behaviors from a sales team as a unit. A sales performance analysis is not an activity that should only be performed once, but rather part of a continuous process in an effort to fine-tune the sales approach of an entire team over time with the goal of increasing sales.
Once a sales analysis is executed, managers can utilize the information gathered to make changes as needed. At this stage, organizations must establish a course of action to correct issues taking place. Additionally, they must define practices that are having a positive impact and find ways to maximize. Sales management is key, as information gathered does not have a use if measures are not taken to improve through its use.
For example, organizations operating under a business-to-business model should pay attention to B2B sales KPI (key performance indicators) to get a better understanding of how their sales activities are impacting the number of sales made. This can be a process that consists of a large number of small changes over a long period of time. Furthermore, it is important to keep in mind that external factors could potentially have an impact on the sales analysis. Because of this, constantly monitoring changes is key to achieve consistent results
Objective setting is a key part of sales management as it serves as the blueprint representatives will use to successfully conduct their sales activities and contribute to the growth of the organization.
Sales Performance Measurement
An analysis of sales performance can only be successfully carried out if it takes into consideration the proper sales performance measurements. Because of this, managers must understand how to evaluate sales performance before being able to analyze results. In the case of organizations operating under the B2B model, common sales performance metrics include conversion rates, average deal size, sales funnel leakage, and more.
Setting metrics that are oriented towards the priorities of the organization will guarantee that the focus of both managers and representatives is in tune with the goals of the business. This practice will also shine light on the direct effects of employee performance on the success of the entity. However, it is important to note that while measurements such as revenue generated by a representative are many times considered the end-all-be-all by managers, these measurements can often be impacted by other less notable indicators. In other words, it is important to find the source of the issue, and not fixate only on what appears to be the problem on a surface level.
Additionally, objectives set must be realistic and achievable with the given resources to accurately assess employee performance (as sometimes unrealistic goals can lead to managers believing employees are underperforming when they are not).
The good news is that sales performance management software makes parsing these data easier than ever.
Identifying business practices that yield sales and allocating resources towards them can lead to more efficient sales processes. This in turn can lead to skyrocketing profits.
Improving sales efficiency is possible through a variety of methods. Some of the most notable approaches used for efficient sales include thorough training and education. In other words, managers ensure that all of the sales team understands what they are selling, what features the service has to offer, and why these features can benefit the organizations to whom they are selling.
With a limited amount of time and resources available, channeling all efforts to the things that matter most increases the probabilities of selling at any given time. Allocating time to leads that do not (and will not) meet a certain criterion will often result in wasted time. This is not to say that long-term relationship building in preparation for a future sale is not important (as this is often necessary when it comes to deals of large monetary value), but it is important to identify whether there truly will be an opportunity to sell at one point (even if it is far down the line).
Efficiency should always be a priority when aiming to improve sales performance within an organization as it will reduce costs and often lead to an increase in profits. This is where sales management software can come into play to guarantee that all team members are focusing on the right elements and that no minute is being wasted.
Sales Performance Report
Once goals have been set (through the use of a performance analysis) and managers have developed approaches that can potentially lead to the success of a sales team, managers will want to keep track of performance over time through the use of a performance report. A sales performance report facilitates a statistical analysis of sales data over a defined period of time and provides insight to the progression of sales representatives. Since there are many types of sales reports, utilizing one that highlights the performance of a sales team in relation to the priorities of an organization is the best choice. Different types of sales reports may include (but are not limited to) number of meetings set up, sales volume evolution, number of outbound calls, and more.
Managers can utilize a sales report example as a stepping stone to develop their own reports that will closely align with the approaches and goals of their business. Additionally, it is common for a company to utilize more than one type of sales performance report at any given time to get a better understanding of which areas are excelling, as well as which areas may need work. On the other hand, using too many reports at once may drive attention away from the main goals.
Sales Performance Review
With a better understanding of how to measure sales performance, managers can take initiative and make the changes the organization needs to succeed and expand. For further guidance, organizations can also use a sales analysis example to get started with their performance management process. Utilizing the data gathered to forecast sales and revenue can give businesses a step ahead as well as a clear path to follow. This practice can lead organizations to discover activities that yield more sales, as well as areas that could use improvements or adjustments.
Furthermore, executing a sales performance review will inform managers of any progress made or lost as well as of the causes for said progress/regression. Growth is a process that requires patience and consistency. Results will be clear but not necessarily immediate.
With this information, increasing sales is no longer like driving to a destination without a map, it is more like getting in the car and following the correct road on the map. There may be traffic, there may have to be stops along the way, but arriving at the destination is not only likely but guaranteed. It is simply a matter of getting in the car and starting the engine, but organizations have the key.
Every business wants to keep beating sales goals. This is much easier to accomplish when you are armed with the right tools. Visit our website today to see how Canopy can help!