So what’s the secret to keeping your sales team sharp, motivated, and effective and how can you ensure they’re performing brilliantly?

If you take into account these eight tips, growing revenues will soon follow.

1. Nurture leads well

If you do nurture your leads correctly, you can more than double your success rate.  For example, by lowering your cost per lead by 33% and by increasing your average order value by 47% – you are there.  Sure, it’s not always as simple as this, but it is a fact that many companies struggle to meet the insatiable demands of their own lead management programsAnother step in the right direction is to focus on generating more sales-ready leads.  You can do this by following these seven tips:

2. Take a closer look at your To-Do List

Re-examine how you nurture your leads and how to keep them moving through the pipeline. Evaluate your current process for sourcing, profiling, on-boarding, and following upLook also for ways to increase response, improve effectiveness and track returns.

Actions for you:

Assess your current processes and whether they make sense.
Examine your pipeline and working out ratios in advance you can make the relevant improvements on a linebyline basis, rather than assuming everything is working and throwing the baby out with the bath water.

3. Allocate geographical areas wisely

You should allocate the geographic areas in which your salespeople work in a way that maximizes revenue potential. That means putting your best-performing salespeople in the most fertile territories. Relying on the wrong criteria, or defaulting to the area that is nearest to where the salesperson lives is wasting potential and demoralizing to the good salespeople who could do so much more with the area.

Action for you:

  • Assess the potential of each account and area, and prioritize accordingly.
  • Revisit your territory planning process and how you determine territory potential, optimal size, and goals.
  • Consider how well you communicate territory decisions to the team.

4. Set sensible quotas

Some sales leaders set arbitrary, pie-in-the-sky sales quotas, based on a wish list rather than statistical evidence. They don’t factor in the right variables and they have no idea how far off their quotas are. The result of this is that sales can suffer due to low morale, with high team turnover having an ultimate effect on revenue.

5. Create incentive plans that work

Designing an effective and sustainable incentive plan is a complicated process. With proper input and analysis, a great incentive plan can explode the sales budget. Or fail to incentivize desired behaviors and it can have a truly negative effect. A word of warning, a knee-jerk reaction to a sales trend usually only makes things worse.

It is worth putting effort into a good incentive package and establishing clearly defined compensation benchmarks and remuneration.

Another important factor is to determine the cost implications of your compensation decisions. Evaluate how you approve changes, how you communicate them and how you measure their effectiveness.

6. Get salespeople the content they need, when and where they need it

Sales enablement means getting the right content into the right people’s hands at the right time. This helps them do their jobs better and also makes the job of your sales people easier. But be aware, that’s not possible if your sales team isn’t receptive to new programs.

Action for you:

  • Assess how well you develop and package content for the sales team’s use
  • Identify any gaps in your technology and training programs.
  • Focus on improving adoption, coaching, and effectiveness.

7. Maximize selling time

Salespeople should spend 70% of their time selling. Yet most of them spend too many hours on administrative duties. With proper automation, you’ll empower your sales team to close more sales.  This does need tight control though because all too often when given freedom to control their own time, salespeople may end up working less on sales and more on personal stuff.  

Action for you:

Evaluate your existing platforms and processes to pinpoint any marketing automation failures.
Consider how you might leverage various technologies to improve productivity (CRM, mobile, PA support, contract administration, predictive analytics, etc.).
Construct a ‘Sales Technologies Road Map to match core sales workflow issues with appropriate technologies.
Align handing over time control to your sales team to additional revenue.  If it works out less is being achieved by them controlling their own time, either replace them or bring them in -house

8. Make talent development an ongoing program

Your sales force must keep pace with your market, customers, and competitors. If training and coaching are random, rare, or sub-par, they won’t reinforce desired behaviors. They must be top priorities, even for “A” playersyour future sales leaders.

Actions for you

  • Consider the kind of training program you’ll need to develop core competencies, skills, and knowledge.

Growing revenue is far too important to be left only to your sales team, they also need your support.  Adapting your sales strategy to incorporate a few or all of these techniques will invigorate and energize your team into giving you the results you need.