Sales Effectiveness: A Phrase Worth the Buzz

Emma Fulcher
Emma Fulcher
In Sales Coaching and Motivation, Sales Performance Management
Emma Fulcher is the Social Media Manager and Content Writer at Xactly. She attended San Jose State University where she received her degree in English.

The coaching methods used by sales managers directly influence the success of sales reps. Sounds like common sense, yes? The truth is the term “sales effectiveness” is a trendy word often used thoughtlessly around the office by sales leaders and reps alike. I’d like to take a moment and look closely at what it means to manifest effectiveness in sales.

Knowledge Tree defines sales effectiveness as “specific tasks performed with the goal of driving revenue.” Simply put, the effectiveness of your sale is the quality of your actions to get the sale. Peter Drucker, of Modern Management Theory, said it best, “Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.” Cool, huh?

It may be obvious to some of you reading that sales effectiveness is important to your business. But how important? A recent Adobe survey concluded that ineffective sales processes can cost a business millions of dollars in lost revenue. Ineffectiveness often occurs when sales reps (and other employees) scramble to use content to connect with prospects and customers. If the content they’re using isn’t meeting the need of a prospect, the chances of a sale resulting are slim.

3 steps to improve Sales Effectiveness

The first, and most important step to improve your sales process is to constantly question it. As a team, we suggest outlining your process entirely, and then setting objectives and activities based on what results you hope for. In your planning, make sure to include room for flexibility, and set up sales effectiveness metrics to track success.

The second part: Training. We can’t express this enough. The training of your sales reps must be included in your sales process to help your sales reps be effective. To guarantee training efforts are successful, it’s critical that managers and leaders remain consistent. Training must be individually tailored to each sales rep; this is not a case for “one-size-fits-all.” There are a multitude of sales tools available to help managers best train their sales reps.

Xactly Inspire™ simplifies sales coaching to improve rep effectiveness

The third and final step in improving your sales teams’ effectiveness is how you optimize. Investing time and money in sales analytics solutions is worth the while. Using tools like analytics and benchmarking can increase your results tremendously. Sales teams don’t need to shoot in the dark, and hope for a positive result. Understanding the outcomes of your efforts throughout a quarter can alleviate the pain points many sales reps and managers get frustrated by.

Ready, set, inspire

Sales effectiveness lies in making the right decisions to get a sale. Often, sales reps are determined to be ineffective when they’re not using content in the right way. To avoid these potholes on the road we call the sales process, it’s important that sales reps understand what prospects truly need.

For managers, improving sales effectiveness in your teams can be as easy: Be ready and willing to question your sales process – and often. Make sure you’re investing plenty of time and energy in individualized training for your reps. Use analytics and benchmarking to distinguish what worked and why, so you can repeat the deals you won, and work on the deals you lost.


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Sales Effectiveness: A Phrase Worth the Buzz