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How to Improve Your Sales Performance

Dec 21, 2023
3 min read

In sales, there’s one thing you have to get right if you want your organization to succeed—profitability. That requires high performance, low costs, consistent revenue, and a sales strategy. But it’s hard to get the visibility you need to identify ways to improve your sales performance. Here are five tips to use data to improve your sales performance.

What Makes Sales Teams Successful?

According to research by Hubspot, just 28% of a sales rep's time is spent interacting with prospects. Many sales reps spend as much time or more on clerical tasks. Improving the efficiency of your sales team could go a long way toward increasing their success and making your business more sustainable. According to a survey we conducted, 91% of sales leaders don’t plan on their AEs hitting or exceeding quota. If your sales reps are consistently underperforming, it's essential to find ways to help them work more efficiently.

Access to high-quality data and good communication tools helps sales teams consistently meet their goals. High-performing sales teams tend to make use of sales technology more extensively than other teams. They benefit from having instant access to the data they need to prioritize (and convert) quality leads.

5 Tips to Improve Sales Performance

If you're aiming to improve sales performance in your organization, initiating a digital transformation is a good starting point. Having access to accurate data improves the quality of your forecasts and can improve the customer experience, too. Consider the following tips as you look to support and encourage high-performing members of your sales team.

1. Embrace technology and digital transformation in sales

Technology and digital transformation ensure your data is accurate and accessible by anyone in your organization. It allows you to examine your processes and provides insights to improve sales performance.

Technology is becoming inescapable for sales teams and for sales performance management, too. Gartner predicts that by 2025, 75% of businesses will be using AI-powered tools to drive smarter sales and revenue. If you want your organization to retain a competitive edge, it's vital you invest in a sales performance management platform to automate your data for a seamless, all-in-one sales planning process.

2. Understand and optimize revenue generation

Successful companies know how their business works at a granular level. They know what it takes to increase revenue generation and make changes across their organization to improve sales performance. At Xactly, we call this revenue intelligence.

Intelligent revenue looks at your data, identifies trends, and provides insights to guide your planning and decision-making. It helps you make changes to your sales performance improvement plan that put reps in front of the right customers and rewards them for bringing in the best sources of revenue.

That means your sellers are focusing their time on targeting and closing the best deals. They are better equipped to do their job and earn more while helping the company drive profitability—a win-win for everyone!

3. Tailor incentives to strategies that increase sales

Incentive compensation is the main driver of sales behaviors. Getting it right is a critical step in how to improve your sales performance. The most important factor in your compensation is aligning sales incentives with overarching objectives. This ensures your sales team is targeting the right opportunities and prioritizing the best deals to reach your goals.

However, no two positions play the same role in closing deals. Creating incentives specific to each position motivates your team and empowers them to succeed.

4. Maximize your sales forecasting accuracy

Accurate sales forecasting is essential if you want to be able to manage your resources efficiently and maximize the performance of your team. Manual sales forecasting isn't just time-consuming; it can be error-prone. Small clerical errors can easily be amplified, leading to inaccurate forecasts and making revenue performance management more difficult than it needs to be.

Intelligent forecasting technology closes the data gap by quickly and accurately analyzing your CRM data. It uses that data to identify where deals in your pipeline often stall and highlights deals at risk due to lack of activity. Forecasting tools can also offer guided selling suggestions to coach sellers, increase sales productivity, and improve sales performance.

5. Make customer experience your top priority

Put simply, successful companies have satisfied customers. Your current customers can play a huge role in improving sales performance. According to a recent report by Bain and Company, a 5% increase in customer retention produces an increase in profit of over 25%. It's cheaper to retain existing customers than it is to recruit new ones, so any efforts you can make to improve customer service or make your loyalty programs more appealing are likely to pay off.

Today’s saturated markets bombard buyers with thousands of sales messages every day. One-third of customers surveyed by American Express say they'll consider switching brands after just one incident of poor customer service. To retain consumer loyalty, you'll need to position yourself as a partner to your customers. Understanding each individual's needs builds stronger relationships and improves your sales performance.

Using Intelligence to Improve Sales Performance

The more you know about your customers, target demographics and sales pipeline, the better equipped you'll be to boost your sales team performance. Xactly offers both sales performance consulting services and sales performance management software to help your organization achieve its goals. Contact our teamto request a consultation and learn more about our services.

  • Sales Coaching and Motivation
  • Sales Performance Management
Kelly Arellano, Senior Content Marketing Manager at Xactly
Xactly News Team

Led by Editor-In-Chief, Kelly Arellano, The Xactly News Team reports on the latest products, events, and market trends taking place within Xactly and throughout the revenue intelligence industry.