There is no denying that sales is a high-pressured, fast-paced environment. So there is no surprise that sales teams can often be a little chaotic in their pursuit of getting the job done.
Being able to think on your feet and work reactively is a skill that all good salespeople should have. But is spending all your time fighting fires really the best way to ensure the long-term success of your sales team?
In this article, we explore some of the ways you can benefit from and deliver consistency in sales performance.
Why Is Consistency Important?
Let’s start by clearing up exactly why consistency in sales performance is so important.
Consistency allows you to:
- Set clear targets and measure your progress
- Deliver direction by developing a clear sense of what ‘success’ looks like
- Hold teams and team members accountable
- Set expectations and build a solid reputation on them
- Save time, stress, and confusion
- Limit the potential for duplicated effort.
Creating consistency in your sales team ensures that members remain focused and clear on what is required of them, making the environment a more productive and nicer place to work.
Focus on Winning Processes
Consistency is a habit that is developed over time. Picking the right areas to be consistent is crucial to success. After all, consistency in knowing whose turn it is to buy the coffees will not be as beneficial as consistently doing what is needed to win multi-million-dollar contracts.
High-performing sales teams will focus their energy on developing consistency in the processes which have the biggest impact on success. Using your sales data, these high-value processes are usually pretty easy to spot.
For example, you may identify that cold calling is 50% more effective in generating leads than cold emails, so you would focus your energy on ensuring consistent, high rates of cold calls are being made daily.
Other common, high-value processes which are often followed inconsistently include:
- Checking customer satisfaction and needs
- Following up on initial contacts
- Inputting contact data into the CRM
- Regular team progress meetings
- Assessing the efficiency of current processes.
Undertaking a sales process audit can be a good way to identify important areas which are not being undertaken consistently.
Once you understand which processes are crucial to success, you need to ensure that they are undertaken repetitively.
Incentivizing the repetition of key processes can be done in several ways:
- Lead by example by executing the processes consistently yourself
- Set targets and goals associated with executing these processes
- Offer benefits and bonuses to those who consistently undertake the key processes
Understand Your Value
Some common advice you will hear in the professional sales space is to ‘sell the benefits, not the features’. Ensuring that you fully understand the value that you bring to the table is another great way to develop consistency in sales.
Not only does being clear on the value you offer help your sales team clearly and consistently communicate this to customers, but it also helps set client expectations. Once your client expectations have been set, they will hold you accountable to consistently deliver on those expectations.
Communicate Your Vision, Mission & Values
Mission and vision statements are often considered as a ‘nice to have’ and just rolled out when it’s time for the annual stakeholder meeting. However, your vision and mission statement is an essential and powerful tool in ensuring consistency in sales performance.
A vision and mission statement provides your sales team with clear markers on what they should be working towards. When your vision and mission are clearly communicated, this ensures that all team members will make decisions consistent with achieving those goals.
If your vision and mission highlight what your sales team should be working towards, your values will highlight how your sales team should conduct themselves in getting there. Communicating clear business values will ensure your team will act consistently in their approach.
For example, by communicating your values as being innovative and cutting edge, your sales team may take risks and try out new ideas. However, if you communicate your values as being reliable and a ‘safe bet’, your sales team will likely be a lot more considered in their approach.
Standardize Sales Messaging
What do members of your sales team say about your products or services when talking to customers?
Developing standardized messaging is a good way to ensure that all team members are correctly and consistently communicating the same message to prospects. This is especially important when you have a larger sales team, with the potential for multiple salespeople to communicate with the same customers.
Using a tool like TextExpander can help you to create a bank of standardized sales messages which can be accessed and used by all team members from one central location, limiting confusion and saving time.
Using a simple CRM is a good way to develop consistency. By offering your team a central location that can be used for the input, analysis, and output of information, you make it clear what is expected of them.
Your CRM can also help you to formalize processes and provide structure across the board.
Consistency in an Inconsistent World
Working to create consistency is beneficial to sales teams. Although the nature of sales will rarely allow for a fully consistent work structure, developing accepted processes and aligning effort will ensure efficiency is achieved in all possible areas.
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