Does your sales team need to improve their results?
In many cases the answer is Yes! But do you know which part of their sales efforts actually needs attention in order to achieve better outcomes?
It’s not always any easy question to answer.
Ask your sales team
Ask your sales team what needs to be improved to help them make more sales and the answer is often:
- “we need to be cheaper”
- “better information/support” or
- “more marketing so people know who we are”
Ask your sales manager
Ask a sales manager or business owner what needs to be improved and often the answer is:
- “make more calls”
- “close more sales” or
- “better articulate our value proposition”
In many cases I’ve seen the situation where the sales manager (or whoever holds the role of managing the ‘sales team’) doesn’t ever get out into the field with their individual sellers. So they don’t have first-hand experience of what their team are actually doing. And they don’t build rapport with individuals and never get a deeper understanding of what drives each of their team members.
Or I’ve seen sales leaders who initially request ‘sales training’ when really what they’re thinking about is improving the ‘presentation skills’ of the team because giving a presentation is an important component of the sales process.
Skill, process or attitude
When it comes to identifying what needs to be improved it can be helpful to have a framework that covers a wide variety of options. The you can decide which specific areas of skill, process or attitude need to be improved.
The Sales Performance Improvement Framework (SPIF) was developed to help sales leaders (and business owners) better define what the problem is, and therefore where the focus for improvement should be.
Observed vs. Recorded
It must be recognised that many traits of sellers, or specific sales-related activities, can only be observed in the field. They are not recorded so you can’t monitor them ‘after the fact’. That’s why the quadrant structure for the SPIF includes ‘Observed’ versus ‘Recorded’.
Those factors that are recorded have been documented in some format, so they are more easily measured. The factors which are observed usually occur in one-to-one settings during client interactions. So, if you’re not observing that particular sales interaction you wont to able to determine if a particular factor is being done/applied.
Office vs. field
The other axis of the SPIF addresses whether the factor occurs ‘in the office’ or ‘in the field’. When combined with the concept of observed vs. recorded this gives a clear picture of where the sales manager needs to be looking to determine which factors across the whole sales performance spectrum offer room for improvement.
For help to apply the SPIF to your organisation, or to explore sales performance improvement and training options, you’re welcome to get in touch.