In an ideal world, your inside sales team would never miss their monthly and quarterly goals, but anyone who has ever run a sales department knows, that is not possible. Between summer slowdowns and just occasional ‘off’ months, every company will have months where they do not reach their goals.
Although occasionally missing sales goals will not be completely detrimental to the company, you want to make sure that one bad month will not turn into two or three. You can do this by ensuring that your sales team remains motivated and enthusiastic about their jobs while also determining what exactly went wrong in the last month. Here are a few sales coaching steps you can take to avoid losing your team when you miss your sales goals.
Diagnose the problem
You should begin by breaking down the month and determining exactly what went wrong. This services two purposes. First, it will help the inside sales professionals learn from their mistakes to avoid making those errors in the future. Secondly, it can help keep sales professionals from becoming too discouraged. When people have an identifiable reason why their last month went wrong, they can be inspired to do better in the future.
The key to making this process a success is creating a positive, collaborative environment. There should be no accusations about who made mistakes. Instead everyone should work together to learn what the problem was and try to motivate each other to succeed next time.
Give people concrete areas to work on
Once the source of the problem has been identified, you then need to give people concrete directions about what can be improved. Vague instructions, such as “be more helpful when making initial contact with qualified leads” will not be beneficial. Instead, give your sales team ideas that they can easily implement as they begin contacting new leads. For example, guidelines about how to identify the customer’s pain points and examples of the types of assistance and offers that will resonate most with that customer will help them close more deals.
Celebrate small goals
Every sales team has something to celebrate, even when they did not reach their overall goals. Maybe someone new to the team managed to close their first sale. Perhaps the team was able to close a sale with a very big name client that had been nurtured for some time. Whatever the victory may be, find a way to celebrate it. Having a small party, luncheon or other fun gathering can help your team take their mind off the past disappointment and get them ready to tackle the next month. This type of recognition of hard work will also help them feel appreciated and therefore motivated and inspired.
Look for ways to improve
Part of the sales manager's job is to provide the tools and training to help their team improve. Look for ways to improve your sales productivity. Are there ways to generate more leads? Are you optimizing your IT systems by using a CRM system and marketing automation? If you are looking to grow at a faster rate, there are a number of sales acceleration software applications available. Many of them integrate with popular CRM systems like Salesforce.com, MS Dynamics CRM, and Oracle CRM (aka Siebel).
Key your eyes on the target
When the inside sales team does not reach their goals, it can be disappointing for all the professionals involved. As the leader, however, it is your job to get everyone excited and ready to succeed in the upcoming month. Use the above ideas to let your team know that they can reach their goals and that you believe in them.[/fusion_text]