14 Rapid-Fire Tips to Improve Sales Performance

Maggie Wenthe
Maggie Wenthe

row of sales reps looking at notes and mobile devices for sale performance tips

Sales performance improvement is at the forefront of every sales leader’s mind. Well-honed sales skills are what separates a successful team from one that’s treading water.

Ready to get the most from your people? Follow these tips and you’ll see notable improvement from your sales team’s performance.

  1. Express your gratitude. It always feels great to get a note of appreciation from your manager for a job well done. That’s why you need a recognition and reward message that sticks.
  2. Be patient with your sales coaching. Every great teacher knows that lessons don’t always resonate immediately. Sometimes, it takes two or three times. Patience helps shape talent, transform relationships and builds a strong, positive attitude.
  3. Know your purpose and mission. If the purpose for your sales team is to just sell more, you’re missing an opportunity. Guide your people toward a larger mission rather than putting money in their pockets. What drives them further? 

  4. Understand your customer’s mindset. Someone who desperately needs a car is going to behave differently in a car dealership than someone who is just kicking tires. Knowing how your customer is feeling and what state they’re in—their mindset—can help sales leaders and managers steer their people in a huge way.
  5. Ask questions. Spark a dialogue with your sales team to get to the root of concerns and help improve sales skills. After all, continuous feedback and interaction is increasingly more important in today’s workplace.
  6. Listen and pay attention. You know what your team is saying, but what’s behind those words? In order to improve your sales team’s performance, you need to see what they really need. Motivational speaker Brian Tracy encourages a four part approach to this: listen attentively, pause before replying, question for clarification and feed it back in your own words.
  7. Consider the types of people on your sales team. Every organization has four basic groups of salespeople: performers, professionals, caretakers and searchers.

  8. Schedule checkpoints. It is up to the sales manager to check in with their people to address performance issues and develop a plan of action to correct the problem, if one arises. Without clear objectives, your people won’t know where they’re headed.
  9. Make sure you’re available. Just like college professors offer office hours, carve out a part of your day reserved exclusively for talking with and mentoring your team. It means a lot to be a sounding board right when your people need you, even outside of scheduled checkpoints.
  10. Gamify sales performance. Gamifying the process of selling can bring out the innate competitiveness that sales people feel. When they’re competing against each other for larger awards, motivation is kept high with minimal legwork for managers.
  11. Ask them how they’d like to be managed. With a growing number of generations in the workforce, it’s no wonder people want to be appreciated in a special way.    

  12. Encourage relationships around the company. Break down sales silos and get your people talking with marketing, account management and other departments.
  13. Start a sales training book club. Connecting people with books and other training resources can keep sales people engaged with their work in an incredible way.
  14. Focus on whole-employee wellbeing. Your sales people don’t shut down after 5 p.m. They have families and lives that influence who they are. That’s why focusing on whole-employee recognition, performance and wellness can promote employee wellbeing, boost employee engagement and grow ROI in a huge way.

With an employee experience solution that truly helps boost sales performance, you’ll turn employee engagement into profitability.

Continue to grow your sales knowledge with these six inspiring TED Talks focused on motivating the sales professional.

Maggie Wenthe

Maggie Wenthe

Maggie strives to help the world understand the power behind personalized motivation that aligns people with business goals to drive powerful results. As the leader of Marketing Strategy at ITA Group, she analyzes market trends to develop world-class solutions that help Fortune 1000 companies motivate and engage their employees, channel partners and customers. She is certified through the Incentive Marketing Association, the Enterprise Engagement Alliance, as well as Pragmatic Marketing Level VI. Between marketing and three little boys, Maggie doesn't have free time. But when she can find a few minutes, she loves listening to audiobooks on marketing, business and sci fi thrillers.