5 Ways to Accelerate Sales Performance for Year End

It's the end of the third quarter, and you might be worrying that your team will not make your sales plan. But if you can identify the root causes of slow performance, then there is still time to close sales by year end.

Are you giving your team the support they need? Have your salespeople reviewed their pipelines?

Read on for 5 ways to increase sales in the fourth quarter:

1.    Diagnose Your Pipeline

If your results are not where they need to be, the first thing to look at is the sales pipeline. A healthy sales pipeline has lots of prospects, opportunities and closes:

Healthy-Sales-Pipeline-Diagram-DoubleDigit-Sales-Training

While healthy is certainly ideal, there are three additional sales pipeline examples that we help organizations identify. Each shape can reveal insight about a salesperson’s focus, activity, opportunities and territory coverage. Find out where your team stands by asking each member to conduct a sales pipeline analysis.

False-Hope-Sales-Pipeline-Example-DoubleDigit-Sales-TrainingFalse Hope Sales Pipeline

False hope typically occurs when salespeople do not remove inactive or unrealistic opportunities:

- Lots of prospects 
- Lots of opportunities
- Few closes  

Congested-Sales-Pipeline-Diagram-DoubleDigit-Sales-TrainingCongested Sales Pipeline

A congested sales pipeline may indicate that a sales rep needs support with meeting structure. They struggle to move prospects through the pipeline:

- Lots of prospects
- Few opportunities
- Even fewer closes

Thin-Sales-Pipeline-Example-DoubleDigit-Sales-TrainingThin Sales Pipeline

Lacking volume at all stages, thin pipelines can indicate a gap in prospecting skills:

- Few prospects 
- Few opportunities
- Few closes

2.    Increase Prospecting (in Quantity and Quality)

Hold prospecting meetings a couple times per week for salespeople to share their individual goals. At the end of the day, debrief on a conference call or in person.

This practice increases the number of reachouts and first meetings, promotes consistent prospecting and holds everyone accountable to their proactive calling goals.

Download now: Transform your 2020 sales strategy into an actionable one-page  plan

3.    Hold Weekly Sales Team Meetings

Gather your troops for 30-60 minutes weekly to set the focus. Regular sales team meetings help reinforce key selling behaviors, solve challenges collectively and boost sales performance.

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Regular sales team meetings help reinforce key selling behaviors, collectively solve challenges and boost sales performance.

Many managers make the mistake of dominating the conversation. Instead, create a meeting agenda that allows your team to contribute. Consider the following:

  • Entire team contributes and shares
  • Leader speaks only up to 30% of the time
  • Focus on sales activity and results
  • View meetings as an essential component to team success

And make it fun! Starting with energizers or creating a game will help engage the team.

Sales-team-meeting-web-1

4.    Lead Frequent Pipeline Reviews

Our sales culture research shows that the best sales organizations use pipeline review meetings to drive productivity and promote accountability.

In weekly pipeline reviews with your team, ask questions and provide coaching on priorities. Avoid reviewing every opportunity line by line. Remember that the pipeline is just one side of the equation; make sure you uncover the story behind the numbers.

Be prepared that your team might feel pressured by weekly meetings. As a sales leader, you can shift the energy towards an “in this together” mentality by infusing aspects of team building.

5.    Recognize and celebrate!

Take the time to celebrate your team. Reward and recognition programs reinforce good behaviors and motivate your salespeople – but one size does not fit all.

Recognition can come in the form of a thank you note, a newsletter mention or tickets to a sporting event. Keep your team engaged with variety in frequency and value.

Targets may be hard numbers, but you do have influence over the behaviors that drive sales results. When building a strategy to strengthen sales performance, focus on what motivates your team to deliver.Download Now - New Sales Leader Guide to Success