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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

The Key to Improving Sales Performance


Which is more likely to drive strong sales performance: a focus on the numbers or great attention to the sales process?

I recently heard two people talking about the key to sales performance. One person started by saying that the key is to focus on sales process. Then a few minutes later, the other person described hearing a CEO of a very successful company saying he has learned that the key to driving top sales performance is to focus on the numbers. 

At first, this sounded like a conflict to me. But the more I listened, it turns out they were saying the same thing. It’s not either/or. The lesson is to focus on the numbers that are tied to the sales process. 

Most of us would agree that two of the top outcomes we want salespeople to achieve are to develop new business and to grow current customers. If you want to improve sales performance, get very focused on the behaviors that will lead to that performance. At the very least, figure out a way in your CRM to ensure that each salesperson identifies their top two prospects and top two growth opportunities and that they have a plan for all four of those accounts. You should see progress or results within a specific time period or they should cycle in new accounts. If you don’t see progress or a decision to move new accounts into their top 2 prospects and top 2 growth opportunities, you know your team is not maximizing the opportunity available to them. 

What are the top things to measure that will help you deliver top sales performance? I suggest four to start. The one described above and these three:

  • The quality of the sales talent on your team
  • The quality of the prospects your team is calling on
  • The customer value you deliver

Think about how your sales performance would improve if you had a sales success plan to help your organization hire better people, improve the quality of your prospects, and deliver better customer value!

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Topics: sales performance Sales