9 Tips To Maximize Profitability Per Sales Rep

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We tend to think of sales as a black box. Quotas grow as if by magic or external causes, while failures come from bad luck or individual productivity. After all, we do not know what success or failure implies in this area which, without exaggeration, is vital for any business.

Against this backdrop, how can your business be successful if it doesn’t have a documented process? What should each of your representatives do when a lead arrives? Do you have a matrix to find out if you have high reserve and low interest?

We know that you are looking, especially at this time, for your organization to endure. But don’t make that effort determined by the day-to-day struggle. Here are several actionable tips as a sales leader to help you go beyond hitting a quota.

1. Establish a common language

First of all, establish a common language in your team. When each member has a different definition of what a lead or opportunity means, there is a gap for chaos to enter.

Of course, you can start from the most accepted definitions in sales. However, what is really important is that within your team there are unambiguous meanings, that everyone knows and uses them.

2. Focus on what is in your power

At HubSpot, we like to think that indicators point to something specific. Metrics, while useful, play a secondary role. What is the difference between the two? That the indicators speak about something that is within my reach and the possibilities of action of my team. The metrics, on the other hand, contain some aspects that I cannot control.

When in other companies it comes down to how many deals a salesperson closed or not, we prefer to look at what the indicators say about each representative’s conversation with customers. Did you ask the questions that let you know their needs? Did you nurture the conversation individually or did you focus on generic aspects?

When a sales rep manages to close a deal, he or she did some of the work. The rest was done by the customer by saying “yes.” As a leader, what depends on you is that you help your colleague to put all the cards in his favor until the moment of decision.

3. Prioritize generating more opportunities

Always look for more opportunities! Never stay at zeros. In sales we say that “if you don’t prospect, it’s like you’re not breathing.” One more chance is an ace up your sleeve.

Of course, to achieve this you need the right tools that will help you prospect more in less time (which we will address later). At the end of the day, your representatives will not be able to double or triple their opportunities if they do not have a comprehensive overview of the business, what their leads are and when they contacted each person.

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4. Forget about anticipating failure

We have already given you several approaches that you can use in the short term. Before we move on, we must review something fundamental: does the mindset of your organization, your industry or even the environment determine your chances of success?

As we mentioned at the beginning, many companies see the sales department as a mere chance, and success in profitability as something that depends on luck. Actually, the first thing you should change is that way of seeing the world, business and the performance of each of your salespeople.

We have worked with clients who believed they should hire more agents because out of 10, surely half would fail. They suffered from a “predisposition to failure.” That’s why they thought of success as surprising, when it should be obvious. Instead of magic, there is behind a prediction and execution process.

Thus, you will not look at your indicators only as a number that you present each quarter in front of a board of directors, but as a source of information that you can compare over time and that will lead you to greater efficiency.

That will make you form a real team, instead of having a handful of isolated representatives. And when you have a team, you can replicate what works and consistently avoid bad practices.

5. Encourage and seek salespeople by vocation

Another fundamental change is the way you see sales, so you will transform your leadership and the vision of those who come to your department.

Let’s face it: commonly, people think that being in sales is the last thing anyone can do, and only when they have not prospered in the rest of the available jobs. We keep the image of the house-to-house seller, who has to do his best every day to make a minimum profit.

The truth is that sales are a career and a vocation. If you can, hire people who really love sales. If you can’t, nurture that dedication and caring (though, of course, you’ll need to grow them into you first).

As sellers we are the ones who channel the needs of real people and help them solve them. We are an essential link between society and companies, especially if we focus on our clients.

Lead your salespeople thinking that this is their career destiny and motivate them towards personal and team success.

6. Establish an operating model

Think of all the tips above as preparation for this one: create, improve, and monitor an operating model. First of all, I will give you what I consider to be the success formula for sales.

Income = (process x training x execution) ^ opportunities

In other words, you need a process from which you can train your salespeople and move on to execution in order to grow exponentially with your opportunities.

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When creating an operating model:

  • You will predict the growth: you will not have to wait until the end of the term to know if you will reach your goals or not. You will have a fully functioning machine where you can see (thanks to the right tools) which parts work and which do not. In other words, you will have enough information to make smart decisions on a day-to-day basis.
  • You will reduce costs: It is common in sales departments to assume that reps will come and go in no time. That’s why termination costs, hiring and taxes, just to mention a few, consume a good part of your budgets. With an established process, your agents will consistently reach their goals and achieve success, while you can retain talent.
  • You will create a path of success for your colleagues: When you give your hiring a direction, you have a foundation for professional development. Instead of a team of 15 unmotivated people who bring few results to your business, you will have 7 truly immersed representatives, in front of whom there is a path of personal and professional success.

But how do you manage to have a department this efficient? Giving you the technology you need. That is why a CRM will be the link between your team and the operating model that you will implement.

HubSpot’s free CRM will help your team:

  • Know what to do with each lead from the moment it appears and there is an assigned agent.
  • Count on accurate documentation of every step, which is vital to measure, evaluate and predict sales.
  • Get cross-sectional views of the entire organization so you don’t have to “guess” what the outlook is like. Agents will know how many qualified leads and leads they have, how long they have been followed up for, and what the pending tasks are.
  • Have the sequence tool available where you can review the process of each vendor and pass the successful “recipes” to other agents.

Overall, this CRM will make everyone’s life easier and increase the chances of success, both individually and collectively.

Keep in mind that the structure or operating model you establish depends on your business model. You can customize it if, for example, your agents must be in charge of generating premium clients from a freemium offer. Or if they are engaged in direct retail sales or, on the contrary, they do specialized sales for other organizations.

7. Lays the foundation for a specialized and scalable process

You already have the operating model and you already have the best CRM for sales. It is time to make way for your process to be scalable.

As a standard you should have one manager for every 8 sales reps. For every 4 managers, one director; as well as a president for every 4 directors. In theory, it is a structure that works.

Beyond fixed numbers, you must create scalability opportunities based on the growth of your company; that is, create a more mature and developed model. You will have to have tools to help you analyze past trends and predict the behavior of your customers.

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Is there a sector of your clients that has a growth above the average? We have seen how a product gains strength in a secondary segment of a business (so it becomes primary).

This is your scenario for you to develop teams focused on micro and small companies, or medium and multinational companies. You can also create teams focused on real estate, insurance or financial services companies. The important thing is that you listen to what your market tells you and create work schemes according to it (and not the other way around). In fact, 69% of shoppers believe that the best shopping experience occurs when businesses pay attention to their particular needs.

8. Relieve your clients’ pain points

Often times, we think we have to convince prospects that they must buy a product, at all costs. Renew that focus and listen to your market. Analyze where it is taking you right now.

Listen to your customers’ needs and pain points: Maybe your company should not prioritize product innovation, but rather align and bring its current offering to the right people. This is one of the keys to selling more in the long term.

9. Be a visionary (while others focus on the short term)

We all know that these times are challenging. Most companies are fearful (and that’s natural) and you can almost feel the anxiety in the marketplace. They don’t want to waste time: they have to find a way out.

Regardless, focusing on your goals and your business, and not survival, will make a difference.

Survival is of course relevant, but it shouldn’t be your driving force for long. If you create an operational framework, you will have the foundations not only to have a bad streak, but to grow better beyond a few months or years.

Even in the midst of the circumstances, analyze which are the sectors of your clients that have the most movement and go there. Make your salespeople true business strategists and prevent them from only taking orders from recurring customers. Take back control of your operations by knowing, strategically, where the most valuable leads are and how your agents should play their cards to close more deals.

Finally, reflect on what is urgent and what is important. In sales we often go from one urgent task to another, leaving behind what should matter to us. If you are struggling to reach a quota today, it is time for you to go further. And doing it as soon as possible will help you strengthen your team, your role as a leader, and your organization.

Jerry Gordon

About Jerry Gordon

Webmaster, nature and tech lover. Jerry manages the day-to-day operations at DigiToolsadvisor. He loves enjoying his free time, but most of all, trying new tools to master.