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November 16, 2012

Sales Training in 2012: 7 Performance Improvement Trends

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Jeff Cochran

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From cutting deals in the boardroom to learning to recognize your own flaws, we want to help you and your sales team be as effective as possible. To increase your effectiveness, you have to carefully cultivate the habits of your sales team at a fundamental level.

2012 has brought about a shift in sales training trends that places a larger focus on “small-level” performance improvement. Check out seven tips to boost in-office performance that can help you can shave off countless hours of wasted time across the board…

1. Give your sales team “process maps.” Your company may have hundreds of processes that happen on a routine basis, from submitting pay sheets to sending out memos. Chances are, some of your employees will spend three minutes on submitting a pay sheet while others spend 20 minutes on the task. Determine the most efficient method for these types of processes to be completed, and give employees recommended guidelines for how much time they should spend on the task.

2. Create benchmarks. Watch your big picture goals become much more manageable when you break them down into small goals for your team. If you want your 20-person sales team to generate 400 leads over the next month, then break it down. That’s 20 leads per person, which is one lead per day over the course of four weeks. Check in to see how your team is meeting your benchmarks.

3. Create your personal schedule at the beginning of every day. Obviously, you have to work around meetings and other commitments. But, you should schedule each half-hour segment of your day with particular tasks. This will keep you on-track and focused. Encourage your sales team to do the same.

4. Block out a morning for “spring cleaning” once per quarter. When you get rid of office clutter, unnecessary papers, and other visual distractions, you will see a big performance improvement. Provide your team with recycling bins and waste receptacles. If you give each employee his/her own waste receptacle, then it’s more likely that your initiative will be acted upon.

5. Reward highly efficient salespeople. When your team realizes that you’re serious about rewarding, they’re more likely to act on your performance improvement initiatives.

6.Get your Internet under control. Efficiency experts like Tim Ferriss have been pushing for this for years. If possible, only access email two to three times a day. Avoid social networking sites during office hours. Use a RSS feed for your blogs. It’s all easier said than done, but good habits take practice.

7. Don’t micromanage. It’s easy to get carried away with these tips. However, the more freedom you grant your team (and the more respect you show them!), the better performance improvement results you’ll witness.

 

What fundamental strategies do you employ in your office?

 

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