Stabilizing and growing sales is essential to operating a profitable business. In pursuit of this objective, it's important to set goals, monitor sales performance and trends, and identify potential obstacles to optimized profits.
Quantified sales objectives are necessary in any for-profit company. Sales goals alert your sales staff to the revenue productivity expected. Sales reps often are motivated by achievement and ego, and target numbers enable your business to implement incentive pay programs such as commissions and bonuses. It aligns your operations and support staff with bottom-line results as well, because employees in those areas understand the company-wide intention of achieving particular sales milestones. Goals also serve as a rallying point to create cohesion.
Monitor Sales Performance
You can't effectively manage sales without constantly monitoring sales performance. The only way to identify lags in productivity, and to implements strategies to improve efficiency in converting sales, is to know how you are doing. Numerous software programs allow you to track sales from day-to-day, month-to-month and year to year. You can break down overall performance to distinct divisions, business units and products to figure out the high-performers and the laggards. Without data tracking, it otherwise may take months to even realize you have a problem with flat or declining sales.
Coaching for Improvement
The point of monitoring sales performance is to establish reasonable goals, but also to allow you to identify gaps in performance. Knowing which business units, sales reps or product lines aren't getting the job done enables price strategy and coaching efforts. Defining and training staff on efficient operational and sales processes are vital to optimizing revenue. When sales managers spend time with reps, for instance, they can identify time-wasters and coach for improvement on techniques like prospecting, presentations and closing. When your company is hitting the mark on its numbers, the next step is to raise the bar and continue to push for even greater productivity.
A team-oriented culture is often critical to reaching company sales targets, as it creates an environment where top producers naturally pull others along with them.
Neil Kokemuller has been an active business, finance and education writer and content media website developer since 2007. He has been a college marketing professor since 2004. Kokemuller has additional professional experience in marketing, retail and small business. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Iowa State University.