If there was a graveyard for businesses, the most common epitaph would likely be, “That’s the way we’ve always done it.” No company has ever achieved growth by standing still, and only those willing to change can succeed. Even the most successful companies understand they need to constantly evolve and improve to maintain their positions in the marketplace.
This is especially true when it comes to your sales organization. Perhaps nowhere is the competition fiercer and the need for evolution more evident than in sales. Fortunately, there are a number of ways shrewd leaders can help ensure that their salespeople have the resources and motivation necessary to accomplish real development and get the most out of the investment placed in them.
When it comes to improving sales performance, one common mistake many professionals make is ignoring bad reviews. Although the first impulse may be to dismiss criticism, there’s often a kernel of wisdom to be found there. Viewing negative feedback as a learning opportunity rather than an insult can be crucial for helping salespeople grow in their abilities.
Another misstep made by many organizations is failing to take full advantage of technology. Software makes it possible for teams to measure their effectiveness effortlessly, giving them a clearer picture of where they thrive and where they need to improve. Applications also enable automation that takes many of the most repetitive and tedious job responsibilities off their shoulders.
Don’t let your company die from starvation. Continue to feed it new ideas and look for means of continuous improvement. If you do, you’ll stand a much better chance of climbing to the top echelon in your industry. For more ideas you can use to bolster the performance of your sales team, check out this checklist:
Sales Performance Checklist created by Neocol
This guest post was written by David Holstein, who is Vice President of Revenue for Neocol, a Silver Salesforce Consulting Partner specializing in CPQ, billing, integration, sales cloud and service cloud. With eight-plus years of experience in the industry, Holstein focuses on using his knowledge of the Salesforce ecosystem to help improve people’s lives personally and professionally.
Photo by Djim Loicon Unsplash
Efficiency in business is everything. Managers and executives should be striving at all times to be more productive and cut down on wasted time. It’s easy to detect some habits and procedures that are problematic, but others may come as a surprise to you.
Those harder to detect problems are often disguised as opportunities, sure profits, and problem-solvers that end up wasting the precious time of many business owners.
Here are seven of them, along with some tips on how to solve them if they’re keeping you too busy.
#1 You’re Taking On Too Many Clients
It’s important to remember that having lots of new clients is not the only way you can measure success at your company. Having too many clients can actually be a problem that often leads to disastrous consequences.
Imagine a scenario where you get three new business opportunities but realistically, you only have enough manpower to cover just one. You decide to accept all of them because more clients means more money. Your employees suddenly experience an increased workload and although they work hard, they get nothing in return but questions about why some things are not finished yet. This leads to frustration, which becomes resentment towards work, and finally, you lose valuable employees because you overloaded them.
As a business owner, you need to practice a delicate balancing act between having enough clients to support your business, but not taking on so many that the workload becomes unmanageable. While you focus on client satisfaction, quality work, and retention, remember that your employees should be satisfied as well.
#2 Sticking With Complicated and Demanding Clients
When you first started your business, you likely took on any client you could get. As your business grows and your niche becomes more solidified, however, not every client will be beneficial to maintain a working relationship with.
Clients from hell, something every business owner has experienced at one point or another, are the first to go. They will always be demanding, never be satisfied, and take much more time and effort from your employees than they are worth to your business.
When onboarding new clients, always take the time to consider whether they are a good fit. If not, it is likely they will waste your time and resources as well as threaten your sanity.
#3 Blaming Instead Of Learning
Something will always go wrong sooner or later when you are running a business. The truly exceptional business owner understands that mistakes will happen and that they should be taken as learning experiences.
Business owners should never waste time blaming others, whether clients, employees, or other professionals when they can instead take the time to reflect on these errors and learn from them.
Learning the right lessons from a mistake is the only way for your business to come out the other end stronger than before.
#4 Not Segmenting Work
When first starting out, most small business owners end up doing almost everything out of necessity. However, as your company grows and you add employees, continuing to do everything yourself or double check everything is a massive waste of time.
It can be incredibly hard to stand back and delegate tasks to your employees, but it is something that must be done to avoid personal burnout and run efficient business operations.
Segmenting work and having a good overview of what’s going on is easier to do now than ever before thanks to cloud computing and being able to get access to any type of cloud services you can imagine.
When you move your work to the cloud, you will get access to powerful new tools that will help you segment it efficiently, automate all those mundane and mind-numbing tasks you had to do on your own and free up time to do meaningful work and focus on business growth.
#5 Not Delegating Tasks Properly
Okay, so delegation is necessary, but delegating tasks to employees isn’t as easy as it sounds. If done incorrectly, things can go horribly wrong.
First of all, never assign tasks at random. The best way to avoid wasting everyone’s time is to base your decisions on employee skill set and talents.
Next, take your time when delegating. Be very specific when assigning tasks to employees, including information such as exactly what you want them to do, when the task should be finished, and what else might be expected of them.
Finally, encourage employees to ask questions if they are unsure about an assignment so time will not be wasted rectifying mistakes. Let them know that asking questions is more than welcome, and will never be looked down upon.
#6 Being A Perfectionist
A lot of successful business leaders strive for perfection, and it’s this innate drive for everything to be spotless is what sets them apart from others. It’s good to take pride in the work you do and set high standards.
For your business’ sake, it’s also important for perfectionists to know when to step down and leave something be. While details are important, it is equally as important not to get bogged down in them until a project is “perfect.”
Nothing is ever truly perfect and you will waste a lot of time trying to reach perfection. Accept that sometimes work just needs to be good enough.
#7 Holding Too Many Meetings
Business meetings are important to keep everyone in sync and present compelling ideas that can move your company forward. But too many meetings can quickly turn into time wasters. Be smart about scheduling meetings and hold them with reasonable regularity.
Hold them for important projects and discussions, and only when useful or necessary. Try and combine two related topics into a single meeting. Stay on topic and don’t lose focus. This will keep your meetings on point and useful for everyone.
It can be easy to get lost in a task or do things that you think are helping but really end up wasting time. Always be looking for ways to streamline your business operations and prevent things from getting overly convoluted.
Consider the activities outlined above so you and your employees can make the best use of time to grow your business.