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5 Principles for Driving Sales Performance Improvement

Every company strives to build what many call a performance culture. At Performio, we not only completely endorse this idea, but we subscribe to it as well. As that cheesy “Hair Club for Men” commercial from the 80s that’s burned into my memory, I always imagine our CEO Grayson doing a tongue-in-cheek promo video saying something along the lines of, “I’m not just the Performio President, I’m also a client.” 😆


Okay, all joking aside, at Performio, we really do use Performio. It gives us unique insights into our data that not only help us drive performance by the numbers, but it also informs us on how to build a culture of performance. Everything we do to improve the product itself, we test on ourselves. Each enhancement we build with the goal of driving performance for not only us, but our customers.

Increased performance from your sales team means more growth for your company. And performance is a function of expectations, incentives, and leadership. 

Increasing performance is a challenge all sales leaders struggle with. If you’re unsure how to drive sales performance, we recommend taking a step back to evaluate your situation through the lens of what we call the Sales Performance Maximization Formula.

How to drive sales performance

To drive sales performance, you need to isolate which areas need improvement and which ones you’re strong in. The Sales Performance Maximization formula helps you do just that.

The Sales Performance Maximization formula

Expectations + incentives + empowerment + inspiration − obstructions = Performance

Screenshot 2023-05-24 at 9.34.31 AM

You work on expectations with clearly stated goals, improve incentives with a well-managed compensation structure, empower your sales team with everything they need for success, inspire them with praise, and remove all obstructions standing in their way.

[To learn more about the Sales Performance Maximization Formula and how you can use it to succeed even during times of poor market conditions, check out our free ebook, Maximizing Sales Performance During an Economic Downturn: How to Motivate Sales Teams and Drive Revenue. 


Let’s take a quick look at how each of these points can drive sales performance improvement.

1. Orient your sales team with clear, measurable expectations

The expectations you set for your sales team should be clear, measurable, and realistic. Otherwise, your people may feel like you’re playing psychological games with them.

It won’t do any good to set goals that are out of reach. That will frustrate your sales reps, weaken morale, and ultimately decrease performance. Both your minimum expectation goals and your stretch goals should be well within the realm of the possible—while still requiring a reasonable amount of effort.

And most importantly, you need to be fully transparent about what those goals are. Everyone on the team should know exactly what is expected of them and what they need to do to stay on track. When expectations shift, you need to quickly communicate the changes to your team.

Use Incentive Compensation Management (ICM) software like Performio to automatically send out updates to everyone who needs to see them as soon as you make a change.

2. Motivate your sales team with compelling incentives

Increased performance should come with increased rewards, so you need to learn what motivates your team—both as individuals and as a whole. Then align all incentive structures with your organization’s objectives.

The bulk of this motivation is going to be a matter of monetary compensation, but you can also look into using non-cash perks to reward your team. That can include things like gift cards, extra paid time off, or team outings, to name a few examples. And since different motivations work better for some people than others, be sure to check in with your team via anonymous polls or suggestion boxes to discover how they’d like to be rewarded.

Then close the gap between work done and rewards earned. Your sales team should be able to see exactly what they’re earning as they earn it.

Give your sales reps a real-time window into what they’ve sold and what compensations they’ve earned with Performio’s dashboard.


3. Empower your sales team to succeed

It’s your job to equip your people with everything they need to do their jobs well. What can you do to give your team members new skills, or improve upon existing capabilities? What would be most beneficial for your team members to know? What are the roadblocks getting in the way of your people doing their best work right now?

Empowering your team can involve training. Provide them with ongoing opportunities to level up their skills and stay up to date with the best sales techniques.

It can include the physical equipment and furniture they use throughout the day. They shouldn’t have to struggle with slow or outdated computers or work in an uncomfortable environment.

And it crucially means giving them the tools they need to track their performance.

Show your team how far along they are toward their goals, enabling them to adjust as needed in order to meet those goals.

4. Inspire your sales team to perform

Be generous with your praise. Lead by example, and when your people do well, be sure to let them know. Celebrate wins publicly—both on an individual level and as a team—and share customer success stories to the whole organization.

Find ways to make sure every member of your team feels valued. Talk to them to learn their needs and concerns, and take action on what they tell you. It’s important that they know the company has their back.

And while the primary focus should be on success as a team, you can also encourage friendly competition among sales reps.

Display rankings and celebrate your best-performing sales reps with Performio’s leaderboards.

Performio has you covered here too, with software built for collaboration and inter-departmental communication. You’ll be able to easily see and report on the performance of your whole team.

5. Remove obstacles from your sales team’s path

Finally, you need to eliminate anything that stands between your reps and their ability to meet their goals. Your team needs to focus on sales without having to worry about anything else.

They shouldn’t have to resort to “shadow accounting” (using homebrewed calculations to see their progress) to stay on track toward their goals. And they shouldn’t feel the need to raise disputes about their compensation—because their compensation should always be accurate.

This means investing in systems that reduce the time your sales reps spend doing non-sales work.

Use an ICM like Performio to keep your reps on track while providing calculations you can rely on to be correct.

Drive sales performance with Performio

As you make adjustments to your comp plan to drive sales performance, you’ll need an easy, centralized way to manage it all. With Performio, you can make a change once, then have that change instantly communicated to all team members and reflected on everyone’s dashboard automatically. And there will never be any doubt about the specifics of your goals or how far along anyone is toward reaching them, as every rep will be able to see their own progress in real time.

Performio lets you empower your team, inspire them to do their best, and eliminate unnecessary burdens. 

Want to see what Performio can do for your business? Request a demo today.

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