Sales Strategy
8 min reading

The keys to top-level sales performance!

Florian Reboussin
Published on
sales performance meeting

Without sales, there's no business. It's a truism that needs to be repeated and hammered home: a commercial enterprise can't function without generating revenue.

You can have the best product or service, demonstrate the most advanced expertise in your field of activity, justify decades of experience... None of this makes sense if customers are turning you away. Without qualified prospects, without leads to convert, without sales people to close deals, your whole business is in danger of collapsing.

Business is like riding a bike: you have to keep pedaling to keep going (and falling, and hurting yourself, etc.).

So, what's the secret to staying competitive, and even (let's be crazy!) growing your business? That secret is sales performance.

It's essential to integrate the notion of performance into your management, especially in a context of increasingly fierce competition. No matter what you sell, propose, create or offer: you need to implement an efficient sales strategy to boost your teams, your sales, and therefore your revenues. You need to adopt sales performance software to give your sales people the means to optimize their sales processes, reach their targets, and in the process grow, grow, grow your customer portfolio.

Before you give in to the temptation to recruit new salespeople or restructure your sales team (or even leave everything behind to raise sheep in New Zealand - I hear the scenery there is splendid), take the time to read the following. You'll discover how to boost your teams' sales performance, transform their working methods, and get your business off the ground.

Sales performance: what's it all about?

But what is sales performance? Shouldn't we be talking about sales team performance? Or sales force performance?

Let's take a closer look.

Sales performance: a definition

Here is a definition of sales performance:

Sales performance refers to a company's ability to offer its customers products or services that meet their needs, by deploying optimal sales processes. And, in so doing, its ability to achieve its commercial objectives.

It is measured by a number of indicators, such as conversion rate, sales volume, sales, market share and margins, as well as satisfaction, loyalty and customer relationship quality. Sales performance indicators are therefore qualitative as well as quantitative - but we'll come back to this in due course. They are determined according to the company's overall objectives.

Is it the same as sales efficiency? Not quite. In a way, sales performance is the result of efficiency, combined with the quality of leads brought in by marketing and their degree of involvement in the buying process. All these notions are closely linked and need to be adjusted in relation to each other in order to improve sales performance.

The evolution of commercial activity and its consequences

Companies' interest in evaluating sales performance is fairly recent. This appetite for figures and indicators is largely explained by the evolution of the business in recent years.

As you may have guessed, this evolution is due to technological developments. Computers, the Internet, sales tools, cloud computing, social networks, artificial intelligence...

Unless you've spent the last twenty years in a cave far from civilization, you've been following these changes closely. You've witnessed their gradual integration into every stratum of the sales ecosystem, from prospect research tosales analysis. You've seen their impact on the organization and operation of sales companies.

All this has led to the emergence of an extremely powerful and efficient analysis method, enabling companies to assess their sales performance with unprecedented precision, using dashboards that are as accurate as they are precise, and ultimately to optimize their processes to increase revenues.

Technology still holds great promise. Gartner predicts that, by 2025, 75% of companies will be using AI-powered tools to generate more sales.

What are the pillars of sales performance?

Before going any further, let's take a moment to talk about the main pillars of sales performance: those foundations without which no performance is possible, no matter how hard you try.

First and foremost: sales strategy

Sales strategy is THE pillar par excellence of a company's commercial performance. It refers to all the methods used and actions implemented to achieve the objectives defined upstream: identification of the ideal customer, consumer habits, relevant communication channels, pricing policy (with coherent margins), marketing strategy, etc. Setting up a sales strategy is therefore an essential prerequisite.

Corporate strategy: giving substance to a global vision

Corporate strategy aims to define an organization's overall vision and mission, so as to better determine the choices it needs to make to achieve its objectives. This notion covers a wide range of issues: allocation of resources (human, technical, marketing, etc.) and skills, values to be conveyed, messages to be communicated, etc. This strategy lays the foundations for a common culture, shared by all employees.

Sales communication: do you speak the same language as your customers?

You've no doubt already had a teacher who was extremely gifted in his or her subject, but incapable of sharing his or her knowledge (we bet several names come to mind...). This lack of pedagogy concerns the business world as much as the school ecosystem: sales performance depends largely on the ability of teams to communicate with their customers and respond to their needs... using a language they understand.

Sales organization: how to improve efficiency

Sales organization is concerned with all the parameters that contribute to the motivation and commitment of sales teams. It takes into account the missions of each member of staff, the processes for recruiting and retaining sales staff, the remuneration policy, the consistency of team composition, and so on. Good organization is the key to an efficient sales force.

Sales management, or the need to create a motivating environment

Management is what makes it possible to create an environment that is both motivating and inspiring, in which every employee knows his or her place and what is expected of him or her. In this sense, the manager is a kind of coach: he or she masters the strengths of his or her team and knows perfectly well how to combine skills to achieve objectives, encouraging collaboration and the sharing of best practices. He can also use variables such as performance bonuses, skills upgrades and meetings to boost motivation.

Measuring sales performance: how does it work?

Now for the big one: how do you evaluate your company's sales performance? You'll see that it's not that complicated - as long as you have the right method in mind.

The current state of sales performance

As with any analysis, assessing sales performance requires a prior assessment of the situation. This audit must answer a series of questions that can be summed up as follows: who-did-what-how-when-and-why?

During this audit, we seek to identify the sales objectives to be achieved, the prospecting channels to be used (website, social networks, traditional advertising...), the marketing methods to be favored (inbound marketing, content strategy, social selling...), and the performance indicators to be integrated into the sales dashboard. This information is then compiled into an action plan.

The quality of your leads

What are your leads worth ? Lead quality is at the heart of the efficiency issue. Sales people are the team's forwards: to score goals, they need good balls. It's up to the marketing team to optimize its lead generation processes to obtain qualified leads (contacts interested in the products/services on offer, and whose information is reliable and up to date) and propel them towards the sales people who will then have only to close.

Evaluating sales effectiveness

When it comes to sales performance, the most relevant levers don't just fall from the sky: they have to be identified. To do this, there's a method:sales efficiency assessment. This consists of collecting data from relevant indicators - conversion rate, sales cycle time, loyalty rate, customer retention rate, etc. - and tracking them in real time, so as to identify the most relevant levers. - and tracking them in real time, to keep an eye on the effectiveness of the sales force. This approach enables sales managers to identify the strengths and weaknesses of their processes, and pinpoint levers for improvement. With this in mind, innovative tools - such as Modjo's - are real game changers.

Sales performance

What results do your sales people achieve? When it comes to sales performance and sales strategy, the human factor is an aspect not to be overlooked. It's a question of evaluating the achievements of marketing AND sales teams, and calculating the cost of their work - return on investment for marketing, cost of customer acquisition for sales, etc.

As mentioned above, management contributes to building a motivating and productive work environment, which in turn helps to optimize sales performance. An inspiring environment, with its share of incentives and rewards, as well as appropriate human resources management, are all essential.

What are the key performance indicators for measuring sales performance?

Now that the methodology is clear, it's time to look at the figures. Evaluating sales performance requires theuse of specific, precise indicators tailored to the business in question. These sales performance indicators can be divided into two categories, depending on whether they are quantitative or qualitative.

Quantitative indicators

Quantitative KPIs are the main levers of sales performance: they measure the progress of sales force activity in real time, providing tangible information. Among the most important:

  • Number of contacts made.
  • Number of actual appointments.
  • Volume of leads.
  • Number of new customers.
  • Volume of sales closed.
  • Sales generated.
  • Average basket value (average amount of opportunities transformed).
  • Customer acquisition costs.
  • Cost of customer loyalty.
  • Sales forecasts.

As well as rate-based KPIs:

  • Transformation rate.
  • Attrition rate.
  • Customer retention rate.
  • Loyalty rate.
  • Sales efficiency rate.

Qualitative indicators

While quantitative KPIs assess sales effectiveness as such, qualitative KPIs look at the reasons behind the success or failure of the strategy implemented. They help to understand the "why" behind the figures obtained and sales productivity.

  • Length of the sales cycle.
  • Average processing time.
  • Qualification of contacts (and level of information on each lead/opportunity).
  • Reasons for opportunity failure.
  • Reasons for refusal.
  • Customer satisfaction.
  • Customer feedback and complaints.

What tools can be used to assess (and optimize) performance?

Many tools can be used by companies to assess the performance of sales teams and identify areas for optimization. But at Modjo, we believe that three solutions are enough.


CRM software is the primary source of information for assessing sales performance: this tool is packed with extremely valuable data to be exploited, all of which areessential indicators for tracking leads and customers. In particular, CRM provides essential information on the buying process, lead qualification and sales trends. It is also the basis for building a sales pipeline.

The sales performance dashboard

As they stand, figures are just that: figures. Like oil, they need to be refined before they can be used. That's where the business dash board comes in: it allows KPIs to be tracked from a centralized platform and extracted into actionable insights. It's the key to making truly data-driven decisions, and one of the main levers of sales performance. But be careful when choosing your indicators: make sure they are relevant, consistent and adapted to your objectives!

A sales intelligence tool

Finally, all this information would be useless without software to govern it all, the One Ring of Sales Performance: a sales intelligence tool, like Modjo. Such a solution makes it possible to manage sales cycles, ensure the proper execution of sales methodology, and enhance the skills of the sales force through automated coaching sessions. In essence, this tool centralizes the company's data to better exploit it and draw concrete lessons from it, in order to unleash the potential of sales teams.

10 best practices to boost your sales performance

It's time to ask THE hundred-thousand-euro question: how can you improve? Here are 10 best practices to boost your company's sales performance.

1. Adopt the right mindset (vive le mindset!)

"It's all in the head", as they say. So is sales performance. The state of mind is the soil from which the plant, then the fruit, springs. Which mindset? The mindset of sales people, of course: every opportunity must be approached with a positive mentality and unfailing optimism. Psychology plays a decisive role in the sales team's performance, just as it does in a sporting competition. And it's up to management to be both inspiring and motivating.

2. Invest in prospecting

Prospecting is often the forgotten part of sales efficiency, so much so that managers tend to focus on the last part of the pipeline - conversion and loyalty. And yet, to function properly, a sales process needs to be fed by prospects galore. It's up to you (sales directors, managers) to impose intervals of time to be devoted to this activity, and to encourage sales reps to enrich their customer portfolios.

3. Get to know your prospects better

There's no secret to generating qualified leads: you need to know your prospects inside out, so you know what they want, what's holding them back in their project, and which solutions are likely to meet their needs. Not only is it important to collect as much data as possible about them (contact name, position held in the company, telephone number, email address...), but this information must be updated regularly: you wouldn't want to come across the wrong number just as you're about to close, would you?

4. Give your sales people what they need, when they need it

Sales people need to have access to the right resources at the precise moment they need them, in order to transform their opportunities. This means giving them the keys to success, and that's exactly what sales enablement is all about: providing sales reps with the right content, the relevant data, but also the training they need to successfully interact with prospects at every stage of the conversion tunnel.

Wondering where to start? It's simple: integrate sales enablement software and turn it into a sales performance lever!

5. Align marketing and sales teams

One of the major challenges in improving sales performance lies in the effective alignment of marketing and sales teams. This is known as "smarketing", a kind of "intelligent marketing" that takes into account the necessary collaboration between those who attract prospects and those who turn them into customers. This alignment of planets - sorry, resources and skills - helps to create a solid collective moving forward as one towards common goals. A bit like the reunification in Koh Lanta: after fighting against each other, marketers and sales reunite under the same banner and work together in harmony.

6. Unify the sales process

Standardization may seem counter-productive (don't we risk weakening the best salespeople?), but it's a necessity for sales performance. Uniform processes guarantee sales optimization: when everyone follows an established procedure, it becomes easier to understand successes and failures, to collaborate, to exchange opportunities, and to make accurate forecasts. It's also a strength when it comes to onboarding: it's easier to train new sales staff with a standardized procedure, rather than by telling them "just do it as you can!

7. Diversify your lead sources

There are many different ways to generate leads, none of which should be overlooked. You know what they say: you can't put all your eggs in one basket. On the one hand, marketing brings in qualified leads using their own methods (inbound marketing, retargeting and so on). On the other, sales people mobilize their favorite sources: telephone calls, emailing, social selling, etc. But other actions can also be implemented: co-marketing (collaboration with another brand), personal branding, etc.

8. Personalize the sales experience

Today, the experience of prospects and customers is paramount. The data collected in the CRM helps sales reps to personalize their relationship with contacts and optimize their interactions, so as to offer a unique experience, specific to each individual.

9. Practice cross-selling and upselling (additional sales)

Upselling techniques help boost sales and sales performance. Just imagine: a customer is offered a complementary product/service (cross-selling), or even a product/service from a higher range (upselling), which significantly increases the customer's shopping basket and encourages loyalty. These techniques are all part of a salesperson's arsenal for developing customer relationships and boosting average sales.

10. Set up an appropriate marketing strategy

Finally, let's not forget marketing, the true backbone of sales performance. Implementing an effective marketing strategy makes the brand more visible, attracts the attention of prospects, and multiplies sales opportunities. It's also a powerful qualification lever: targeted communication actions help generate contacts who are already interested in our products/services, making it easier for sales reps to convert them. But make sure these actions are profitable: always keep ROI in your sights!

Put these tips into practice and boost your sales performance!

Want to go further? Discover our webinar dedicated to mastering sales execution.

Florian Reboussin
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