Utilizing Behavior To Improve Sales Performance

In the highly competitive world of sales, every company needs even the tiniest of advantage it can get. Improved sales performance is what keeps the engine of every business organization oiled. For some businesses, improving sales performance is a matter of life or death — there’s simply no middle ground. This is why companies dedicate entire teams to figuring out how they can move the needle on sales performance. Businesses invest millions on sales and “train and retrain” their staff to keep up with the evolving landscape of prospects and competitors. Business technologies and tools has perhaps been one of the most significant advantage in improving sales performance. Evolution in business technologies has birthed smart business tools that has had appreciable impact on sales performance.

Businesses now have access to highly efficient tools for auditing and tracking sales activity. They can now access powerful emailing tools, AI softwares, autodialers, call recorders, and several customer engagement tools that can free up sales reps from time-costly activities that ultimately diminishes time to sell, and therefore sales performance. Technological innovation has without doubt handed out a big advantage to sales organization.

Quantity of Data vs. Quality of Data

However, for all technology has done, its impact still very much lingers on the superficial level. HubSpot surveyed 500 sales leaders and found that 40 percent of them failed to meet their revenue targets in 2020. Even the most sophisticated of sales intelligence software cannot singlehandedly overcome the challenge of meeting revenue targets. For all the flood of data, a critical component is missing: people data.

The lifeblood of any sales team is the people that make up the team. While technology and other performance drivers will help improve sales performance, the key to achieving peak sales performance is to understand the underlying behavior that drives the sales outcomes for members of a sales team.  The greatest competitive advantage sales leaders and company executives can gift their businesses is unravelling the behavior that drives their salespeople’s performance. The question is simple; how is my team performing and how does it relate to their behavior? How come Jane is so great with sales and not Jennifer when they’re both hard workers? What’s the underlying behavior behind Jane’s and Jennifer’s performance?


Let’s try to make sense of it.

Team Behavior And Improved Sales Performance

What’s driving Jane’s improvement and why is Jennifer static? Their underlying behavior. At the fundamental level, the most important predictor of sales performance is the behavior of salespeople. Several other things may come into play, but behavior holds the aces.

Unlike certain performance drivers, behavior has a high face validity because it has a direct connection to how an individual will approach issues or respond to certain triggers in an actual work environment.

Today, the customer base salespeople are selling to is enormously different from what it used to be 8 to 10 years ago. Brute force techniques no longer work — it is best selectively used or left in the past where it belongs. Modern day sales dynamics requires an intelligent and intuitive approach, approaches that can better push pass the complexity of modern selling environment.

Sales leaders and company executives who want their salespeople to close deals must make sure their behaviors are aligned with the behavioral requirements needed to close deals in their unique product space. These behavioral requirements vary depending on the industry and the kind of product involved.

Different Industries, Different Behaviors

Some industries and products may require salespeople to be exceedingly great at gaining the customer’s trust. This kind of industry may also require salespeople to be able to rapidly build rapport and connect with prospects. In some other industries, the prevailing dynamics may require salespeople to be good listeners. The dynamics may also require these good listeners to also be people who can empathize with prospects.

In the last case for instance, a combination of those two traits might give them immense sales advantage. Because they are good listeners, they may be better at getting useful data, turning them into useful information and using that information to proffer solutions or address customer pain points. Also, since they can empathize with prospects, they might be better able to put themselves in the shoes of their prospects in order to better understand their pain points and sale them better fitting solutions.

Of course, it’s not just about being able to listen, empathize or rapidly build rapport. There is an endless list of behaviors or personality traits that can be mapped to favorable sales outcomes. Sales leaders and company executives can achieve significant improvement in sales performance by seeking out the right behavioral profile needed for salespeople within their industry to reach peak performance.  In other words, sales leaders must ask themselves, “what behavior is behind improved sales performance within my unique product space?”

Visibility Requires People Data Tools

They must employ tools to identify key behavioral data that can increase sales performance with precision. These specialized tools will also help pinpoint specific “strong points” for employees and keep them focused for coaching and training. For example, in 2021, experts list empathy, active listening, emotional intelligence and confidence as key skills that salespeople must possess to excel. Of course, in your unique sales space, there is usually a unique combination that may be necessary. People platforms  will help you unearth them and coach your employees to success.

This could have a huge impact on your company’s sales performance. Research by Aberdeen shows that appropriate training and coaching of employees can boost revenue of business organizations by as much as 95 percent. Business organizations that invest in coaching and training their staff can expect as much as 353% ROI in subsequent years.

Also, once organizations map certain behaviors to improved sales outcomes, they get visibility into sales performance with considerable precision. But how do you unravel the underlying behavior behind improved sales performance in the first place?

Among several ways, an expert behavioral performance platform represents the best tool to achieve this. Understanding which behaviors drive quota will get to the core of your employee’s strengths and gaps. It is an important tool that presents business leaders seeking to get their sales performance up with a simple and practical pathway to achieving exactly that.

Whatever you do, always remember, the primary driver of your company’s sales performance may not be those flashy new CRM applications. It is the underlying behavior of your most important sales asset — your salespeople. Learn how you can unlock that visibility with Aptology.