Are 20% of your sales reps bringing 80% of your sales revenue? You are not alone. It’s one of the most common patterns in sales teams across the world.
Imagine what your sales results would look like if everyone on your team performed like your top performers. Wouldn’t that just be a-meow-zing?
Well, it is possible! Start reviewing your team’s sales emails, find out what your top performers are doing right, and then replicate that special sauce across the team by providing feedback to your sales reps.
Here’s a three-step sales e-mail guide that will help you bring consistency to your sales reps performance. You’ll see improvements from week one, guaranteed.
1. Start by defining quality standards for your sales emails
Most sales teams believe in the power of reviewing their sales reps’ emails and do it in one form or another – like when onboarding new people, or when somebody is underperforming. Reading sales interactions is an intuitive way of maintaining control over the team’s sales quality.
However, only a few sales teams have taken on a thorough and systematic approach to sales quality assurance. In fact, some of them haven’t even defined what they want their sales emails to look like. At this stage, they need to define also how sales emails differentiate from other types of messages (e.g. newsletter, media pitch, or announcement email).
When sales teams are left to their own devices they might not be able to sell simply because they don’t have the skills – or, to compensate for the lack of that, they could be trying to sell through over-exaggeration of the product’s capabilities.
You can’t expect your sales reps to meet your quality standards if you don’t have these criteria in place for your sales emails. So, the first thing you need to do to bring consistency to your sales interactions is to write down the guidelines for your team.
If you don’t know where to start, look for inspiration in the conversations of your top performers. What is it that they are consistently doing that others haven’t figured out yet?
Some of the most popular quality criteria among customer-facing teams are:
- Appropriate tone and style,
- Correct product knowledge,
- Accurate sales proposal.
However, these standards vary from company to company. So, for example, if you want your sales reps to always ask questions about your customers’ specific use cases and experiences, make sure to include this in your quality criteria. If that’s what’s helping your top performers to deliver excellent results, make it an integral part of your sales processes.
Once you’ve defined your sales email quality standards, communicate these to your team. Make sure to explain them to your newcomers as well as your experienced team members. Consistency in customer interactions is a team effort, so you might even want to sync these with other customer-facing teams in your company.
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2. Conduct regular sales email reviews
When you’ve defined your sales email quality standards, it’s time to put them into use. If you want your team to perform consistently high, make conversation reviews a regular habit.
Use the sales email quality standards you’ve defined for your team as the scorecard against which to align your reps’ interactions. Provide feedback to help your team meet the quality standards.
Here’s a free sales interactions scorecard that will help you get going with conversation reviews right away.
It’s highly likely that the success of your top-performing salespeople is not defined by pure luck or talent. More often than not, what differentiates your best sales reps from the rest is how they’ve learned from every single customer interaction they’ve had and used this knowledge to improve their responses.
The mediocre performers, on the other hand, have probably stuck to what they’ve always been doing – and without any constructive feedback, they will continue delivering the same mediocre results. If you want to make the top results the new norm in your sales team, you have to provide feedback to your sales reps to help them improve their performance.
You will probably not have time to review all sales emails that your team sends to your customers. To get a good overview of your team’s performance, review the following emails:
- Random samples of customer interactions for regular quality checks. Do these on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis to get an objective overview of how your team is doing.
Remember that “That’s fine, continue” is great feedback, reassuring your sales reps that they are doing everything right, even if the particular email doesn’t stand out as particularly good or bad.
- Conversations of your low performers and those that yielded negative results (churned customers, low CSAT, etc). Do a post-mortem and look back at your CRM and customer survey data. These are the most valuable lessons for you and your team – make sure you learn how to prevent the same mistakes from happening again.
Analyzing what went wrong in those emails helps you pinpoint your sales reps’ areas of improvement. Help them become better with constructive feedback
- Sales emails of your top performers and those that brought positive results (remarkable upsell, positive customer review, etc). Analyze your successful customer interactions and find patterns in them that you can replicate in the future.
- Share examples of the best sales emails with your team. Real-life success stories are the best learning materials for your sales reps.
If you don’t know how to start doing systematic sales email reviews, get going with an out-of-the-box conversation review tool like Klaus or read more about how to set up your sales quality assurance procedures. Make sure your review processes are easy and enjoyable for everyone because sales email reviews only work if you really do them.
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3. Track your sales email quality over time
Consistency in your customer interactions doesn’t happen overnight. It’s an ongoing process that you have to work on at all times – even if your sales results are booming.
Using a common scorecard to assess your team’s conversations will make the quality of your sales reps’ emails quantifiable. If you assess how well those interactions met each of your quality standards, you’ll be able to measure the quality of each of your sales emails, individual sales reps performance, and the entire team’s work.
Internal Quality Score – the metric of conversation reviews – expresses your sales email quality as a percentage. Keep an eye on this score to understand whether your team’s performance is consistent, on the rise or perhaps dropping fast.
Notice (negative) changes in your customer interaction quality as soon as they happen and make adjustments as necessary. For example, if you see that a particular sales rep is losing their touch, help them get back on track. If you realize that the entire team is struggling to meet a specific quality standard, that’s your cue for the next sales training. It may be possible that the results are low due to the email warm-up not being implemented or your team is sending emails to addresses that are not valid anymore. It happened quite a lot in recent years due to laid-offs. You should clean your email lists at least once per quarter to protect your email deliverability.
Sales email reviews are a common practice among result-driven sales teams. However, without a systematic approach, it can be difficult to bring consistency to your customer interactions.
If you want your entire sales team to perform just like your top salespeople, analyze what’s driving their success, and replicate it in the team. Include these best practices in your sales email quality standards and conduct regular reviews to see how well your team’s emails align with those goals.
The quickest way to get going with conversation reviews is to use Klaus’s Chrome extension which allows you to review sales emails in any tool for sales teams. Klaus helps you set up your sales quality scorecard, delivers feedback to your sales reps via email and Slack, and does Internal Quality Score reporting for you. You’ll love it!