Written by: Sean Burke | kitedesk
On any given day, salespeople can be found juggling a myriad of different tasks, from attending product meetings to customer support requests to keeping prospect records up-to-date. Maintaining discipline and focus in order to block out these distractions is something few reps have effectively mastered.
As a sales manager, it is your responsibility to help your team balance completing their admin work while still maximizing their time spent selling. Here are six of the most common productivity killers and some tips on how you can help your team fight off lost productivity due to time-draining activities:
- Internal Meetings – most successful salespeople guard their time like it was Fort Knox. Every minute of the day not spent on selling is a minute that drives them further from their goals. As a sales leader, you need to be able to communicate with your team, but it can’t come at the expense of your salespeople’s selling time.
Fight Back! Choose the meetings sales are required to attend wisely and let them skip meetings that aren’t crucial. This allows the team to focus the bulk their time on closing deals instead of sitting in nonessential meetings.
- Research – In the modern world of sales, it is important to deliver value and insight as part of your sales process. Sales reps understand they need to differentiate themselves from their competitors by becoming a knowledge source for their clients. However, stats are now starting to show that too much research is actually driving down the percentage of reps hitting quota.
Fight Back! Give your sales team an advantage by providing them tools that automate the research process.
- Selecting and reaching buyers – with the tremendous amount of data available to buyers, reaching them has become increasingly difficult. For many buyers, they believe that when they are ready to buy, they will reach out to you. Additionally, reps are now tapping their existing network of relationships for introductions to buyers through existing connections. They are asking for LinkedIn introductions; they are connecting with buyers via Twitter and they are being more selective in the types of companies they target.
Fight Back! Through the use of customer analytics software, your sales team can streamline the process and target their efforts towards prospects who are more likely to buy.
- Technology – A new technology stack for salespeople has emerged. Tools that track email reads, opens, forwards, and responses are helping sales teams A/B test value propositions so they get smarter about their prospecting and their nurturing messages. Gamification is being used to help motivate sales reps activity and results. However, this new stack of technology is now causing a new set of problems. Sales reps are spending too much time working in point solutions that solve one piece of the sales puzzle.
Fight Back! Reserve these tools for broader use cases so your reps are not overburdened with software requirements.
- Support – Once the sale has been completed, customers still need assistance. The first place they traditionally look for this support is to their sales rep. Reps become the first point of contact for support related issues and struggle with the handoff to support.
Fight Back! Build the handoff to support into your sales process, and include the client in the progression from sales to support. After a deal closes, have the rep introduce the new client to someone in support, and provide the client with that person’s name and direct contact information.
- Lack of predictable sales process – Sales processes are extremely difficult to create and enforce. Gauging their efficacy takes time and discipline. The larger the complexity of the sale, the harder it is to create a repeatable and predictable sales process. Only the truly committed team makes the investment in measuring each step in the process and tracks all the activity it takes to complete a sale. In order for your sales process to evolve to a repeatable, predictable series of steps and activities, sales leaders must stay the course for a significant time – which is extremely difficult given their requirement to close business NOW.
Fight Back! Be patient. It is worth the effort.
Salespeople like to spend their time selling – it’s what you hired them to do. Being overwhelmed with busy work that does not create revenue saps their energy and hurts your bottom line.
We can’t add more hours to our day; instead we have to use the time we have effectively and efficiently. We are here to help. We have designed a tool, A Daily Productivity Checklist for Sellers, to help you streamline your admin process. It was created for sellers by sellers, and can be used as a foundation for growing your business and creating a predictable and scalable sales organization.
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