Introduction:

The key to increased sales performance isn’t a far off, expensive, unattainable, goal, it lies in the hands of your sales managers. Today on the Funnel we discuss what’s going on with your sales team, how to simplify the process, the sales enablement process, and making more ‘A’ time. As always if you have any questions feel free to schedule a free 30-minute consultation and I’ll do my best to help in any way I can.

 

What we’re going to cover:

  • What’s going on
  • Simplification
  • Sales Enablement
  • A time

 

 

What’s going on

 

With the team

“It’s a question because I don’t know what’s going on with your team. Why is it that you’re not achieving optimal sales performance? Are the higher ups above you requiring all these reporting and CRM work? Are there huge admin requirements to process and order? How does all of that work?”

“Is what’s going on with your team because you didn’t properly train them? One of the things I find truly amazing is that people hire salespeople to drive business and to sell products or services but they don’t give them training, onboarding, or development. Then they expect them to hit an unattainable target. And when they don’t hit it they say ‘We hired you, we brought you into the company, we gave you a position, we told you what you needed to do and you didn’t do it!’ That’s ridiculous.”

 

Admin requirements

“Maybe the problem is time management in the admin department. For example, if there’s a problem with the contract do they have to go back out? ‘You need to get a customer to sign this’.”

“And the response would always be, from the administration department ‘well what if we get sued?’ And even though that would never happen I have to spend 20 minutes of my day driving back over there to get them to sign this? I mean come on. Maybe if we did some different things with paperwork things would be better and this kind of thing wouldn’t happen.”
 

Reporting

“Another problem with your team may be that stuff wasn’t processed on time so your reps are in there chasing down orders making sure that things are going okay. Just because you have managers asking for meaningless reports up the food chain instead of letting them focus on selling.”
 

Busy Work

“Another issue for salespeople is the burden of busy work over and above their sales work. Because the reality is we burden our salespeople, and our sales managers, with busy work. How much work are we forcing them to do that we don’t need them to do? What are the admin requirements? What are the burdens of emails, phone calls, text messages? How much support are we giving them?”
 

Meetings

“What about time management? How many times are we calling them in for meetings? When you have sales meetings do you wait until after 5:00 or before 8:00? Well, now you’re pulling them away from their family. Maybe you just need to make your meetings a little more productive, reduce the time.”
 

Example:

“I used to work for a company that would call people in for a 3:00 meeting when we had territories that are 75-90 minutes away. With the rush hour at 3:00 that means they would have to leave at 1:30, that’s cutting their day in half. Is that really the best use of their time? Is that going to achieve increased sales performance?”

 

Figure it out.

“Figure out what’s going on with your team and ask yourself is this the best use of their time? Are they spending their time selling? Then document it because you want to know how they’re spending their day.”

“What are they doing on a daily basis that’s pulling them away from sales. Is it meetings, administrative work, paperwork? Figure it out.”
 

Simplification

 

What’s necessary?

“You want to simplify everything. First, decide what’s necessary and what’s not. Then throw the unnecessary stuff overboard like the meetings could be 1 hour instead of 2. Shorten things, get better agendas, and figure out how to fix those things.”

 

Processes

“Look at the processes and ask yourself is this the best use of their time?”
 

Example:

“I’ll tell you a story about a guy who was working a large account for me years ago and he spent his time doing two things. One, selling to the existing customers within those accounts and two, walking orders through the system. And we had a tough time getting new business from him because there just weren’t enough hours in a day.”

“So, what did we do? We added a second rep just to drive new business in those two accounts and they worked together as a team. I reduced their workload internally and pushed them out to sales.”

 

Reduce their workload

“I don’t understand the different sides of the house trying to dump everything on salespeople as if they don’t do enough. ‘Oh, you just go out and sell.’ Salespeople have one job, one, and it’s to sell your product or service.”
 

Make it easy to do business

“People buy from us for two reasons, one because they like us and two because we make it easy to do business. When you make it hard for people they go away, it’s too much trouble. So, when you make it easy for somebody to make a decision, you make it easy to move forward with you, they like that and they like you. That’s what we should be doing with our sales reps, making it easy for them to do business.”

“You make a sales reps job easier they’re going to sell more. Do you want to drive revenue? Reduce their workload.”

 

Primary purpose

“How can I make this simple how can I make this easy on them? It’s worth it. And we’re not trying to baby them or paper them but they have a primary purpose and that’s to drive revenue. Simplifying processes, simplifying administrative stuff, and reducing their workload should be a goal of yours as a manager because you’ll see increased business, happier reps, and retention, all the good things that come along with that.”
 

Sales Enablement

 

Easy Access

“Look at the documentation, look at the sales tools, look at the library of things that they have to provide the prospects, whatever it is that you provide on a marketing level and make it easy for them to access, make it easy for them to use it. You make it easier for them, you enable them to do it, you’re going to see increased sales performance.

 

Simplify it.

“Strictly from the busy work that heats up their day, can you simplify that? Can you make it easy to access the right document? Does it have a good explanation of how and when it’s to be used? Do we have tools in place for them to make their lives easier? That’s what I mean by sales enablement.”

 

Strong foundation.

“What happens is processes, programs, paperwork and all that stuff is built upon from a foundation. So, you started this one thing with this product, this paperwork process, and then you ran into a problem, so you added something to it and then something else happened and you added something else to that. The documentation is getting thicker, the requirements are getting harder because every time you ran into a problem you solved it with more layers of red tape.”

 

Reduce documentation.

“Strip away the stuff that doesn’t make sense. How can we reduce the documentation? What tools can we help them use that are going to make their lives easier?”
 

‘A’ time

 

Defined

“‘A’ time’ is when they’re signing an order or a new piece of business and that’s a very small window.”

 

‘B’ time

“‘B’ time is everything they’re doing to get that order. All your prospecting, qualifying, meetings, appointments, demos, whatever it is you’re doing to get that business. Whereas, ‘A’ is when you’re actually signing the order. ‘B’ time is where you need to be focused.”

 

‘C’ time

“‘C’ time is everything else, all the other junk. Processing paperwork, making the right phone calls, ensuring that your order is going through the system, responding to emails and queries from your admin department or support staff, attending meetings, and training sessions.”

 

What do you start with?

“Start there and work backward. What can I do in that ‘C’ time to give them more ‘B’ and more ‘A’ time? Because if I give them more ‘B’ time they’re going to get more ‘A’ time.”

 

Where are they spending their time?

“I just got off the phone with a client, we were talking about his time, and one of the issues he’s having is finding the time to drive more business and he’s the top rep. He had done the math and he had spent 9 hours last month in B time, that’s it. If I just gave him twice that amount, how much more would he sell?”

“So, you want to increase revenue? Do you want to grow? This is low hanging fruit. You don’t have to buy anything, you don’t have to hire anybody, you don’t have to do anything except get a hold of how they’re spending their time.”

 

Keep Filling The Funnel

We would love to hear from you. Let us know what you think about this episode. Please feel free to reach out to us if there is a specific sales topic you would like me to cover.  You can find me on Twitter at @Sheajohnr or email me at jshea@alignment-group.com.  And if you get a chance, please feel free to review us on iTunes.

 

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