What’s going on?
We hire sales people to drive business and sell a product or services. As sales managers, we give them a task but often forget to teach them how to do said task. Then, if they don’t perform to our standards (that we have not described) we give them a hard time about it and wonder why things did not work out. It’s time to change the narrative. We need to step back and take a look at our sales team to determine where they are now and what supports they need so any necessary changes can be made to help them be more successful.
The first step sales managers can take to increase sales performance is to reduce the “busy work”. Sales people often get burdened with additional work over and above the job of sales. To combat this, take a look at what is being asked of them during the run of a day and determine if it is a fair work load or if it is too much. For example, after working in sales all day a sales rep gets back to the office and has a whole bunch of other requirements they need to fulfill before they are done for the day. As a sales manager, you should be making their paperwork easier and their requirements at the office less so that they are able to dedicate their day to sales – what they were hired to do in the first place.
Sales people are often forced to spend time doing meaningless work that really does not need to be done. Cut down on the reports, don’t hold meetings without a goal or objective, and make their paperwork manageable.
If you are not sure where to start, document the day of members of the sales team so you know exactly how the days are spent. How much time do they get in the field and how much time is spent on “busy work?”
The second step to increased sales performance is to simplify. It is important to make things simple so that time is not taken doing paperwork or attending meetings that are really not necessary. If you reduce the workload for the sales team, they will have more time out in the field to sell.
While it may cost you a little money to hire an administrator to take care of some of the mundane tasks it is well worth it. Because you will see that money back in growth and revenue when the sales reps can concentrate on making the sales.
In simpler terms, you want to make it easy to do business. When things become complicated and too involved the customer will walk away. If you work at making the job of decision making easier and the paperwork process easier, you will sell more.
Remember that the primary role o a sales person is to sell and that is what will drive revenue.
The third key to increased sales performance is to make things as easy as possible for your sales reps. For example, you want to make it easy to access the documents they need. On top of access to the documents, you want to make the process of filling forms out as quick and painless as possible.
In addition, make sure you are providing your sales reps with the sales tools they need to make their job easier. Implement programs that have email tracking tools (and then teach them how to use it if they are not familiar with it). It is one thing to provide the tools but you also have to make sure there is an understanding of how to use them and what benefits they have for saving time on menial tasks.
Ensure there is a library of resources available so that the sales reps have access to any information they need and will be able to access it on their own. It takes much longer for them and a lot out of your day if the reps are coming to you for the information. Having it all easily accessible to them will make life easier all around.
The last key to increased sales performance is time management. When we talk about sales, there is A, B, and C time. A time is defined as having the deal done and getting the order signed. B time is the time a sales rep has to spend to get to the A time – everything that leads up to getting the order from meeting with customers, explaining the product or service, and networking.
C time is everything else such as processing paperwork, attending meetings, and dealing with emails. It is the C time that needs to be made easier and be minimized so that the sales reps are getting as much B time as possible which then leads to the A time – the signing of the deal!
Consider where the sales team is spending their time. If there seems to be a lot of C time at the company work to cut it down so that the sales reps have more B time and can make effective use of it out in the field. When they get more B time, the A time happens.
Keep in mind that more B time is going to drive sales and offer growth so even if there is some expense in cutting out/cutting down on the C time – it is a price worth paying.
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 email@example.com. And if you get a chance, please feel free to review us on iTunes.