A major concern that bothers every inside sales manager is that his/her team is not performing at the highest level when it comes to sales productivity. You know that your team members are working hard but not sure what’s holding them back in delivering sales results.
Let me give you two major reasons for their underperformance.
- They are engaged in several non-sales responsibilities which is eating up most of their time
- They are not equipped with adequate sales tools and technologies
According to CSO Insights 2013 Sales Performance Optimization survey, Sales reps spend only 37% of their available time selling – with selling defined as face-to-face or on-the-phone (i.e., “1:1”) conversations with prospects.
Here are a few tips using which an inside sales rep can get more time to sell and improve sales productivity.
Reduce Administrative Work and Allocate these activities to Back Office
An inside sales representative is often found busy in doing administrative activities such as proposal development, pricing approval, contract management, and billing management. These activities and other post-sale support activities consume a lot of their time as the relationship with the customer is at stake.
With a concerted effort, a company can allot these tasks to support staff and automate and standardize the operations of related departments like billing unit, pre-sales etc and look to attain a zero-defect operation. This will help the salesperson to focus more on revenue generating activities.
Utilize CRM and Sales Productivity Tools
The benefits that CRM systems and sales automation software can bring to an organization are enormous. It helps a sales rep to manage customer data, customer interactions, and automate sales processes. So, capture as much data in your CRM as possible as this will help you in quickly accessing valuable data about your prospects and leads such as their sales history and past communications and save a lot of your precious time.
Using an intelligent Auto Dialer can automate outbound calling procedure and a sales rep would be able to manage multiple campaigns and leads at a time. A dialer which can be easily integrated with third party CRM, database and other applications makes life even simpler.
Standardize Proposals and Contracts
Don’t let your sales rep create their own RFPs and contracts for the customers. This will not only waste their time but also put the company at risk. Let the other support staff and pre-sales teams work on these things and on standardized templates as these documents have legal bindings as well.
Standardize Sales Collaterals
According to CMO Council Study, as much as 40% of a rep’s time is spent creating presentations, customizing messaging and preparing for pitches.
Each sales rep has their own version of product brochures and presentations…..another waste of time. They think that they know exactly what message to put in front of their customers but this can end up showcasing different aspects of the company amongst different customers. So, let your marketing department create a standardized set of collaterals that conveys the right message from the company’s perspective.
A Well-Designed Reward and Recognition System to Encourage Sales Rep’s Performance
The reward and recognition system in an organization should be designed in a way that encourages people to work harder and focus on delivering specific goals such as penetrating new geographies, cross-selling and up-selling etc. It should have a room to remunerate the top performers in terms of incentives or pay hikes. In order to raise productivity and reduce costs, it’s crucial that every sales rep focuses on attaining well-defined business goals and growth targets.
Divide Sales Reps based on Specialized Roles
By dividing the inside sales team in to specialized functions mentioned below, you will definitely witness an improvement in sales productivity and goal achievement.
- Inbound Lead Qualification team for managing the incoming leads from marketing campaigns, websites or other promotional activities
- Outbound Prospecting team to create and develop new sales opportunities
- Sales Executives who work on the leads passed on to them from the above mentioned two teams and then finally close the deal
- Account Managers who are dedicated to manage the ongoing activities of the customers so that they can get more value from the product
Incorporate these crucial steps, delegate the non-sales activities to support staff and let your inside sales reps spend their valuable time in selling and building relationships with the customers.
What are the other sales objections you deal with? Share them in the comments below.