Improve Sales Effectiveness

We provide sales tools that empower your sales force. It helps to drive sales engagement and effectiveness.

Sales effectiveness is so important these days. Long gone are the days of just having a rolodex on your desk and firing through those phone calls. There is only so much analysis you could do on this. And productivity, well, that was normally achieved by slamming your fist on the table and shouting “more calls!”

Nowadays, with so much sales enablement technology, we are able to measure much more and also implement much more. We can make small gains in many different areas, which total up to being a much greater overall result.

How would you like to increase conversion rates? Or improve the content that your sales people have? Or perhaps its productivity (without the shouting and desk punching).

For each of these areas, there are those little steps we talked about that can make your marginal gains. However, before you even start thinking about where to make the improvements, you’ll need a plan in place for the how and why, and this is just as important or your objectives won’t be clear.

Here’s a very simple 5 step planning process:

  1. Set goals
  2. Who’s managing it?
  3. Who’s working on it?
  4. What tech do you need?
  5. Create a plan to reach those goals

Step 1 is incredibly important. In setting goals, you have to be very specific about what it is you want to achieve. There’s no point sitting around a table and slamming down that fist and saying, “we want more sales!” That doesn’t help anyone. Think clearly about all the little details that you are currently measuring and where is it possible that you can make incremental changes. Then log those targets across the board.

Steps 2 and 3 should be a little easier. Who’s going to manage it is straightforward, but then should it even be someone from within the sales department? Sometimes these teams become so insular that it can be hard to see the woods from the trees. Perhaps some outside influence could help. With step 3, it’s not just about who else is in the team, but it is about the resources you will require to get this completed. Which departments are involved, what are the costs involved and so on.

With step 4, it is all about doing an audit of what you currently have and what you will need in the future. Bring in experts who understand the sorts of technology that you may require and make sure that it is scalable, where necessary, the latest technology too.

And now onto step 5, which I see as the most crucial part. The plan has to take into account everything that your sales teams do and where the marginal gains are going to come from. Where do you start with this? What goes in the plan? Not one organisation is the same, but I’ll try to shed some light on best practice.

  1. Internal survey
    Why not ask your sales people what they think? This is such a good starting point. We’ve already written about using assessments to improve your sales tools.
  2. Content content content
    What sort of sales materials are you producing to help your people sell? Do a full review of it all – are there sticking points, are they freely available, are they up-to-date?
  3. Best practice
    Who’s performing the best in your sales team and how are they managing to do this? They have snippets of information that are like gold-dust to the rest of the team and you need to find out what!
  4. Downtime
    Do your sales people waste time? Is it because of anything in particular? Find out what causes them to lose valuable selling time and cut it out.
  5. Sales process
    Is the process from start to finish any good? Does it sit in-line with the buying process of your customers? Where are the gaps?
  6. Closing tools
    Do you have the correct sales tools in place? Are they driving engagement with both your sales people and potential customers? Are there any immersive experiences available to showcase your products?

Each and every aspect of your sales enablement plan must be thoroughly researched and then say where you want to get to and in what timescale.

Of course, these are only some ideas – it’s not an exhaustive list and I also don’t want to give away all of our secrets!

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