How Much of Your Sales Team’s Time is Wasted?
With multiple priorities, sales leaders can sometimes drop the ball on understanding what their sales teams are actually doing. If you don’t guide your people or have a failure to connect with them you risk becoming an ineffective leader. By periodically assessing your sales team, the insights and information gained will reap dividends by opening up opportunities, streamlining processes, focusing activity and ultimately, driving revenue. Plus identifying inefficiencies can free up selling time - allowing more sales without extra headcount. So, you need to have insight at ground level if you want to know how much of your sales team’s time is wasted. But how? And what exactly are the benefits?
Some companies are now using analytical software to understand how their sales staff spend their working hours. With a clear view, sales leaders can become more selective about the processes and interactions of their sales team. This information could highlight issues you already suspected might be there but also others you may not have considered. For example, it’s possible to understand how your low, middle and high performers are spending their time. The high performers are more likely to spend their time:
Focusing on the right type of customers,
Employing more creative prospecting techniques such as joining industry-related working groups to gain better access to key people
Spending more time detailing and assessing customer needs and so can better connect and customize solutions for them.
High performers also spend more time planning sales activities - like territory management, pre-call prep, and strategic account mapping.
With this information at your fingertips, you can begin to replicate those patterns across your low and middle performers, implementing mentoring and coaching programs to help them advance. If you don’t want to commit to new tech or the budget doesn’t allow it, you can also ask your sales force to track their own time and have them submit it anonymously. You might not track everything--and it’s important to frame it as information-gathering rather than admonishment --but it will still be useful as there are multiple benefits.
Avoid burnout and costly churn
Stress is the other epidemic of the COVID age. The sales team is the lifeblood of any business, and they are often under immense pressure, now more than ever. Many sales team members have workloads more than they can handle and work much longer hours than contracted. Since they are not traveling, they are now tasked with back-to-back-to-back zoom calls throughout their workday. As a leader, it is your responsibility to help your team prioritize their tasks, by gaining visibility on what they are doing. When you can provide that clarity you’ll be able to reduce costly churn and support your team to perform without adding extra hours to their day.
Your new understanding of your sales team’s activities may bring up new knowledge about what is slowing your sales team down. This is an opportunity to streamline both your sales processes and processes feeding into their pipeline. Things like preparing online or live demos can be incredibly time-consuming so you may decide to resource this differently or simplify it. Routine administrative tasks swallow up time too, when the priority of the sales team is to be in front of customers. Identifying how much time is spent deciphering or updating poor sales lead data or researching prospects, for example, can lead to improving processes company-wide.
In summary, the key takeaway to remember is that sales activity data can be incredibly useful in driving your sales team to new heights. When you have clarity on which activities yield the results you want, you can cut out the pointless stuff and focus your team on work that makes a difference to your business. ____________________________ Looking to grow your team in 2021? See how we can accelerate your time to revenue for new hires and deliver up to a 3.5:1 return on your investment in our services. Click here!