5 Ways to Improve Sales Management Increasing B2B Sales
Oftentimes Owners and Presidents feel their sales people are not productive. Owners and Presidents see the sales staff inside the office more than outside. The old school mentality is being on the road produces results. So presidents and owners insist sales people spend more time in front of customers.
How effective is your sales process in terms of productivity?
Let me share with you a real life example of how this can produce less than desirable results. A national company with 100 plus sales people selling medical services to a nursing home industry originally did not have much structure. A sales director instituted what was perceived as a good structure by the CEO. As time went on the company was experiencing a higher attrition due to price.
As part of my analysis I went on some road trips to verify what my sales interviews uncovered. The sales people were visiting their nursing homes on a regular basis. Keep in mind, most had over 100 accounts they were trying to see every month. You break down the daily numbers and then ask yourself what was the quality of the sales call.
What I discovered was they were just dropping in to make their rounds… asking some basic questions, like is everything okay? The key worth noting is the facilities are trying to conduct their business and were oftentimes very busy. So what was really happening? Were the salespeople just being a pest? What are some ways to improve this type sales process driven by activities?
How to improve B2B sales productivity
1) Develop new metrics
Measure what will match the sales process strategy to generate revenue. Filling out reports in a CRM with worthless notes is not effective use of time. The metric must have purpose. The key measurement here is to examine action items coming from each meeting.
2) Don’t treat all customers equally
Spend more quality time finding ways to impact your top customers. Breakdown your account based on a metric of lifetime value. For example: Use revenue or ability to grow.
Then use the telephone to cover territory effectively for smaller accounts. Drive time does not produce revenue. On each sales call you must have purpose and impact. Develop a sequence of events that deliver impact for your customers and your ability to deliver results.
3) Install accountability on performance not activity
If you are measuring activity that is all you are getting. Create new measurements. For example, meet with higher level decision maker, find pain, etc. This all must align with your sales gates (moving the sale forward to a close in the shortest possible time period).
4) Create an effective impact sales model
Stop selling features and benefits. Have a purpose to help your account grow. Introduce new innovations in your service offering. Stopping by to see how you are doing is not an impact. The fear here that most executives experience is not having enough face time with customers. So here is a question. How do outbound and inbound sales organizations form relationships using a phone? It becomes a paradigm shift in your thinking if you think only face to face will work. Look how effective phone and video conferences using meeting software have bridged the gap.
5) Stop spending time to low in the organization
The biggest problem is comfort talking and meeting with low level people that can’t make real decisions on an outcome that will impact the company. This is a comfort issue that fills in time as an activity.
The key is to examine how your sales process aligns with impacts to move the sale forward in the shortest possible time and not activity based.