Sales Productivity – You overestimate the importance of everything and underestimate the Importance of Prioritising
The sales operation is an integral part of any business. Sales professionals must be motivated because their performance directly impacts the business. If your sales reps do not perform, there is no growth or little revenue.
Most people involved in sales you are already motivated. The problem is, the company’s processes and culture and the economic environment, much of which is outside the sales reps direct control, creates a barrier to sales productivity.
These outside factors affect the motivation of sales reps, which will further affect their performance. Sales professionals are already overwhelmed with the time taken for research, learning modern technologies and marketing skills, that their time to sale is being squeezed but not their quotas.
Keeping their sales team motivated and on track to hit the quota, is a recurring problem for sales leaders. In an article for HubSpot, HubSpot executive Dan Tyre said, “The foundation of motivation is trust. If your team doesn’t trust you and doesn’t believe you have their best interests at heart, it’ll be difficult for them to feel inspired and driven by their work.”
There why it is that companies make it difficult for sales professionals to sell?
In my experience, enablers of sales productivity are to break down the silos within the organisation. The most significant frustration for sales professionals is not efficiently delivering on the promises to their customer due to internal organisational barriers.
When I was a financial consultant in the 1990s, I use to standing at my desk in my office shouting down my phone at an investment or insurance company rep that had not delivered, which made me look bad to my client. I learnt to factor in my supplier incompetence but the amount of time I or my assistance spent chasing paperwork that eventually I decided to leave the industry. Although I loved my clients, I hated the administrative processes and constant barriers, such that even my bike ride home was not relieving my day of stress. I was motivated, I cared for my clients and their companies, but the system and processes were not supporting my passion for my work, and this was eroding my spirit.
My experience is typical of many sale professionals that become demotivated by the environment. Scale Your Sales Motivation talk about creating resilience in yourself, in your environment and the connections with your customers.
Often, I hear of deals lost because of finance or legal inflexibility with slow processes not compatible with the customer.
“Every sale has five obstacles: no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, no trust.” Zig Ziglar
When you bring all the functions together, and everyone is sitting at the table, you remove hurdles and increase productivity. Only then will cross-functional teams understand the issue and work together to resolve them with the one aim and that is efficiently satisfying their customer’s needs. When everyone is in the loop collaborating, this is when you achieve improved results and sales growth.
The LinkedIn published report Re-Think the B2B Buyer’s Journey, shows the importance of the customer experience and although there room for improvement “84% described their relationship with vendors as ‘very good’ or ‘good’. However, 56% of buyers say that the relationship is simply ‘good’.”
It is essential sales professional feel happy and in their zone. Then sales professionals can give their best performance because this attitude shows through to their customers and reassures trust.
You want to turn a buyer into a customer but to turn a customer into a promoter. Customer experience is the job of not only sales but the whole company, customer advocates drive repeat and referral business. Referral business cost less to secure, it has a higher conversion rate and is quicker to close the deal; it is the smart way to sell.
Sales productivity relies solely on the ability of your sales functions to work smarter rather than harder. Smart sales productivity is working disproportionately on the things for your customers that give the highest return on your time invested. To remove the internal barriers to smart sales productivity, sales leaders with senior executives across the organisation and functions must create the systems and processes that support a customer-centric smart working environment.
Traditional sales productivity measures on quantity rather than quality. I remember in the 1990’s when I had to cold call at 8.30-9.30am and 7-8pm three days a week as part of my weekly schedule. Customer research, setting appointments, preparing for a meeting, networking, nurturing your pipeline with marketing campaigns and evaluate your daily tasks and results are the typical sales activities. Smart sales productivity is assessing what actions and customer relationships will contribute to your success, and then execute your highest-quality activities rather than high-quantity.
Scale Your Sales Productivity will make your sales team more productive and show them how to priorities, profile and deliver on promises working with modern methods aligned to your current technology
Your sales function must be the customer of every other internal business function. Because without your sales professionals motivated and sales productivity, every other department is out of business. So now the company has two customers, the external customer (buyers, decision-makers and users of the product and service) and the internal sales function (sales rep, customer enablement and customer service).
Too often company functions serve themselves; they forget that their service can be outsourced and that customers come first.
If you treated your sales professional like your customer what would change in your company? Please share your views and comment below