Sales managers are often focused on achieving the highest levels of performance from field sales professionals. And, why not? Targets have to be exceeded and the order board has to look busy. Well, more or less that’s the staple field sales people are nurtured on.
But then, there is the pertinent question the C-suite asks, is the sales team being more effective than efficient?
Typically, sales effectiveness hinges on executing in the best possible way, including sales process maximizing the ability to connect with customers; creating value in the buying process; identifying and pursuing every opportunity, and enhancing the ability to win. At an individual sales person’s level, you can define effectiveness as the ability to understand the customer’s needs, position their product as the ultimate solution to those needs, and gain an understanding of that customer’s business so the solution can improve it.
Now, just as our customers want our products or solutions to make their business profitable, our sales process and the sales teams also need to be nimble, agile and sharp, to operate in a profitable fashion. Quite simply, beyond being effective, become efficient.
Is there a difference between effectiveness and efficiency, one may ask. Sales efficiency has a small but qualitatively different focus than sales effectiveness. The focus is on speed, time and efforts – achieving the goals in the shortest time possible; reducing the time and/or resources required to execute the strategies; compressing sales cycles. Simply put – achieve the same goals more quickly, achieve the same outcomes with a smaller resource investment.
It is a given that effectiveness and efficiency go together when we are looking to achieve the highest levels of sales performance. But, why do field sales teams often fall short when it comes to efficiency?
The right use of resource time. A 2017 study by InsideSales.com found that – Sales Reps only spend 36.6% of the time actually selling. It reported that dealing with internal policies and approvals takes 12.8% of their time, and another 12% is taken up by researching target accounts and contacts. The administrative tasks are simply the bane for the efficiency of salespeople. While heavy-duty CRM tools are available, the need of the hour is for a simple, easy to use, flexible app that enables them to manage the administrative tasks fast and easy, every day.
Targeting right will help the sales personnel translate prospects into confirmed leads. In reality, field sales professionals are left to prospect with a wide playing field. The easy availability of market intelligence – the right market info at the right time – will help the sales reps reach the right targets faster.
Meet the customer with the right meat… meaning having the right company and product info at the right time so that the right solution can be proposed. A great time killer for the sales reps is the time to be spent on research on their products, understanding them and even reaching out to experts within the organizations for the right info. Make the best and most relevant information available to them on the go, and all the time. It will help them move the needle on efficiency.
While these can be achieved through intelligent investment in the automation of the sales process, the real difference is made through the culture we build in the sales organization. A culture of efficiency means rewarding the right behaviors, not just the achievement of goals; and placing a premium on productivity, not just numbers.
If you are looking for an expert to help you with automation, talk to Hakuna Matata (one of the leading digital transformation solution providers). Our HappieSales app has the features and functionalities to enable your field salespeople to get efficient.