Sales team is the most important resource in all the organizations and if managed well then, business can be scaled up at exponentially. It is the only department that brings revenue hence it is a lifeline of any company.
But these 3 often done mistakes become bottleneck and compromise his ability to perform.
Most of the sales team in SME’s and corporate are expected to do large number of tasks at a time some of them includes research for prospect from target audience, bringing new leads, setting up introduction meeting, demonstration or sales discussion, preparing and proposal submission, amendments based on client feedback, final negotiation, submitting quote, close the deal, coordination with internal dept to complete the project / delivery of product or services, account management, responding on customer follow up, chasing for payments.I might have exaggerated with number of tasks but I am sure you have got the point.
The flow and number of tasks might vary from company to company however elements of multitasking still exist in most of the organizations. Today we are blessed with the solutions of lead generation and referral marketing from digital marketing which can significantly reduce the pressure. But Are we still effectively utilizing this medium?
To address other pre and post sales admin work, setting up support team member say “ Sales Coordinator” can let sales professional focus on core area of expertise which is “Sales Discussion” or “Customer Discussion” . The more he is engaged only doing this core task meaning “being with customer”, the more new sales opportunities get created consistently.So it is high time to give a thought: How do we expect the sales team to perform with such large number of multi tasking activities making all under his responsibility assuming he is a “Superman” of sales?
Most organization Sales Professional KPI is around Sales or Revenue targets. There is nothing wrong with this but having it as the only metric does not pin point the root cause in case of his non-performance. Instead, we need to look at all the enablers and inputs which creates the actual sales outcome. For example, number of “new customer meeting”, number of “new proposal” submission, conversion ratio, average profit per transaction, these are critical sales funnel and if tracked and managed, more new sales opportunities get created. So if you don’t have these metrics part of the performance, we are not giving appropriate guidance for sales to perform.
In most of the SME’s sales team are managing both, existing and new customer business which again comprises the focus of sales team. The skill sets required and conversation style are completely different for managing existing vs new customers.
New customer development needs strong pitch skills, robust follow up, powerful negotiation skills, high level of energy and motivation whereas existing customer business needs empathy, after sales customer service, knowing the entire customer dept and relationship and account management skills. I am confident small pilot test separating these two set of focus on a Sales team will immediately validate the above perspective and sure shortly new sales opportunities will be created. We cannot expect reasonable productivity if in our sales structure, single resource is responsible for both new customer development and existing customer account management. I hope readers got value from this article and sense of re-aligning critical aspect of our business in terms of Sales and Team management.