What would you do with that spare capacity? What tasks would you set the sales team? Would you have them see more prospects? Spend more time nurturing leads? Building the sales pipeline? Feeding the sales funnel? What would that spare capacity translate to in sales revenue? in profit? Would the team hit sales targets this month?
To create spare capacity in your sales day:
1. Be thorough and clear out the sales pipeline – stop carrying the dead wood, don’t be a sales stalker, if the deal has gone then recognise it and move on
2. Stop researching in business hours. So your sales team want to use LinkedIn and other social platforms to research businesses….great…just not in prime business hours. Get the team to do it outside of core trading – 8.30 – 9.30 am (although I personally think these are great times for doing business) even better, get them to do research after 5 pm or at weekends
3. Be specific and focused. Have the sales team show up every day with three new sales prospects they would love to work with….yes – forget about the endless calling/emailing/tracking down or random potential prospects – focus on a few very specific targets and pursue them. Good quality, well researched organisations/people where there is a definite and compelling reason to make contact and start talking
4. Clear email distractions. In 90 minute blocks of time – switch off the email icons…..concentrate on one task at a time, don’t let email be the displacement activity that takes precedence over everything else
5. Be conscious of the quality of business opportunities being chased. Look at the quality prospect that the sales team are making contact with…how many of these will go to order with standard business terms? How many will fail when presented to finance or have to be placed on ‘special’ terms to minimise the risk to the business? Are you really chasing the quality of leads you want?
Look at where the sales team are spending their time and you will probably find that doubling output won’t be an issue.
If your sales team are less effective than you think they should be, then as a manager you may want to consider the following:
How much time are you spending with them in their sales role?
What compensation/reward program do you have in place and is it rewarding the types of behaviours that promote effectiveness?
Is the reporting process you have in place efficient?
What can you do to free them to do the job you paid them to do?
Here is a good exercise – let’s get creative…If you halved the size of your sales team and doubled your sales target – what changes would you make to ensure you hit the numbers? More on this next time…
Carol Griffiths – Director and Principal Consultant
Morton Kyle Limited
0779 002 1885