Guest Post by Tim Jernigan
Managing a sales team can feel like being pulled in a hundred directions at once. If your sales team works the “old-fashioned” way – handwritten reports, navigating by instinct, using their brain as a CRM – the stress is even worse.
An old-fashioned sales process requires a lot more managing. You spend all of your time reading sloppy reports, paying out ridiculous mileage expenses and cleaning up after reps when they forget to follow-up with leads.
A modern sales process eliminates busy-work. You’re leading your team, but they’re managing themselves. A full-fledged modern sales team is competitive, knowledgeable and powerful.
How can you give your sales team the modern advantages they deserve?
1. Define Your Needs
What does an average day look like for your team? Are they meeting customers face-to-face in the field? Calling leads daily?
Defining an average day for each one of your sales reps helps you see what areas they work in. Lead generation, meetings and time management all require unique skill sets that can be improved.
Define these three key factors in your sales process:
- Lead Source ‒ Where are your (potential) customers coming from? Cold calls? Inbound?
- Sales Activity ‒ What type of activity ultimately creates the sale?
- Retention Activity ‒ Do you have a consistent relationship with your buyers? If so, what processes are in place to encourage their return?
Understanding each stage of your sales process will make it clear which modern strategies will benefit your team the most.
2. Find Room for Improvement
Each and every sales team has the opportunity to improve their process. The key to modernizing your sales team isn’t to use every tool available, just the right tool(s). Updating your operations too quickly will do more harm than good.
Once you have a clear picture of your daily sales process you’ll uncover the areas your team could be performing better in. These are the areas you want to modernize. Areas like:
- Hiring/Onboarding New Reps ‒ If your team isn’t as adept as they should be, there could be an issue with your hiring process. Investing in a modern hiring solution will save you thousands in the future.
- Lead Generation ‒ If your team is having a tough time generating leads, or managing the ones they find, you need a solution in place before your pipeline dries up.
- Customer Relationship Management ‒ Do you have a dedicated CRM, or are stuck in the Stone Age with a spreadsheet? The right CRM will keep track of your customers so your team can focus on selling.
- Sales Applications ‒ If performance in the field is lower than it should be, look for sales apps to minimize the busy-work in your team’s sales process.
Before making any decisions, gauge the interest of your sales team. Discover their thoughts on each area of the business. Your sales team will ultimately be the end-user of the modern solution you adopt, so their feelings and concerns are invaluable.
If they seem hesitant to change their process, find out why.
You’ll never be able to force them to use new solutions, but you can help them see why it’s in their best interest to do so.
3. Choosing A Modern Solution
The right solution acts as an additional employee. It fills the gap your leads were falling through, or it puts your team in a position to close more deals more often.
Once you and your team have figured out which part of your sales process needs an update, it’s time to choose a solution. Here’s our favorite solutions at every stage of the sales process:
SalesDrive, LLC ‒ Adding a sales assessment into your hiring process can help weed out the candidates that do not have the personality traits necessary to succeed in sales. The DriveTest™ screens for every factor of success in sales. Assessing a rep’s potential before he/she joins the team is the best thing you can do for your overall ROI. If you’re trying to build a high-performance team, The DriveTest™ is a smart investment.
Lead Generation & Nurturing
Datanyze ‒ Your lead generation strategy will heavily depend on your business, but a great all-around choice is Datanyze. Datanyze is a great prospecting tool combined with an analytics program, so you can track the best opportunities as they flow through your pipeline.
Salesforce ‒ A CRM system is a necessary investment for a growing business. As you scale, leads will inevitably slip through the cracks. Not only will a CRM prevent customer mismanagement, it will keep your team organized and productive.
Salesforce is the reigning champ in customer relationship management for a reason. Salesforce CRM works across industries and comes equipped with everything a growing business needs to scale effectively.
Badger Maps ‒ It’s important to realize just how much your team has on their plate. An outside sales team has to:
- Create their sales route
- Find and manage leads
- Schedule meetings
- Report field activity
And SELL on top of it all. Applications that make the sales process easier inevitably create more sales.
Badger Maps handles all of the above and then some. Badger creates routes, finds leads and visualizes customer data for your sales team. Every activity recorded in Badger can be easily exported into a spreadsheet, so you never have to decipher any handwritten reports again.
4. Lead with Metrics
The core metrics of your business are also great motivational tools. It connects your sales team to the bigger picture by giving them clear, actionable goals. Modern solutions have the added benefit of giving you metrics you can use to drive the improvement of your sales process.
Track these metrics to seriously motivate your sales team:
- Lead Response Time – How quickly your team responds to leads is a huge indicator of how likely they are to become customers. A fast lead response time doesn’t just help revenue; it keeps your team competitive and on the ball.
- Sales Velocity – Sales velocity is how quickly a lead becomes a customer. It’s directly connected to lead response time, but it takes the selling skills and nurturing process of your team into account.
- Activities per Sales Win – The amount of effort each sale takes. Compare your victories to the effort it took to reach them for an overall picture of sales efficiency.
Tracking these three metrics alone will super-charge your sales team. Your competitors are constantly refining their sales process, you should too.
Benefits of a Modern Sales Process
Today there are more challenges for salespeople than ever before. Competition is at an all-time high, and every advantage matters.
Enabling your team with the advantages of a modern sales process is the best way to conquer the difficulties of selling in the 21st century. All of the obstacles slowing your team down – performance, field activity, navigation, organization, consistent action – are easily overcome with a modern sales process.
Meet the Author:
Tim Jernigan is a Marketing Analyst and Content Writer at Badger Maps. He writes about all things sales and specializes in sales technology and improving the sales process.