While sitting home-schooling my daughter we started working on a project about the human skeleton. What I found fascinating was how rigid yet flexible the skeleton is and how it caters for all of our different physiques. How it provides the basic framework but still offers enough room for individuality. Many sales processes are designed like a skeleton – very rigid. But what they are not catering for is the uniqueness and preferences of each team member. Let’s have a look at how we can improve on it by sticking to the process but leaving room for individuality.
Give Sales Reps the tools that fit their way of working
As with all sales motivation, we are well versed in the ‘Always Be Communicating’ mantra. But how do we make sure we are actually getting through to our sales team? We need to ensure that they have the tools that provide them with what they need to be successful while sticking to the process, so we don’t end-up with silos of information or disjointed communication.
Make it easy for them to take notes and actions
As a person in sales myself, I can vouch that sales super heros have a million things going on in their heads, and a million things to update in Salesforce... What did Bob from XYZ say about the board meeting? ... Putting deal information “on paper”, aka data capturing, and then sharing this information with others, is the biggest hurdle sales teams have to overcome when adopting tools like Salesforce CRM. Sales teams struggle to keep up with data entry, quote generation, and other tasks that take them away from customers. Unsurprisingly, 57% expect to miss their quotas this year. Lowering the barrier is key to the adoption of your sales tools and processes.
Invert the conversion funnel
Let's go to our infamous conversion funnel but flip it so it works in reverse. Stay with me here.
- Start with establishing aselection of deals you would like to close over the course of the month.
- The number of active opportunities you need to qualify in order to accomplish that goal = conversion rate.
- Calculate how many qualified opportunities you need to achieve in order to reach your ‘close deal’
- How many calls and/or demos do you need to execute each week to achieve the desired number of qualified prospects?
Utilizing the conversion rates you have anticipated will determine how many emails/calls/leads must be generated each week so that you can schedule the correct number of calls.
Help sales reps to track their process so they can be more successful
More often than not tracking is being seen as a way to control and monitor the sales rep. What if, capturing data is no longer a chore that benefits everyone but sales reps?
Instead reps have a direct benefit for using the system, i.e. a significantly improved closing rate, because the system actively guides them to better sales instead of monitoring them and just telling them what they have not done. Wouldn’t that change their motivation to use a tool like CRM? Subsequentially, the business as a whole benefits through more successful sales reps, better and more accurate data and a highly motivated salesforce.
As the skeleton allows humans not to become a wobbly mess, your process is what keeps your business from descending into chaos. The individuality of your team members and giving them tools so they can easily follow the process in their own ways is what truly makes a great and successful sales team.
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