This article is evident from the title itself. We're going to discuss tips on managing the sales team directly!
Well, it isn't as straightforward as it would sound until I put it this way, 'Sales support is any other entity of an organization that can filter or analyze data and resources to make the task of salespeople a breeze.'
Today it is evident that sales support performs better when sales teams management uses automation.
- 35% of marketers report that the top reason to implement marketing automation is to streamline marketing and sales efforts.
- 79% of companies use automation for marketing, 45% for sales.
Businesses are inclined towards investing in tools that run without fatigue, are cost-effective and offer efficient solutions. So let's talk about it in greater depth now.
What do you mean by sales support?
Sales support is a collection of all the resources that assist a sales firm's efforts by handling basic tasks. For example, resources like support material, decks, and other employees help sales agents to focus on prospecting and completing transactions.
4 Ways to provide direct support for sales
1. Your team must have access to direct dial customers
If your sales reps have to use a head office phone to reach out to potential clients or prospects, it creates resistance. Instead, offer them the absolute liberty of performing direct sales – an autonomous process of dealing with clients builds accountability. As a result, your salespeople will perform faster and achieve targets.
Below are some statistics to support the idea of direct dial customers. According to The Pipeline:
- It takes 22 minutes to connect using switchboard numbers compared to just 5 minutes using direct dials.
- A sales rep using a direct dial is 147% likelier to reach a prospect at the VP level than a rep who is not using a direct dial.
If you are convinced to try this strategy, you wouldn't want to spend on research – we suggest approaching a B2B data provider.
2. Track sales performance and identify areas of improvement
"The most important thing you can do to improve your [sales team's] performance is to figure out how well [they're] actually performing now and then make a plan to [help them do] better," says Huizenga.
Huizenga's strategy applies to anything that you wish to improve. And I love to put it this way, "You must know WHERE YOU ARE before you can decide WHERE YOU WANNA GO!"
Therefore, to identify what aspects need improvement, the managers need a sales teams management system that analyzes sales success throughout the sales cycle. The system allows managers to assess each member of the sales team's performance and help them perform better.
You may also try considering creating a sales rep performance scorecard. But don't know what metrics to put in a scorecard? Guess what, we have all been there!
Below are the top 10 sales performance metrics to give you a kickstart:
- Percentage of lost deals
- Percentage of deals won
- Length of sales cycle
- Average size of a deal
- Customer lifetime value
- Response time
- Customer acquisition cost
- Revenue by channel
- Product or service revenue
- Market penetration
Note: Performance metrics aren't about 'Finding Flaws' but 'Areas of Improvement.'
3. Efforts and time spend in after-sales
Another situation is where you get lost in post-sales communication with customers!
Once the deal is closed, your sales rep must move on to the next lead instead of instructing the nitty gritty during the customer onboarding process. Allow your sales representatives to resume selling right away. And hire someone who is dedicated to after sales customer follow-up.
A specific sales support rep would focus on growing clientele, providing onboarding assistance, and achieving client happiness. To achieve customer satisfaction, your sales support team should focus on supporting the direct sales team while keeping a bird's eye view of the whole customer service team.
4. Offer product training:
Your sales reps need to be aware of any new features or products you introduce to the market.
After the Product team implements the new features with the help of developers, your leaders and salespeople must know the details to leverage it in their next pitch. It could be not easy to close deals if you are in a competitive segment. According to LearnHub,
- Studies show that after 90 days, the sales reps forget 84% of all sales training content.
So, how can we solve this?
By offering consistent sales coaching and training. The results from studies conducted by Gartner are astonishing:
- Sales managers spend only 5% of their time coaching, but sales coaching increases sales productivity by 88%
A significant step towards it would be to hire a product specialist to provide in-depth product training. Your potential customers will receive the information without wasting the time and attention of your sales reps.
A product specialist would upskill your sales department and keep them informed about product changes, updates, sales methods, and perks.
So, how can you enhance the process of managing a sales team?
A regular monthly stand-up is recommended to meet the leaders, product specialists and salespeople to discuss best practices, wins and update recent developments.
Starting from learning that there is a scope of improvement to implementing one strategy at a time would significantly impact your direct sales team’s performance.
I wish you all the best in closing your next big deal!
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