How do we increase sales? Use these eight focus points of sales ops

In our last post we discussed selling time and suggested its importance for the entire sales organization. In this piece, we’re going to cover how an increase in selling time can help address a common question we get from leadership, “How do we increase sales?”

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Here are eight areas that every company must be focused on to increase selling time:

  • Analytics – In today’s selling environment, sales reporting is key to a sales team’s success whether that’s product, pipeline, or behavior related. However, it can be challenging to organize and produce actionable reporting whether using excel or other tools. It can also be a challenge to remove the reporting responsibility from the sales manager or reps. Now it’s easier said than done, but to push additional selling time, an organization has to move that task out of the hands of sales and into sales operations. If your organization hasn’t reached the sales ops tipping point, find someone that can wear that hat, but it can’t be your sales manager or rep.
  • Training – In terms of increasing selling time, training might be a tough one if your team doesn’t currently receive training. If you do, there are a couple ways. One, take it out of the hands of the sales manager. They should be selling too. Hire a consultant or an internal trainer. Two, make the most of what your team is learning with a reinforcement tool like TrackLeft. TrackLeft’s work-paced approach will keep the training content in front of your reps while they conduct sales related activities.
  • Tools – So many tools. Find the ones that your team supports in using and doesn’t complain about. To drive selling time, focus on integrations of email, calendar, and CRM. Also, proposal generators, e-signature (concord), and marketing content management. Document templates work too.
  • Client onboarding – Key to the success of any company is the process in which your prospects become customers. Whether this onboarding process resides within an excel document or is driven by workflows within your CRM, the focus should be towards reducing the amount of time that sales is involved. With that said, sales will always be involved from a relationship standpoint, but if operations can set up the automation of contracts, forms, delivery items, etc., the time to success is improved and so is selling time.
  • Quota management – The creation of quotas is a pain. Most companies struggle to create and deliver quotas to their team on a consistent basis. As it relates to an increase in selling time, the method of creation has to be supported, understood, and simple. Your team can’t be trying to figure what and how they’re getting paid every commissionable time period. If your company isn’t to a point of working with a firm like xactly, just focus on simple to create the extra selling time for your managers and reps.
  • Compensation management – If your organization doesn’t have a tool like xactly, a formal sales ops department, or if finance doesn’t maintain the comp structure, keep your comp structure simple, clear, and manageable. This will allow your sales manager to spend more time with his or her team whether that’s in coaching them or trying to win more deals. And not buried in comp reporting.
  • Support – What does your sales team get frustrated with? Fix that stuff. Do they hate forms? What about expenses and receipts? Focus on what they consider the little things. It will add up.
  • Process and communication – It all starts and ends with process and communication. Do you have a refined sales process? And not just the prospecting or contract phase. What are the mini-steps? Are they defined? Does everyone use them in every deal? Don’t bake these in the home office. Get in the field and know what goes on. If you know exactly what occurs in the field, you can apply that knowledge to things like the quota and comp plan. Sales supports and understands the process and strategy because it’s fair and equitable. And now they’re excited. So they sell more. Organic selling time.

Don’t wait

For the readers that have a sales ops department or the elements are placed throughout the organization, you’ve probably started tracking, measuring, and improving your team’s selling time. For those of you that don’t, start with making “selling time” a company focus or value.

If you’re interested in how TrackLeft can help with selling time or other sales initiatives, please email us at sales@trackleft.com

 

We’re trying to build a company here. And it’s software. Both are tough.

Stay tuned.

 

Team TrackLeft

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5 Ways Your CRM Impacts Selling Time

Perception

Roughly 75% of businesses today have invested in a CRM. It is assumed that most of those companies set out to simply track contacts and to move off of Excel as their choice of record keeping. Or in other words, they were looking to satisfy the purpose of a data repository. The conversation probably didn’t start with, “Man, we’ve got to give our team a better tool to close more deals.” As a sales operations guy, I hope I’m dead wrong with that assumption.

Selling Time

There is an interesting challenge in today’s sales environment of increasing selling time and achieving company CRM goals.

While the CRM’s general concept of managing one’s contacts and sales opportunities is necessary at some level, sales professionals are having issue with how their employers are addressing sales performance management through the CRM.

The communication between the sales professional and manager can sound like:

  • “You’re telling me I have to enter activities.” – Sales behaviors and activities are important for the success of a sales professional, but the time it takes to enter certain activities into the CRM software is painful. The better CRM’s reduce the amount of time spent by the sales professional is this module of the software.
  • “Yes, my pipeline has been updated, both leads and opportunities.” – Sales leadership should have visibility of what their team is working on, but the time it takes to input the information into the CRM can be lengthy or proper workflows aren’t set up to drive consistent data.
  • “CRM usage is part of my commissions?” – To drive usage and data, some companies create commissionable KPI’s that are based on CRM activities and completion. This is tough when the sales team doesn’t believe that the tool leads them to more closed business.
  • “We have more training?” – This isn’t to suggest that CRM training isn’t important or necessary. What I’m suggesting is that maybe the tools are a little complicated if we need to train our team as much as we do.
  • “When should I talk to prospects? It feels like I’m spending all my time updating CRM.” – It’s challenging for leadership to walk this line of required information and hitting quota.

The common theme is reduced selling time. As we talk to clients and prospects it’s still surprising to hear comments related to the above. Surprising because of the exploding markets in sales enablement and sales acceleration. Isn’t the core of those markets to increase selling time?

The Irony

Funny, TrackLeft is one of these sales tools that falls into sales enablement or acceleration. And supports a CRM.

TrackLeft is a digital playbook for sales that reinforces the methodology or process that is followed by the sales organization or entrepreneur. Contact us at sales@trackleft.com to learn how we’re increasing selling time.

 

We’re trying to build a company here. And it’s software. Both are tough.

Stay tuned.

 

Team TrackLeft