How The Whole Organization Can Help Sales Management Increase Productivity!

How The Whole Organization Can Help Sales Management Increase Productivity!
Heather Rubesch - Wed Aug 17, 2011 @ 06:05AM
Comments: 24

We are pleased once again to be participating in the DeFinis Communications blog carnival.  This time around the topic of increasing sales productivity.

For over 15 years I held a variety of sales and marketing positions primarily in the high tech industry.  I held positions called “Pre-sales Engineer” “Solution Architect”, “Strategic Industry Manager”, etc.  Every time my position aligned the Marketing VP I heard how Sales could do things better and vice versa.  While the departmental bickering rarely did much to improve results I have found a number of productive themes through the years that made the sales organizations I worked in and supported successful. 

1.  Take collaboration to a lower level

Silos in organizational structure are the first way to kill productivity.  Yet organizations that try to foster cross departmental communication usually end up with managers who spend more time in meetings hearing about other departments initiatives at a high level than they do managing their own teams.  Some of the best most productive organizations I have been involved with foster collaboration at the field worker level.  Ask your quota carrying sales reps (not sales management) to devote 10% of his or her time to cross departmental meetings whose focus is on developing new collateral, branding, product R&D and innovation ideas.  When the folks who actually spend 90% of their time sitting across from or on the phone with your prospects get involved early on in any process it reduces rework and increase adoption rates for the messaging that marketing does develop.  When you invite sales to the process early you have a chance to road test new messaging, phrasing before you spend lots of money to have it printed on ads and coffee mugs!

Once your sales staff sees that their opinions are being heard and implemented they will be more motivated to use the sales tools they are given.

2.  Seamless handoff through the sales cycle

Nothing frustrates a sales person more than having to babysit past sales after they should have moved on to Account Management / Customer Service.  Nothing frustrates Account Management / Customer Service more than having a poorly documented account thrown over the wall with little or no idea of why they purchased the solution or what their business environment is.  Nothing frustrates a client more than repeating to Sales, Account Management and Customer Service the same information over and over and over again as if they aren’t all part of the same organization.  Nothing says “I don’t care about your business” more.

This is one of those an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure sort of situations.  If from the minute a prospect enters the “serious buying potential” state in your sales process the sales rep needs to begin documenting with the intent that someday this prospect will be a client that Account Management will need to own and understand.  Ideally there is an internal CRM system in place that is being utilized for this purpose. 

Sales people cannot be productive if they are repeatedly dragged back into customer support issues as the sole person with a deep understanding of the clients business processes.  Giving them a facility to document their knowledge and move on will increase productivity.

3.  Where have all the admins gone?

When it comes to cutting admin time / money surely the pendulum has finally swung too far!  I know gone are the days when every middle manager had an assistant sitting outside their office but many a former colleague tells me they have whole organizations where one admin supports 50 sales reps.  Which tells me they are really supporting only the Sales VP and the rests of the staff is making their own copies and mailing their own Fed Ex packages.  Most the software sales organizations I have worked in had sales reps making anywhere from $125-$350K a year.  If we assume an average salary of $200K a year then that works out to roughly $100 an hour.  If 10% of a sales staff of 20 reps time is used up on administrative tasks then that is 80 hours of lost productivity (20 reps x 40 hours a week / 10% = 80 man hours or $8000) per week.  That works out to $416K per year.  Even if two quality admins cost you $50K a year with pay and benefits you are still $316K ahead.

Giving your sales staff administrative support doesn’t make them prima donnas!  It allows them to focus on winning new business and being focused on that goal alone.

Do you have other suggestions for how organizations can help better allocate their resources to make their sales staff more effective?

Comments: 24


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6. Clare   |   Sat May 20, 2017 @ 12:25PM


7. Lina Nelson   |   Sat May 20, 2017 @ 12:31PM

The whole organization I don’t think can help the sales much since we get our projects on daily basis I have kind of seen how sales person are doing with calls I am sure that I couldn’t give them any hint but yeah there are some technical stuff even sales need to know when they are pitching someone like at our sales depart know how to handle students and fulfill their needs. The key part of any sale is that their custom is satisfied with them. And in most of the firm sales personnel have better salary packages then anyone. It’s an interesting job but then it’s not for everyone.

8. Diyo   |   Thu Jul 20, 2017 @ 08:39AM

A certain quantity of non-selling time for your more well-organized salespeople is predictable. But for most salespeople and organizations, there’s still abundance of opportunity to make tighter up processes, workflow and general production in a finite amount of time to add to the percentage of the day & week your best reps are spending in front of clientele and forecast. And in nearly all of the firm sales staff have better salary packages then anybody. It’s an attractive occupation but then it’s not for everyone.

9. Erica Cohen   |   Mon Jul 24, 2017 @ 05:19AM

Sales management is the part of business discipline which is based on the practical application of sales techniques plus the management of a firm sales operations. It is an important business function as net sales by the sale of products.

11. torrie william   |   Sat Aug 26, 2017 @ 01:31AM

Interestingly, studies on sales continue to show that industry-wide productivity is continually on the decline. Although organizations are growing their sales teams and chasing more aggressive sales goals, they simply aren’t scaling their processes, best practices, and sales tools effectively.

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24. Ayesha Ahmed   |   Thu May 10, 2018 @ 01:25AM

Sales management infers managing sales. A sales manager would be accountable for guaranteeing that requests are finished and prepared rapidly and accurately. The supervisor would likewise manage the sales team and manage issues as they emerge.

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