There is a lot of information out there about improving sales performance within an organisation. A lot of that content is built around sales and motivational techniques, while less is based on the internal culture and managerial processes to lead sales teams. Why is this data available? How can Sales Managers use it effectively to manage the business?
Where is the data, and where should it be?
One of the answers to that question is that this data is isolated and in the wrong place. It exists within your telephony platform, and requires real effort to extract. A Contact Centre Manager or a Sales Manager’s opportunity to get that data is slim to none.
Number 1, it’s a platform that requires specialist expertise to administer, so often the knowledge in the business doesn’t exist. Secondly, it’s a people problem. The people who manage that system are often far removed from the people that manage sales or contact centre teams.
The data they receive is very rudimentary. Why don’t they understand that I need call abandonment rate? Having this in Salesforce solves this problem. Salesforce admins can write reports in their sleep, you’ve got people with that skill in Salesforce who understand the business.
So combine having the skill of using the reporting engine, and putting that in the hands of people who handle the people facing part of the business. This is a major challenge for businesses.
Sales leaders and team performance management
Sales Managers and Sales Directors often struggle to correctly assess the performance of their teams. A typical scenario in a sales organisation is that the top 10% of the team brings in the majority of the business, the mid range are doing ok and are paying for themselves, while the bottom 10% need to be managed out of the business.
This is often based on sales numbers, and why wouldn’t it be? In the end that’s all it comes down to.
Is it really all about sales numbers?
A more data driven approach to managing the individual’s performance would benefit the company, the sales leader and the sales staff. All companies with a sales team have a CRM system, but sales people are notoriously complacent at entering information into the system.
Also, a lot of staff will be tactical about what they enter into the system to make themselves look as good as possible. Again, why wouldn’t they?
What if the real problem is lack of transparency of day to day performance?
What a sales leader needs is more automated logging of the general activity in the sales team, which will give improved real-time visibility. Developments in telephony technology now enables companies to run their entire telephone system through Salesforce – which gives a sales manager exactly that.
Integrating your telephony with Salesforce will connect all telephone lines (landline and mobile), to Salesforce. This will allow full visibility on:
- Activity: how many calls were made, to who, how did it go?
- Quality of work: all calls are recorded and the sales manager can access them?
- Qualification: how many opportunities were created through these calls?
- Ability to close: sales numbers
Catch poor performers before he or she plows through expensively acquired leads, without the right skills to get the most out of them.
Data driven sales management – every day
Having access to this sort of real-time data will improve the ability to catch poor performance early, be it based on low activity, poor sales numbers or other sticking points. Enabling leaders to then arrange a training session concentrating on the individual sticking points – and this can be implemented much earlier, before the sales representative plows through expensively acquired leads without the right skills to get the most out of them. This will also improve morale, and most importantly, sales numbers.
Moving on from staff management, sales leaders also face the challenge of correctly assessing their pipeline value. Having a 100% global cloud phone system, implemented in the business will offer clear value in terms of benchmarking the sales funnel from suspects/leads, via opportunities to closed won or lost.
Over time, it will be possible to benchmark the individual sales representative when it comes to the percent of the individual leads which make it to the next stage and further down the funnel – making forecasting far more precise.
This provides you with valuable knowledge about the sales team, the market, which products are selling, sticking points and in the end, if you are hitting the numbers. This will support better team morale, better forecasting and in general better sales management.
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