5 signs your sales team has efficiency problems
This post is authored by Dave Stachura, Accent's Director of Sales Enablement Consulting.
Put your thinking cap on for a moment. I’m going to ask you a question, and I want you to really evaluate your answer. Is your sales process inefficient?
You may not have a clear answer. That’s okay. Hopefully, after reading this article, you’ll be able to answer definitively.
Inefficiency within your sales team can mean a lot of bad things for your company… higher operational costs, lower win rates, an increase in sales rep turnover… Yeah, bad things.
But when you look at it from the other side, you find that improving efficiency means very good things for your company. To put it simply, what happens when you improve sales efficiency is that sales capacity increases, meaning that each sales person is able to execute more sales activities.
Think of all the advances in sales efficiency that have already happened. Computers, phones, pagers, mobile phones, internet, email, smart phones, CRM, SAM… More advances are coming every year, but it’s important to keep in mind that it’s not just technology that drives efficiencies.
So how do you improve sales efficiency? It boils down to three things: eliminating time wasters, streamlining processes and finding efficiencies to leverage.
Those negative company outcomes I mentioned earlier can often be difficult to tie to specific sources. Was it really an area of inefficiency, or did the deal fail to close simply because the buyer liked our competitor’s product better? Difficult, but not impossible.
Consider these 5 signs of sales inefficiency:
1) Reps don’t take all their assigned training
Try as you may, your efforts to get your sales reps to do sales training aren’t working. Sales reps aren’t leaping at the chance to learn to sell better.
2) CRM data is often incomplete or not entered at all
Your team is struggling with low sales adoption, inaccurate or incomplete information, or data that’s missing altogether.
3) Reps don’t use new content
Your reps are ignoring the latest and greatest content supplied by marketing or sales support, and instead just use and reuse whatever they already have.
4) They find excuses for not doing any sales skills practice and coaching
Just like training, sales practice and coaching always seems to get pushed aside.
5) Reps are complaining
Here’s the most common complaint you probably hear: ”Would you rather me do this or be in front of customers?”
Here’s the background behind sales inefficiency symptoms
If you don’t give sales reps enough time to sell, they’ll take it where they can find it. The pressure of quota means many sales people will seek their own shortcuts to maximize their selling time.
- Sales reps might find sales training and coaching valuable, but when compared to actually spending time selling, those sessions are always going to get put on the backburner.
- When sales reps don’t see value in entering data into CRM (and with good reason), you’re going to have a hard time convincing them that it’s a better use of their time than interacting with customers.
- If content isn’t super easy to find and use, sales reps are going to default to the content they already know about.
How to fix sales inefficiency
If you identify that your sales team has efficiency problems, the obvious next step is to fix it. Start by doing a survey of how your sales team spends its time, and then follow this 4-step process to eliminate inefficiencies, consolidate your resources and tools, streamline your sales process and maximize customer-facing activities.
For more information about methods to improve sales efficiency, check out this quick online guide. It’ll go through common strategies and tools you can start leveraging now.
This topic was originally covered in Accent’s free webinar, “Sales Enablement vs. Sales Prevention: Which are You Doing?” The full webinar is available to watch on demand here.