This article is going to address some numbers that most salespeople and business owners overlook. But, these are truly the vital numbers, or metrics, that will spell tremendous success for you and/or your team in 2015. Most of us recall the old mantra of “calls plus demos equals sales”. And, that’s true, but it is not as effective a philosophy today as it was back in the last century.
You see, the buying process has changed tremendously during the past ten or twenty years. But, the selling process hasn’t kept pace. If you want to manage yourself and/or your team to optimum sales success in 2015, here are the steps that you should take.
- Selling time: Make sure you remove any and all non-sales tasks from your sales team. After all, salespeople can’t sell while they’re doing administrative paperwork. Nor can they sell while they’re correcting mistakes made by other people on your team. Remember, the average American business-to-business salesperson spends 34% of their day doing non-sales tasks. By reducing the volume of non-sales tasks, your team will have more selling time. More selling time equals more sales.
- Shorten the sales cycle: Very few of us take into consideration the total time required to get one new account. In the traditional process, this time includes prospecting (a.k.a. searching for someone who wants to buy now), follow-up, repeat visits, proposal writing, demonstrations, you name it. All of this time should be aggregated in order to determine the total length of your sales cycle. As you’re aggregating this time, take a look at the task associated with the time. For instance, why do salespeople have to prospect?
That’s right; I know the question in the previous paragraph will seem like blasphemy to many of you. But, in the 21st century, prospecting utilizing tactics and techniques from the 20th century is, without a doubt, one of the least productive and least profitable activities a salesperson can undertake. Yet and still, management insists on X number of calls per salesperson, per day. We believe it’s far more effective to have someone other than your salesperson do that prospecting.
- Utilize automation tools: Your website should have a visitor identification package attached to it. You should also utilize autoresponders. CRM can be a wonderful tool if, and only if, it’s properly implemented and training is maintained. Closed-loop marketing can and should be automated, as it will help you stay in touch with hundreds of prospects and give them each of them the perception that you are reaching out to them one at a time. As a matter of fact, the Aberdeen research group published a study indicating that closed-loop marketing, in and of itself, will increase the top line of a sales force by 36%.
The watchword for 2015 is time. Let’s get rid of all of the old habits, tactics and techniques that reduce the amount of selling time. Increase sales time and hold yourself and/or your team accountable for using that time to pursue incremental opportunities, and you will see a staggering improvement in your top line in 2015. As always, I wish you…
Good Luck and Good Selling!!!
Sales Acceleration Coach