Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Sales Accountability: Using Technology to Refine the Sales Process

A recent study released by Accenture and CSO Insights discussed the cost of mediocre sales performance. Sales managers, according to the research, tend to focus on the top-selling sales reps and their worst-performing reps, looking for behaviors that are most significantly impacting the bottom line.

However, while the top 20 percent of the sales force tend to generate 60 percent of the revenue, there is a widely ignored “frozen middle” that could be ripe for growth. Sales managers tend to ignore this group, because they make very little noise and don’t cause trouble. They bring in average growth, but the gap between average and significant is a big area of opportunity for companies. While these sales reps comprise 65 to 70 percent of the sales force, they bring in only 40 percent of sales.

One of the areas that could be addressed to change the middle performers into great sales reps is sales accountability. By tracking the behaviors that lead to a contract or a closed sale, sales managers can determine a set of best practices and implement a repeatable sales process that can be used to refine activities and drive growth.

Sales accountability requires the right technology to be optimized. Sales managers must have mobile customer relationship management (CRM) tools to track sales behaviors. Consider these factors when you seek to turn average performers into great sales reps:

Keep Your Mobile CRM Simple to Encourage Compliance
You can’t track your sales reps’ behaviors to establish a set sales process unless you have data to work with. You won’t have good data unless your sales reps are using the tool. So avoid the pitfalls of an overly customized system or an entry process that gets your sales reps bogged down in filling out too many fields. Choose a few critical pieces of information you want, and create a CRM entry that requires only a few seconds to complete, and you will have your sales reps on board.

Identify Best Practices
You know who your top-performing reps are. With a good CRM, you can quickly drill down your data to determine which activities are leading to a closed sale. You may find that in your industry there is a particular combination of social media contact, in-person calls and emails that tend to result in a sale, for instance.

Develop a Repeatable Sales Process
In order to have sales accountability, your sales reps must know what is expected of them. If you have a documented sales process and your reps know the steps to work through the process, you will be able to create a setting where all of your reps are using the tools and behaviors that have proven successful for your company.

After You Have Tracked Behaviors, Decide What You Want to Improve
Don’t try to improve everything at once. Keep sales accountability as an ongoing initiative, not as a short-term project. Once you have some data, and you have identified your sales process, you can use the information for sales meetings to highlight or troubleshoot particular areas. New sales reps can be trained to adhere to the sales process and you can quickly identify behaviors that need additional training by accessing CRM sales reports.

Front Row Solutions is a provider of mobile CRM tools that drive growth and increase sales accountability for your sales organization. Call us today to discuss the customized system that we can implement in your company.