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Boost Sales With Activity Management
High-performing sales teams are good at doing one thing. That is focusing on the business’ sales activities to hit their projected quota.
However, drafting a robust and consistent sales strategy isn’t an easy feat. Only a handful of sales managers with vast experience tend to get it right.
The other challenge is that sales managers spend a significant amount of time doing administrative tasks. As a result, they will only use 35% of their time managing sales activities.
And this is an issue caused by the lack of clearly defined sales objectives.
In this article, we will define sales activity management, get to know why it’s critical for your team, and how it can help boost your revenue.
What Is Sales Activity Management?
Sales activity management is simply rearranging specific sales activities for your sales team. These changes are meant to position your team to land more deals by selling smarter.
A robust sales activity management should comprise three processes:
- Identifying suitable sales activities for your team.
- Creating a competitive environment for your members.
- Tracking the performance of every member.
Now, note that this activity isn’t an excuse for sales managers to micromanage reps. Instead, it is an excellent way for you and your team to find pipeline leaks and analyze the activity of the entire sales team.
Many managers are embracing technology to boost productivity. As sales activity management becomes more technology-oriented, it’s no surprise that more managers are looking for ways to motivate, monitor, and track their teams.
Effective Sales Activity Management Strategies
When managers have high growth expectations, they instinctively search for ways to increase their sales teams’ productivity.
Some will hire more talent. Others will fire less performing reps hoping the remaining team members will hit their quota soon.
But there is no secret sauce to achieving your sales revenue goals. If you want to boost sales, you need to plan an effective management activity and execute it.
Below are a few strategies that can help you out.
1. Evaluating Your Sales Team
To develop a great plan, you will need to analyze your sales department to identify skill set gaps. Here’s a list of the few areas you’d want to consider focusing on:
Product knowledge - Do your team members have the requisite expertise and knowledge of how your product can help your customers? And can they communicate those benefits effectively? Consultative selling skills- Does the team have the right skill sets to add value to your sales processes? In short, can they open dialogue and provide solutions to a customer’s needs?
Interpersonal and communication skills - Sales reps must know how to communicate effectively to close deals. You’ll check if they have mastered the art of sales communication. Teach those who don’t possess the skill. The more they practice, the more they’ll get better at it.
CRM tool results - If all the above processes have failed to provide feasible information, you would like to leverage your CRM software. It gives you access to a wide range of information like your reps' sales goals and results.
2. Developing Onboarding Programs
If you are adding new sales talent, consider developing onboarding programs that’ll suck new employees into your system. A great onboarding program will often include:
Product training - Training should focus on the features of the business’ services and products and how all these features can help the customer.
Competitive landscape - A competitive landscape is an analysis that identifies your competitors. It seeks to reveal the competitor’s mission, goals, strengths, niche market, and weaknesses.
And truth be told, your sales reps need this information to know who they are up against. Furthermore, the data helps your marketing team develop strategies that make sense for your company.
Consultative sales training - Training programs should be in the form of customized workshops relevant to the industry. Once done, give your reps ample time to practice the skills they’ve learned before they start selling.
CRM training - It is critical to capture your sales team’s activities and results so that you can monitor and analyze their performance. This will help you understand the actions that were taking place between your sales reps and customers.
3. Managing Sales Performance
Last but not least, don’t ignore the importance of managing performance with ongoing coaching programs. It’s much easier to rectify mistakes and issues at the beginning of the year than later. Since you want your team to achieve its full potential, you must know how to provide sales coaching, identify areas that need improvement, and manage performance.
Moreover, you must keep in mind that all sales reps come across internal and external challenges. It’s up to you to inspire, motivate and lead them. Besides, that’s why you are their leader in the first place.
Benefits of Tracking Sales Activity
So, how can you benefit from sales activity management? And how does it come to play when you want to proliferate your ROI?
Production of high-performing sales reps - Sales representatives who spend four or more hours a day on sales-related activities perform better than those who do it for less than three hours.
Clearer expectations boost productivity - Reps who know what’s required of them perform much better and take the initiative to work without waiting for your directions.
A better understanding of the weaknesses and strengths of your sales reps - After determining the key sales activities, managers and team leaders can help train and coach their sales representatives to bring positive results.
Using information to improve sales processes - Once you’ve found out which sales activities help boost sales, you can optimize and shift your sales procedures to concentrate only on the things that improve revenue.
Identify the sales activities that impact revenue - Start by comparing sales processes and activities with the conversion rates and overall results. You’ll quickly know what sales activities help close deals.
How to Implement Your Sales Activity Management
Here are a few ways you can implement this type of management with your team.
1. Assigning Sales Territories
If you want to maximize sales productivity, you’ll need to channel every member of your team to the right areas.
Sales territories help you to come up with customer segmentation for your team with clear boundaries. To do this, divide your territory in terms of geography or optics like product type, referral source, and sales potential.
With clear-cut sales territories, you will spread workloads evenly while addressing the wants and needs of the assigned markets.
2. Real-Time Tracking of Your Team
To make your work easy, you’d want to use one CRM tool to track all your team member’s activities.
A CRM is convenient as your team will log in and out every day to complete their activities. It becomes easy to track their movement in real-time.
For example, you can use location verification tags which will show you the location of your team through pins on a map. This means you can schedule what places your team should focus on. Some CRM also comes with activity overview reports. The feature will notify you when a member of your team closes a sale. You can also customize the feature to see the activities you want to see.
3. Tracking Performance Using Leaderboards
A majority of your sales team members want to hit their sales quota soonest.
To stir up the competition within the team, sales managers use leaderboards. These are software applications used to track a sales team’s performance against business goals and targets.
With an effective leaderboard and a perfect culture to back it up, you will seamlessly create an environment where your team takes responsibility for their sales metrics.
Unlike most sales managers, you won’t have to reprimand your team for not hitting their quota. You’d want to take a different approach altogether. Instead of “punishing” the less performing team members, you’d rather give them extra support sooner and reward those who perform better.
4. Forecast Growth
Forecast growth is the act of predicting future sales by doing an in-depth analysis of your past sales data.
You get to scrape through all the nitty-gritty details of your team’s past performance and extract valuable data you can leverage.
The information you get comes in handy when you want to make critical decisions that can change the trajectory of your sales. It will also help you to avoid making mistakes you have made in your past sales process.
Sales activity management is a vital part of increasing sales revenue in a business. You may have a sales team that’s producing results and working efficiently.
However, you’ll need to dive deeper using sales management if you want to answer the hard questions.
Effective sales management needs the human touch. But there are many areas where technology can do the work.
Automated processes are always a plus. Knocking on doors with a briefcase and clipboard is a thing of the past. Using sales management software will help you achieve your goals much faster.
If you think that hiring a sales representative is as easy as cooking a batch of chocolate chip cookies, you are making a mistake that may be very costly. Learn why.