Sales is notoriously a competitive and challenging industry and when targets are not met management aren’t slow to ask why. Normal excuses might be rehashed; competition, price, market conditions and lack of selling skills. But do you really know what the issue is and are you really understanding why targets are being missed, asks Peter Heredia, Managing Director, Max Sales Solutions.

What isn’t measured cannot be managed

This is especially true in sales but are you clear on which key selling activities are driving your business today? If not then you need to know immediately. Obviously, by increasing activities in these key areas you will almost always deliver significantly improved results.

Sales automation can ensure that you get visibility of sales activity and provide the information needed to make good decisions. It is critical that good salespeople and good sales managers understand what activity delivers the best results. Manage these activities well and you will never have to explain a missed target again.

Why are you missing targets in the first place?

The following are some common non sales skill related problems to watch out for:

· Insufficient active opportunities being worked on

· Too many non revenue generating calls are being made

· Excessive time is spent on low value opportunities

· Sales people are staying in their customer comfort zone

In our experience we regularly come across organisations that buy super sales systems complete with all the “bells and whistles” and who then use less than 10% of its functionality. Many others abandon the systems shortly after implementation, or, use only core functionality that normally isn’t about increasing sales efficiency and effectiveness.

You need to have a system in place to provide effective visibility on all sales activities and then managing these activities will drive your sales success. But make sure that implementing automation doesn’t become the project – it’s all about increasing sales.

Automating your sales team

- Understand what the issues are that you are trying to fix before you automate

- User acceptance can be an issue; discuss with and involve the sales team throughout

- Data entry must be minimal; sales people don’t like admin and you want them on the road – you want maximum input from minimum input

- Web based versus hosting on own server – our experience shows that keeping it simple is best. Server based is quicker, easier and can still be accessed over the Internet

- Align your automation with your own sales process (make sure that your process is effective)

- All key activities need to be readily visible, preferably in a dashboard for at for all to see all of the time

- Must provide effective management of the sales pipeline

About

Peter Heredia is the Managing Director of Max Sales Solutions. He has worked with sales teams around the globe for more than two decades and has worked in the Middle East for the last ten years.

If you would like to talk to Peter about your sales team then please contact him on peter@maxsalesolutions.com

Related posts:

  1. Finding that inspirational sales leader
  2. Sales recruitment and hiring your way to success
  3. Blast from the past
  4. Focusing your sales team on the right activities