Posted by: Kristi Shoemaker, VP Marketing, EcSELL Institute
Our July webinar instructor, Ellen Bristol of Bristol Strategy Group, shared some important lessons in "sales management plumbing". She showed us how to identify sales productivity leaks and how to plug the leaks. This sales performance research was based on the Leaky Bucket Sales Productivity Assessment. This Assessment measures nine different sales force management practices, each of which either contributes to, or inhibits, the productivity of the individual sales rep, sales team, or the entire sales organization as a whole. TAKE THE ASSESSEMENT TO SEE YOUR OWN RESULTS!
CLICK HERE to request a copy of the research results of the Leaky Bucket Sales Performance Productivity Assessment. (PDF FILE)
Following is a summary of the information provided in our July Sales Management Webinar.
CUSTOMER RETENTION BEST PRACTICE:
- Give Sales Reps documented targets for retaining current customers, include incentives
- Ask your Sales Reps to make sure they know this activity is a priority. Ask them:
What is your account-retention target?
Do you understand how you are incented for new customer acquistion?
- Don't assume!
QUALIFYING ACCOUNT CRITERIA BEST PRACTICES
- Document the criteria
- Qualify the account/company before the opportunity/individual
- Make sure sales reps use the same criteria. Consistency!
- Include qualitative information or "value exchange" in qualifying criteria
- Coach sales reps to use the criteria properly
ACCOUNT DEVELOPMENT BEST PRACTICES
- Establish targets for cross-sell and up-sell for current customers
- Establish the practice of conducting annual account reviews with all major accounts
SALES SUPPORT BEST PRACTICE
- Provide dedicated support for demand generation, proposal development, post-sales service and support, credit and collections.
- If/when dedicated support is not possible, adjust expectations
DOWNTIME BEST PRACTICE
- Discourage "work until you drop" heroism
- Sales people MUST take any/all vacation time accrued
- "Sharpen the Saw"
SALES METRICS BEST PRACTICES
- Use more leading indicators such as:
Number of suspects that convert to sales leads
Number of times prospects tell you what they want or need
Number of times prospects state they are interested in a proposal
ADVANCED SALES METRICS BEST PRACTICES
- Define sales stages by buyer behavior
- Measure "number of occurrences" PLUS "dollars in the door"
- Use converstion ratios
- Measure the same thing the same way every time
- Watch for trends
- Results are just results. Coach for behavior.
NON-PRODUCTIVE SALES REPS BEST PRACTICES
- ASK: Does the sales rep know HOW to do the job?
- ASK: Does the sales rep WANT to do the job?
- ASK: Does the sales rep UNDERSTAND the metrics that define the job?
- ASK: Are you using the RIGHT methods, tools, reports to lock in best practices and the right behavior?
- Consider the shelf life of products, skills, and training
- LAST: Fire the sales rep
The Leaky Bucket Sales Performance and Sales Productivity Assessment provides the details around the nine areas of sales management and the associated best practices.
HOW DO YOU IDENFIFY YOUR SALES PRODUCTIVITY LEAKS?
I invite you to check out next month's Sales Management Webinar held on August 23 at 10 pst / 12 cst / 1 est.
Combining people, processes, and technology to deliver higher win rates and better revenue predictability. Stated simply: How Sales Managers need to USE and COMMUNICATE the data from your sales pipeline management system to be a more effective sales coach. LEARN MORE...