Most sales compensation is linked to closing deals; and the bigger the better. In an ideal world, the sales team are spending as much time hunting as they are closing. However the reality is that most of a salesperson’s time is spent on anything but hunting and closing the big deals; there is also the daily admin and lower-value tasks that come with the role.
Once a business relationship has been established (the big deal has been closed) you’ll inevitably move into maintenance mode. This is the period between the big sales where all the repetitious and volume transactions happen. This period is where responsiveness, quality and timeliness of execution are even more important in order to stay front and centre in your customers’ minds.
There’s a natural tension between these peaks and troughs, and whilst critically important, the lower-value tasks are simply not as motivational to the sales team.
In order to get the sales team focused on the big stuff, you need to remove the day-to-day noise as much as possible. So here are some simple ways to seek and destroy menial tasks:
Take a typical sales team work day and map out the high-value vs. low-value tasks undertaken. High-value tasks are linked directly to revenue (and commission), low-value tasks are all the supporting tasks which are just as important, but do not have a direct bearing on meeting budget.
Find the manual processes
Assess each task for time spent, opportunity value ($) and level of manual effort required. Manual efforts are things like copy and pasting between systems, requesting pricing from suppliers, building sales proposals etc. We’ve come across companies where there are people employed full-time to copy and paste from emails into other systems. All day! We guarantee you’ll no doubt see patterns.
Eliminate errors with automation
It has never been easier to integrate systems. Most companies have embraced modern cloud/SaaS software but forgot to update their processes to make use of all the wonderful integration tools that come with it. Almost every core action has an integration point. For example, a sales proposal can be built from pulling in supplier pricing, applying a predetermined margin, attaching prepared marketing material and including standard terms and conditions. Likewise the (electronic) acceptance, inventory management, upstream ordering and invoicing of said proposal can all be automated as well. We’d know, as we’ve done this countless times.
It’s important to remember that salespeople are here to close deals. Automate the ‘day-to-day noise’ away from them and you’ll get better margins and happier customers in return.
Need help? Then talk to us about where you need to improve your sales automation.