How to get the best ROI from your sales teamWho Are You?This white paper is written for sales team managers. Typically you would be responsible forthe sales budget, hiring, deployment and management of sales resource, preparing sales reportsand ensuring that every effort is made to deliver maximum ROI from your sales budget.We have prepared this white Paper to offer you some practical tips on obtaining maximum ROI from your salesteam. Our goal is simple: To supply your Sales team with their greatest asset. Offering an elite team of Salesman’s PA’s who will take away all the tasks that prevent them from smashing their targets month on month, year on year. Consequently, your team will deliver maximum productivity and results in the form of boosted sales wins, making them super-efficient, super motivated sellersHow will this boost your business?Throughout this White Paper you will notice that the emphasis is always onkeeping the salesman in front of your customers, pitching closing and winningbusiness. We focus strongly on “tuning out the noise” and any distractions thatcan easily clutter up their job specs if allowed to. Thus transforming your salesteam into an elite team of focused sellers. It is a fact that decent sales resource does not come cheap. As the “first voice of the company” Sales people also need to be well trained and versed in your company, and product before they can truly evangelise your message, all of this takes time and significant investment. We therefore strongly encourage you to stop thinking of your sales team as an “army of soldiers on the battlefield” and start thinking of them as an
elite team of navy seals to be strategically deployed when necessary. In fact, by harnessing some of themethods we suggest here it may even be possible to have a smaller but more efficient sales team.Stop making sellers do admin and tasks that sap morale.Sales people in general tend to have the same bug bears about theirjobs.No surprises here but if you take a senior level salesman and make himdo cold calls all day long and nothing else pretty soon he will leave. Itmakes good sense to analyse their role and try to minimise or spreadout the unpleasant parts. There are many excellent lead generationoptions available that will reduce cold calling for example. Diary Management & Travel Travel can also be challenging. Many sales people for example hate having to wait 3 hours in an airport for a meeting in another airport that takes just half an hour. A dedicated diary management resource could be one option. Also being sympathetic to their needs when asking them to travel and trying to minimise travel times etc. Offering access to video conference equipment is also a great option.Put the sales cycle on speedMany businesses have long slow complex sales cycles that can die a death half waythrough. What is the best way to keep your seller motivated during this long salescycle?Set the expectations. Sellers do not often see much further than the commissioncheque and if they expect it sooner than it comes, disappoint sets in. Avoid this bysetting the expectations accordingly. Do everything you can to speed up the sales cycle, for example, cut down on the lead gen phase by fast forwarding some leads through the door. If the value of each sale is very high try to insert project milestone incentivesalong the way at agreed success points, this gives them something tangible to work towards. Like this:
Example of Sales TimelinePreparation is key Give them all the tools they need for selling When leads come in do your sellers have everything they need to respond to them? It is the role of the marketing function to ensure that the sellers are equipped with tailored proposals that are up to date and fully support the sellers. Do they have up to date business cards? If your company uses printed materials like brochures, do they have a ready supply? Time kills all deals, so if the sellers have to wait for information to be prepared they run the risk of the hard won lead going cold. Contacts Fuel the FireSo you hired a super sales guy with tonnes of contacts, so he should be ableto generate his own leads and contacts? Right?? Wrong!!What normally happens is that you seller will join the company and merrilyskip through their own network and approach everyone with youropportunity. After a while these contacts will run out and they will need afresh stack of contacts.It is important that you do not look upon this negatively, and have a strategy in place ready to deliverthese leads when the time comes.This is the time when you need to fuel the fire and keep more fresh contacts coming into your seller.This ensures that the sales cycle does not slow down or fall flat. Your Salesman’s PA can conduct datamining and market segmentation to ensure that there is always a steady stream of contacts for them toattack.
Strategic deployment ~ minimise adminIt does not make sense to interview, hire, train and pay sellers a premiumwage and then constantly make them do simple admin work which isequivalent to the minimum wage.If you pay a sales person £100k per annum, (and the same again incommissions) then keep him focused on doing what you pay him for. Givehim as much marketing and admin support he needs to do his job well.Strip out his job spec as much as possible to keep him focused on selling.It is a well-known fact that most sellers salivate at the mouth when given the opportunity to closewarm leads. In fact they positively live for it. So motivate them by keeping them focused on that andnot making them do any admin. The golden rule ~ Keep sellers in front of the customer. Recruit the right peopleThis is an obvious one but many people miss it. Start thinking of your sellers as a supremely trained,elite fighting force. When recruiting sellers many people request “some-one young and hungry” only tofind that the spotty kid does not have the senior contacts, lacks impact and credibility in front ofclients and just does not cut it.It sounds cliché but for the most part successful selling really is all in the rolodex. What are theircontacts like? At what level are their contacts? Are they just name dropping or do they really knowthese people enough to leverage a sales relationship?How to interview a slippery sellerNow is also the time to scrutinise those resumes. Have your HR guy or a trustedrecruiter do it. Under close scrutiny a career expert will always find the blemisheson the “flawless” CV. Performing the exercise above will allow you to walk into the interview room poised and 100% ready to ask the difficult questions. Every experienced seller will have their “skeletons in the closet” and “can open, worms everywhere subjects” so make sure you ask those up front and get them out of the way.
Interview like a HR ProThe usual sticky subjects are reasons for leaving, whythey didn’t hit their sales target etc. Your objective isalways to get under their skin, catch them off guardand let the dirty secrets pop out. Try to leave longgaps in the dialogue, speak less, and listen more. Trysmiling and nodding a lot so they feel more at ease.Encourage them to relax and be friendly. Ask openquestions. Let them ramble on when there is silence.All these tricks usually let Pandora out of the box withrelative ease. Reading a sellers CV – It’s all about the numbersGood sellers should always measure themselves in numbers.Those headline figures of achievement should be there like a common thread weaving the whole CVtogether and hitting you in the face with their success. If the numbers don’t add up, why not? Or if one is missing, why is it missing? Obviously you are looking for a solid record of success here that progresses and builds year on year. But the perfect sales CV is a common fallacy, every seller will miss their numbers during their career for one reason or another. The usual reasons are, the economy, unrealistic sales target, mid-year changes to the sales plan etc. The point is there should be a reason. Analyse their personalityMost sellers have certain personality traits. They are almost universaland the true common denominator amongst sellers. When conductingthe hiring process it is easy to uncover people who are literally“natural born sellers” and those who are sheep in wolves clothing.The easiest way to do this is to perform personality testing. It isusually a short 40 question form to fill out answering controlquestions that will give you a clear indication of their personalitytype. This type of analysis will clearly tell you if they can handle the
rigours of the job. For example, how do they deal with rejection? Do they take offense easily? Are theytenacious and bounce back easily.Harness Social Media ~ Personal Rapport building But you already pay a bunch of money to the marketing guys to promote your company’s social media, so why invest more in your sales peoples too? Build personal rapport ~ Simply put, sellers need to be approachable, they need to be found. Not just within your company, but personally.“People buy from people. Normally people theyknow and like”…………………..Why is this? By putting themselves out there into the realm of social media they can make themselves more personable. They can also start more conversations about business with greater ease. Also when leads do come in they tend to be warmer, this is because the person making the enquiry has already taken the time to look this person up on line and find out a bit about them. So when theydo eventually take the plunge and decide to call them up, they already have some common ground toleverage.As a good starting point it would be good to do a review of all your sales people andensure that they are “wired for sound” in social media terms, that would include:Facebook, (business profile, not personal, with all privacy settings open for contact) Twitter, set it up to take minimum effort to update it. There are lots of apps to make it super easy. Set Twitter up to copy over to your sales persons profile page on your website too. Set Twitter up to update Facebookautomatically and Linked in.Linked in, an up to date key worded profile is priceless. Also encourage them to use asmany apps as they can to promote the company.They can add presentations, they can add documents, proposals, white papers, up to 3company website links etc to their company business profile. Ensure that they are maximising this“prime real estate” There are also a number of excellent software programmes that will auto add targeted Twitter followers. This is basically building a small highly targeted channel that is free to advertise, network and promote your product. The cost involved in doing this exercise are small, but the benefits are big. Twitter is a really good way to push up business
enquiries and start meaningful business conversations.Your Salesman’s PA is trained in all aspects of social media, set up, keywords, optimisation, maintenance,she is your best asset in creating personal rapport for your sellers.Personal Profile Your sellers are your company’s prime real estate. They are literally the voice of your company and the first point of contact for valuable sales enquiries. Therefore it is important that they are presented in the most approachable way. I recommend that every seller has their own dedicated profile page on your company website. Showcasing them in this manner will help in many ways. It could become their own personal landing page for a senior level B2B introductions campaign. It could be the link at the bottom of their auto sig. Itadds credibility to be anchored as a solid business reference within your company. It also turns coldleads into warm leads, because people already feel like they know you before they pick up the phone.This business profile should also include their current status (from twitter feed) and their personalcontact details, plus any blogs etc if they have that.Personal Introductions Campaign on Auto PilotThis is not marketing, and it is not simply an automated e-mailcampaign. This is about leveraging the world’s most powerful businessnetwork to make senior level B2B introductions from one person toanother.Now let’s not mince words here, but any sales person can use theLinked in network to do the above, but how many sales people havetime or remember to do it in a structured disciplined way?We propose a laser targeted introductions campaign that is fully managed by your Salesman’s PA onauto pilot. Even inbound enquiries can be qualified to save the sales person time.Appointment Setting What could motivate a sales person more than a diary full of sales appointments? Appointment setting has the added advantage of being guaranteed lead generation for a set cost. So you know exactly what you will spend and what you will receive. Appointment setting is a targeted lead generation campaign based on the phone. It starts with a contact list and from then on is called and B2B appointments are set. The diary is managed and appointments are added to the CRM. Your Salesman’s PAcan also call up warm sales enquiries for you, she can seamlessly convert these into sales meetings foryou.
Call answeringNo-one is 100% available all the time, but a business enquiry that goes call answering to voicemailhas a much reduced conversion rate. Therefore access to a personal or messaging service is highlyrecommended. These services are relatively cheap and boost the likelihood of the hard won prospectenquiry leaving a usable message.The Salesman’s PA is a new concept, offeringthe call answering and B2B appointmentssetting service all rolled into one. She is alsoavailable to undertake admin tasks asnecessary. The main benefits are that yoursalesperson only focuses on selling and remainssuper focused.The added sales benefit of having a human answer calls goes way beyond warmth creation andfriendly rapport. The Salesman’s PA is trained to get all relevant contact information out of the callerand turn them into a valuable sales lead. She does everything possible to turn them into a sales lead.“Your Salesman’s PA fights to boost your conversion ratesin every conceivable way. She is the Salesman’s bestadvocate and secret weapon to smashing their target.”Translate Marketing Sellers are usually very direct people. Don’t overload them with information they don’t need. For example the rift between marketing and sales can be overcome by taking all the marketing info and translating it into sales terms. Sellers are usually only interested in leads and lead gen and how the marketing campaign results in leads and of what quality those leads will be and the likelihood that they will convert etc. So cut out all the marketing fluff and say it directly.Reliable CRMs make reporting easyRegular review of your CRM program is essential. If it is over complicated, eatstime, is unreliable etc it is time for a change. How much does that cost to yourbusiness in real terms, not to mention the fact that it lowers morale. The idealCRM is not overly complex and is ideally adapted for each department’s
differing needs. Also does your CRM adapt to include social media? Does it have any facility for socalled lead nurturing?How about your CRM reporting? Is all the information already inputted onto the system? Is it simply an admin task to pull it all off the system in the form of a targeted report? Well if it is an admin task, have a trained admin expert manage it.Personalised IncentivesPlanning of a comprehensive incentive package that actuallymotivates sellers is challenging. But it may help to think outsidethe box. First of all ask them what motivates them, every personwill be different. Also try not to think in linear terms. Anincentive does not have to be a tangible thing. For example howabout an incentive that serves 2 purposes – why not offer themthe opportunity to have more help smashing their targets andmaximise all their commissions? Why not offer them various new measures that will help supportthem more, make them more efficient and allow them to cut down on doing the unpleasant parts of thejob like cold calling etc? Lead qualificationTuning out the noise.~ Show me the money!! Any type of social mediaactivity, B2B introductions campaign or online activity will generate spam. Itis unavoidable. The most challenging thing therefore for the busy seller ishow to tune out all the noise and just listen out to the leads. Here is theanswer. It is impossible. If there was a software programme or action scriptthat could automatically filter through the various social media inboxes andcream off the leads I would probably be redundant by now. However at thistime such does not exist, therefore it is 100% a manual job. Now here lies the challenge, we have saidabove that social media is good for sellers, and helps convert cold leads into warm ones. But we havealso said that they should avoid doing lowly admin tasks that waste their very costly time. So how toachieve a balance?The easiest way is to have an admin person regularly enter the accounts, clear out spam and sendthrough leads. This is a fully managed service which ensures that all inboxes are taken care of and theseller only receives relevant contacts. These should always be presented in a spreadsheet or CRMformat, or more ideally input directly onto the spreadsheet and sent on a calling list.
Harness buzz marketing Buzz marketing is what won IBM the war when they first launched. Even though they were smaller and had less money than their competitors. Basically all their employees were well treated, well supported and firmly encouraged to speak highly of the company to all their friends, family and business contacts. This inward recommendation is phenomenally powerful as it is one of the most sincere recommendations you can get. Why not encourage all employees but especially sales people to do this?Feel good factorSales is a job with ups and downs, the highs can be intoxicating and the lows canbe brutal. Every now and again there is always need for an injection of positivity.Why not organize the motivational seminar that serves no other purpose than togive your sellers a boost of positivity? A relatively easy day that is well preparedand makes them think outside the box about things and gives them a welldeserved boost of sunshine. A simple Linked in search reveals literally hundredsof motivational speakers with great recommendations as well as life coaches etc.Many struggle to find work from time to time and offer good discounts, so whynot hire one for a small fee. It is a low cost way to boost morale and inject somebuzz into your sales team.Analyse and strip out their job description In depth analysis of a job description and day to day processes is priceless in order to eliminate weaknesses. How is this done? Start with a piece of blank paper and draw out a rough flow chart of processes from enquiry to fulfilment. This should encompass all conceivable responsibilities. When this exercise is finished you can draw them up neatly on a PowerPoint flow chart to focus your mind. As you perform this task youwill analyse the various duties. The objective here is to strip out tasks that eats time,find easier solutions and work around any bottle necks.Any tasks in the salesman’s job spec that could be perceived to be a simple admin taskshould be outsourced to some-one who is highly trained. The goal with our sellers is tokeep them streamlined, super efficient and always available to meet with customersand win business.
Services we offerSalesman’s PA offers a range of services that are specifically designed with Sales people in mind. Call Lead Personal Answering Generation Marketing Campaign * Activities Daily Status Social Media Growth of Updates Management Business Networks Online Expense Sales Presence, Report Appointment personal Submission Setting branding & Rapport Building Sales Lead Acknowledge Target Qualification Sales Leads Market Segmentation Analysis Sales Cycle CRM Sales Report Admin Maintenance ProductionCall our friendly team to see how we can help you smashyour target today! 0208 123 0453 firstname.lastname@example.org