Regardless of your industry, you’re probably invested in helping your sales team optimize its performance. Ultimately, we need our teams to hit their quotas and perform at their peak. So how do you help your team get more time back in order to exceed quota?
Jason Loh visits The Sales Evangelist podcast today to help us understand how to make the best use of our time and to help us understand the value of time. When we do, we can help our sales teams get more time back to exceed quota.
Jason is the global head of sales solutions for Anaplan, a software vendor that is pioneering a category of connected planning. Anaplan seeks to bring together people with data in order to help organizations better manage their business.
What is the value of time?
Sellers do best when they have clear marching orders.
Sometimes the problem emerges at the end of Q4 when an organization is moving into a new fiscal year. Sellers don’t always know whether they are supposed to sell into the same accounts they sold into the last year.
While the company cleans house at the end of a fiscal year, very often the sellers find themselves with a nebulous period of time. They could spend as many as two or three months waiting to see what comes next.
If sellers don’t have a clear sense of what they should be doing, uncertainty causes them to hesitate. By the time the organization gains its footing for the new fiscal year, the company has lost two months’ worth of time, which means it has to complete 12 months’ worth of selling in only 10 months.
One of the first thing sales reps want to know when they begin a new job is how they’ll be compensated. If their compensation will rely on productivity, it’s in their best interest to make the most of their time.
How can teams get more time back?
Sales leaders can’t simply expect sellers to figure things out. Instead, they have to set a good example and get the house in order to remove roadblocks to success and empower their sellers.
Identify the top three things for the upcoming fiscal year.
You must make sure that your organization’s plan correlates to how you’re designing your compensation plans. Without an extra incentive to drive your reps to accomplish those goals, how will you expect them to accomplish those three things? Furthermore, why are you incentivizing things that don’t match your company’s top three goals?
So often there’s a disconnect between senior leadership and the sellers, so people are scratching their heads wondering why things aren’t matching up.
How does a lack of goal setting affect organizations?
The Alexander Group reports that 81 percent of organizations don’t have their comp plans connected to their sales team’s marching orders.
Jason says there are things organizations can control, and things they can’t control. Your organization should do its best to control things like marching orders and sales plans because those things are well within your control.
Things like employee turnover are completely outside your organization’s control and they can present a significant challenge.
How do you effectively plan for the hiring process of bringing on a new rep, ramping for a period of time, covering for employees who are absent for a period of time, all while still managing the entire process?
What platforms and technologies should my sales team be using?
From a seller or sales rep’s perspective, CRM is the core.
For leaders, consider this: does micromanaging your sales teams’ number of emails, number of voicemails and other metrics help you build your larger strategy? Does it get you where you need to be in 12 months?
Aim to help your sellers manage their sales basics so you can transfer a marketing qualified lead to a sales qualified lead.
Opt for a decision-based platform that helps you pull together data. Make sure you know who your contacts are at each organization as well as who your influencers and decision-makers are.
Identify the tools that will help your sales team elevate its game and develop more opportunities.
Measure your reps on whether they delivered.
Productivity depends on the industry you’re in and the tasks and activities you’re required to do. Understanding those requirements will help you understand whether your team is maximizing its productivity.
If I’m a sales rep with a killer sales forecast and I miss my number, I might be escorted out the door. If I’m a sales rep with a horrible sales forecast, but I exceed my number anyway, I’ll be carried around the office like a rock star.
As a sales leader, it’s challenging to marry the endgame with the leading indicators like phone calls and emails, but it’s worth the effort. Otherwise, your team will focus primarily on the end number without paying as much attention to the process.
If you don’t incentivize the process, your sellers won’t pay attention to it.
There are a lot of movable parts in this process.
It’s all interconnected so the decisions in one part directly impact the other parts.
Introduce a decision platform so you can understand how even small decisions will cascade against the organization. Don’t look at things in a vacuum.
Look at things holistically and see all the components of your sales strategy to make sure you’re able to attain those goals.
“Get More Time Back” episode resources
Find out more about Anaplan or contact Jason Loh directly at the website.
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