Let’s be honest: If you’re a high performance sales person, you’re probably not going to do sales activity reports. You want to spend your time selling, not reporting about it. And if you haven’t been productive, you’ll probably just make up the info so you don’t look bad.
Managers, you expect your sales team to be out making sales, yet you can’t inspect that with a weekly sales report. And you know there’s not much you can do to help a low sales day after a week has already passed, so you often don’t even bother to read the reports.
All in all, the sales team submits bad data and the sales manager never even sees it. What a colossal waste of time!
This problem can poison the system, but there’s a simple fix. In fact, you can automate or outsource this sales task, along with three others, to make your company more effective, efficient, and enjoyable.
The 4 Tasks Your Salespeople Hate Most
Most companies ask for call reports, much like the ones described above. Basically, salespeople document who they called and visited in a spreadsheet at the end of each week.
If you, the sales manager, get a report documenting who your sales guy called last Tuesday, it does you no good. But a real time report changes the game. It gives you data that tells you when to intervene. Then, you can either encourage a change in behavior or better understand the circumstance.
Let’s say it’s Wednesday at 2:00 when you look in the system and notice someone has no recorded activity for the day. You now have information that prompts action. Give the salesperson a call and say, “Hey, just following up. How’s the day going?” Asking a leading question rather than accusing the salesperson with a comment like, “Why haven’t you called anyone today?” may allow you to uncover what’s happened.
Maybe he’s been dealing with a customer support issue all morning. Or maybe you figure out that his motivation has run dry and he needs to be re-inspired to go out and start selling. A tool like CallProof gives you the gift of real time reporting and you gain the power to change the situations as they happen. Meanwhile, you’re also eliminating those dreaded weekly spreadsheets.
2. Making Cold Calls
If you have a sales department making marketing calls, consider outsourcing this task. Your sales team most likely thrives in face-to-face interactions, so keep them in those situations. There’s a different charisma needed on the phone that is best left to a company that specializes in marketing calls.
Also, booking a meeting can take an extraordinary amount of persistence. Your average salesperson may follow up 3-4 times trying to make an appointment, but in reality it might take 20 calls. A professional outsource telemarketing company will keep at it because it’s in their pocket of strength. Outsourcing cold calls keeps your sales people in meetings with prospects, rather than just scheduling them.
3. Looking for Prospects to Call
Similarly, don’t make your salespeople use their time to look for prospects. Every person in your sales organization should have a list of potential clients. Just purchase a list from a site like InfoUSA.com or generate and constantly update a list of your own. If you rely on your sales team to find their own contacts, they’re wasting valuable time and likely to do a terrible job. Don’t make them look for their own data.
4. Writing Template Sales Emails
Not everyone is good at writing an email. Follow-ups, welcome emails, and newsletters should be left to a professional writer, not your sales team. After all, you don’t want a poorly crafted document to degrade the reputation you’re working to build.
If your company has a marketing position, this should be a part of that job. The marketing department’s goal is to stay in front of clients and prospects. They relay information about products and services to your customer base. You’re on the same team – act like it and use marketers and writers to your sales team’s advantage.
Your salespeople want to do just what their title implies: Sell! Take away the tasks that keep them from working to their full potential.