Outside sales costs a pretty penny. With technology upgrades, transportation prices, and the cost of the actual sales team, expenses climb high. How can you save money in growing market? Simple: Save your time.
These four practical approaches to economizing your time result in higher sales and a healthier organization.
1. Sell By Location
Location-based selling is an easy way to maximize time, yet an often overlooked money-saving solution. When booking appointments, think in terms of location. Schedule your visits with businesses close to each other.
Green salespeople usually take a list and make appointments with people all across their territory. Consequently, they spend their days driving rather than selling. A better strategy is to focus on one an area of town at a time and book appointments consecutively. We approach this by designating morning hours to build appointments for the following afternoon. Choose an area of town to visit and start making appointments for the next day.
Sales organizations understand the best way to secure time with prospects is to tell them you’re coming, not to ask for a meeting. When you call, your talk track might sound something like this: “Hey, I’m Robert. I’m going to be in your area tomorrow afternoon at 2:00. I hoped to stop by and let you know how we can help your organization save money on your printing needs.” Prospecting based on where customers lie on the map is a much easier way for you to discover who you can talk to and where you may find opportunities.
Unscheduled appointments also rise from a location-based sales approach. Each time a meeting ends, ask yourself, “If I’ve already spent the gas money to drive here, who can I go visit nearby?”
Maybe you ask your clients if they can make an introduction to the owner in the business next door. Maybe you use one of the tools of our app: a click of a button lets you see what other businesses or clients are close by. The key is to maximize your time in each general location you visit.
2. Online vs. Face-to-Face Demos
Because of the general principle that saving time saves you money, consider the value of online demonstrations. If you’re in a sales scenario, you’ll always sell more face-to-face. However, if you already have high product demand, you’ll be able to meet more people in less time by connecting online.
When demand soars, you won’t be able to personally meet with each client. In these cases, you’re much better off to offer webinars or online demos for the product.
3. Monitor Sales Activity
If you have unproductive salespeople, you need to motivate them to actually do something or move them out. The average sales company keeps underperforming salespeople in the system for months longer than they should.
A salesperson who hides under the radar – coming into the office, sitting through meetings, maybe booking an occasional sale from pre-existing clients – acts like an order-taker. When these employees stay on, you invest your time in training and supporting those who offer nothing in return.
In general, if you lop off the bottom 20% of your sales team, you’ll save money without hurting your overall sales. The low-performing salespeople aren’t doing much besides draining your resources.
4. Use Lyft or Uber for Appointments
Services like Lyft or Uber offer an easy means of transportation that can often be cheaper than parking fees and gas. They also allow you to work during your commute. If you can get to your destination without the stress of navigating traffic and make sales calls on your way why wouldn’t you book a ride?
We get in the habit of driving ourselves places and assuming it’s less expensive when it may not be. For example, from my office, I have a $6 fare downtown. If I drove, I’d pay at least $10 to park. In these types of situations, take the ride and gain back some time and headspace in the process.
If you need to cut back expenses, look at where you and your sales team invest your time. Often, when you can loosen the grip of time in your workday, you’ll find your expenses free up as well.