Looks pretty busy in the sales department right? Lots of phone calls going on, plenty of email traffic and face-to-face meetings being set up? Sounds great? So why do you need to worry about how productive they’re being if they’re clearly working hard?
The problem lies in whether your sales department is working productively or just working! Productivity is measured as the ratio of output effectiveness (value of sales made) to input effort (the sales budget). Maximising productivity means the least you can per pound earned and clearly, that will have a knock-on effect on the success of your sales process as well as your balance sheet at the end of the year.
You can’t sell a product you don’t know. Even your best sales rep needs to keep up to date with market, with evolving buying processes, and changing best practice methodology. Scheduling in regular sales training time for the whole team will give them the opportunity to attend strategic sales workshops, learn new aspects of your CRM or simply catch up the latest innovations from your competitors.
Far too many CRM systems are used as nothing more than fancy contact databases. That’s rather like buying an iPhone and only ever making phone calls on it. Train your sales department to actually use the CRM to record and then to influence the sales process. Use it track what it takes to clinch deals and use it to influence future sales cycles.
Of course, in order to improve your sales processes you actually need to have some! Your staff should be following the same steps for the same type of contracts each time. This is another area your CRM can manage if you let it. Automated tools can set up templates with customer contacts, notify salespeople when they need to make a contact, who else is involved and allow them to identify good leads faster enabling them to concentrate their resources on the sales cycles that are most likely to lead to a successful conclusion. Not wasting your time is key to improving productivity.
Your CRM should be a goldmine of customer data and, when you use it effectively it will produce analysis (i.e. keyword analysis) that can be used to point you in the direction of better processes and more likely new customers. But that can only happen if you are prepared to listen to what the data is telling you. It might come as a shock to see a sales graph dropping but instead of ignoring the message take it as a call to action. Use your CRM to tell you where you’re struggling and allow it to help you redesign your processes to target the areas where you’re not performing as well as you could. And then use some of your training time to disseminate the findings to the whole sales team ensuring that they all know what they should be focussing on and what they need to do to improve.
I’m not sure if you’ve heard or not but Wordpress is kind of a big deal. After hearing a tremendous amount of buzz in the industry about it I just had to check it out for myself. I was a bit skeptical as I've had my fingers and my wallet burned with other products but I figured I would find out what all the fuss was about. After all I'd seen great looking blogs such as projectmanagementworks.co.uk created quickly and easily by people I knew with no tech know-how at all so it had to be worth a shot to help develop my own project management and business training blog.
Have your friends ever hyped up a movie so much that you couldn’t wait to see it? Halfway through the movie you start to get a little upset because the movie is the worst thing that you have ever seen? At the end of the movie you feel completely deflated because you just wasted two hours of your life watching an over-hyped movie.
Whether you are new to online marketing or having been in the industry for several years you have probably struggled at some point. The number one reason why most individuals fail is because they do not know how to properly market their business. But get that right and the sky if the limit. Take, for instance, the project management training company Parallel Project Training - with astute business development leadership and a dedicated digital marketing company on board, they have grown ten-fold in just a few short years. Their success has been based on a highly active online presence - on their own blog and on other reputable blogs, on social media, on YouTube with their videos and on iTunes with their lively podcasts.
The majority of small businesses (95%) fail because the owners do not have the proper Training. After they start their company the first thing they try to do is sell their product or service to friends and family.
But this is basing success on a limited supply of referrals - setting yourself up for failure from the get-go. Yet the step beyond that into the world of networking is far from guaranteed to succes either. After all everyone at networking events has something to sell. What you really want to attract are targetted buyers who will approach you. That's where online marketing comes in to play - a technique that has seen training providers such as Parallel Project Training achieve such great success.
It’s the sad truth but the majority of individuals that start a business will fail. The failure rates of small businesses are astronomical. As someone that has been involved with running their own business for over 10 years I can assure you that it’s not the economy's fault. There are some fantastic opportunities out there for anyone to start a business and grow it to be a successful company.