How much time do your salespeople have to „actually sell”? Have you heard that having both – CRM and Salespeople – may bring sales growth?
One of the most significant challenges in every company is work organization. It is inherently meaningful for sales departments. You perfectly know how much depends on your salespeople team and their productivity that incredibly falls when meeting bad habits and messy workflows.
Wondering why they don’t sell as much as they should, what kind of situations cause their productivity downfall and what can you do about this? CRM and Salespeople – how does it actually connect? Read the article below to find out.
Salespeople beloved private calendars and notepads
Sellers prefer to work with their calendars for the purpose of keeping safe their customers’ data. What can it lead to?
- It often happens that one salesman has to provide information about the client to the other with all its details – decisions and tasks that need to be done. It shouldn’t work this way, but it does – every day. As a result of that practice a lot of time is being wasted – we can count it in hours and even in days.
- Several salespersons work with the same customer – they tend to duplicate offers, present different prices for the same product. Additionally, at the end of sales, we have to agree on which salesperson in which scope should receive his commission. Effect? We have a lot of arguments in the team and customer service is getting worse.
Don’t do this mistake if you don’t want to lose your client
The importance of integrated customer’s information presents the case from one of my client. There was a situation where at the same time the sales director and the key account manager created an offer for the same service for one customer.
The issue doesn’t look so big but they put offer with 200% different price! As a result of that, the customer decided to find another company.
This leads to the situation where they forget part of activities they have managed throughout the week. That can be a number of visits, phone calls etc. Later, companies can’t control peoples’ performance by checking e.g. the activities in real time. As a result, they react to inappropriate situations too late.
But sometimes employees are like a snake.
One of my customer invested in GPS tracking to control his key account managers to see when they visit a customer. He was sure that one of his employees visits one of his key customers quite often.
The reality turned out to be quite different.
He was really surprised when the customer said that nobody has visited them for a long time. What was the reason? The employee drove to customer office but newer met with him.
As you can see, CRM can help and it does. On the other hand, in some cases, people are really smart 😊
Continuous data copying between files and databases
Employees are often irritated by the amount of time they devote to copying the data between files and databases. Again, this is the time they could use for closing more deals with higher results. Where are the pitfalls with the tools that should make your life easier?
- Prices estimations and price lists – these are quite often ordinary Excel files that might help in preparing the offer. Such compilation is often manually copied to the offer documents in Word. You won’t wait a long time to make a mistake and to face problems with formatting and formulas. The question is: how much time do your employees lose on such silly things?
- Sales forecast in Excel file – another deadly mistake made by your employees. Once again they copy data to Excel file to report the estimated sales progress. Other staff waste time on merging data and correcting them.
- Independent order management system – when the customer decides to buy, the salesperson (or customer service employee) creates an order based on the offer, again replicating the same data and very often making mistakes. In this case, productivity and quality of customer service are getting worse.
Rising number of complaints
The number of mistakes made at the stage of offer preparation and then at order realization often counts for an enormous amount of complaints. They take extra hours of customer service and generate more costs. Let’s see this in the following examples:
- Correction of invoices – the reason of it is the incorrect price of the order, which is incompatible with the offer.
- Transport costs – they are often caused by entering products into the order with errors – for example, the quantity and type of the product do not match with these that client asked for. Mistakes regarding delivery addresses occur as well.
- Low service quality – it fairly discourages customers from making next orders if they don’t receive products with an agreed price and of estimated time of delivery. What is most important, salespeople are engaged in the tasks they haven’t been actually employed to do.
CRM and Salespeople – how much time remains for the actual sale?
Considering the above, salespeople have little time to focus on what is the most important in their work – the sale itself.
Depending on the sources the proportion of productive and unproductive time is different. We can accept that merely 22% of time salespeople spend on activities transformable into sales. Over 75% of the time, the salesperson spends on activities completely unrelated to one’s work.
Firstly, we face costs (closely linked to salaries) caused by the ineffective use of employees’ workforce. Secondly, we lose revenues (potential sales generated by salesperson), which may reach even 40% of currently realized sales.
How to increase sales productivity by 40%?
The lack of correct information flow, lack of work standards and appropriate procedures in the scope of customer service, is a huge challenge for sales team managers. Considering our current technological possibilities and strictly the business factors, you may find the CRM system implementation worth a try. Why is it so important to have both – CRM and Salespeople?
- CRM means permanent access to customer data via mobile devices, tablets or PCs – it allows avoiding multiple saving of the same client’s data, as well as eliminates situations when two salespeople prepare the same offer.
- It allows the integration of customer information from multiple sources – ERP system, social media, customer service software – it plays a huge role from the perspective of collecting customer data in one place – on one screen.
- Indicators – they allow the quick sales progress and customer cases assessment. This is really important to have possibilities to open customer record and directly see important information: margin, best products, last contacts, claims etc.
My experience – as a consultant in the area of customer service process optimization – shows that the key to the sales success is providing your staff with the correct information at the right time and place. Meanwhile, sellers still waste a lot of time for searching and copying information, instead of focusing on their actual tasks. Having together CRM and Salespeople may really bring incredible sales growth.