Moving your organization towards activity driven sales
Imagine the age when your vehicle’s dashboard didn’t alert you while you almost ran out of fuel. There was a time when you used to realize that you must have made a pit stop long back, only when your vehicle stopped abruptly on the road! Yes, in those days you lacked a real-time pulse on what was going to happen. Providing real-time insights is the most impactful and critical trend in enterprises currently, for the organizations are to act upon these. The old school of sales is undergoing a tremendous change, especially with the CRM ubiquity. So, why do sales leaders and CEOs invest in a CRM? 91% of organizations having 11+ employees must have already made an investment in a CRM like Salesforce. On the very first place, the sales organizations need a real-time perception on how they are performing. This is significant for businesses to chalk out plans and inspire sales to succeed in their attempts.
Okay, so you have a robust CRM in place and you need to leverage the CRM to gain real-time insights in order to close more businesses quickly. The lagging metrics are not just the efficient way to track or manage a sales team. More than informing you what has happened, your dashboard must highlight what you should be doing at the juncture. Embrace Activity Based Selling– the most novel approach to be adopted by sales teams to win more business.
What is Activity Driven Selling?
Sales people or managers often find themselves lost in doing a set of activities that never help them drive towards increased revenue. This happens due to the lack of focus on the most necessary actions that drive sales such as face-to-face meetings, ROI analysis, live chat with a prospect etc. In short, your sales team is doing multiple things (not necessarily wrong) that fail to fetch you the desired results. The concept of activity based selling gains prominence here. Activity Driven Selling is ideated around that principle that “sales is a cascading chain of controllable behaviors that lead to a defined outcome”. Controllable behaviors do not involve the traditional processes of sending emails to the maximum number of people or receiving just voice mails when you make calls. Instead, they must be actionable insights that tell you to stay focused on what really matters and how to move towards more fruitful sales.
Benefits of Activity Based Selling
Activity based selling helps your reps plan how much time they should dedicate on performing the key activities that secure more business for the organization. If your organization is completely aligned around a set of defined and productive sales operating metrics, your sales team can achieve the following results:
- Higher revenue per sales person
- Solid data that empowers you to forecast sales based on the current performance
- Understand your sales team’s caliber and decide when to hire more sales experts to attain future goals effectively
- Develop a team of data driven sales experts who bring more on the outcome-based sales front
How to plan Activity Driven Selling in Your Organization?
To run an activity driven sales team, you must focus on the following 4 key aspects:
- Determine your Sales KPIs:
To determine your sales metrics, you must first decide your organizations sales structure. How are your sales managers and the reps working under them structured? Do your reps direct your prospective leads to your executives on time? Have your teams been divided based on geographic regions or segments based on your business units? When you have answered questions like these, it would be easy for you to define the metrics for each team based on the team’s behavior and role in the organization. Interview your sales team to gauge their opinions as well. Ask them questions on what they think are the critical sales activities that lead to winning more deals. You must also ensure that your CRM has the potential to measure the above KPIs before you move on. If not, customize your CRM so that it captures the data promptly.
- Align your sales organization:
Once you have defined the KPIs, it is time to make sure that your sales team is in consensus with the goals. Assemble the recommendations of your sales team and frame the initial hypothesis that includes the activities that need to be done. You can prioritize the top 3-4 activities based on their significance. Discuss this with your sales team to know their feedback. Develop personalized scorecard for sales managers and reps to track their progress. Review the results in team meetings on a daily or weekly basis and assess your pace towards the goal.
- Have a plan to analyze and rectify:
Sales managers should oversee the metrics to ensure that things are not lagging behind. Encourage contests and incentives to boost your employee morale, share the best practices followed by top performers and inspire your team to perform well. If a particular KPI falls behind, pay special attention to that. The efforts that you spend in analyzing data daily, monthly or weekly must ensure that all your activities drive towards sales. Review your KPIs and amend them as required. Have a proper sales activity management system that helps you generate more ROI.
- Laying the foundation for activity based sales team:
Analyze your team’s performance for a quarter and identify the best practices followed by your top performers that actually contribute to more rewarding sales. You can also plan to invest more in training and technology that helps you get the most out of these core activities. At this stage you will realize whether the KPIs that you have set for your teams are increasing your ROI.
Once you have answered the above four questions, you will be ready to start your activity based sales team. Activity driven selling is not a complete abandonment of what sales organizations are already doing. It is a proactive measure towards discovering what fits for your organization’s sales strategy and implementing the same for boosting your revenue.
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