How you can optimise the time of your sales people and allow them to sell more

How you can optimise the time of your sales people and allow them to sell more

Are your sales people always busy performing planning tasks that leave little time for actual selling activities? This article will provide you with a few insights on how to optimise time and costs.

Dear sales manager, you very well know how time consuming it is to effectively manage and schedule your sales team’s activities.

You probably find yourself in one of the following situations:

  • The data you depend on to make your decisions is not consistent, because you don’t have a software helping you organise your information.
  • You have an exceeding amount of data and you feel helpless, struggling to understand how to make the most of it.

Nowadays technology has allowed us to collect an enormous amount of information on our clients but as a paradox, what should constitute a new opportunity has in fact generated a new problem.

If once the problem was to collect information on potential clients, today companies have a wealth of information which they struggle to organise efficiently, to make sense of and get the highest possible value from it.

Indeed, every one of your present and potential clients has unique features and holds a different position in the sales cycle. Useless to say, this strongly affects scheduling activities.

When you plan a sales route you need to consider a number of factors because your potential clients are on different stages of the sales funnel, they have different features and are located in different geographical areas.

Unfortunately, it’s humanly impossible to take every factor into consideration in real time. Thus, when planning a sales route you probably tend to base your decisions only on geographical distance instead of making a complete data analysis first. 

Have you ever made a decision only to realise later that certain criteria you had left out of your decision making process would have actually been worth considering? If you have, your productivity was probably damaged as a result.

All this, left aside the accidents that often occur, converts into a waste of time and revenue loss for your sales network. 

Your sales professionals’ technical know how can be responsible for the company success only to a certain extent, beyond which it really depends on how optimised and efficient is the sales process, in terms of reducing costs and increasing revenues.

What are the main obstacles along the way? 

Let’s first elicit the elements that have a negative impact on the overall performance:

  1. The time required for scheduling a good sales route. There are several factors to take into consideration and they change rapidly, making a real time evaluation virtually impossible without an IT support.

According to a recent research by McKinsey, your sales person invests nearly 45% of his/her time in a day in side activities, that are not strictly related to selling and which could be automated. 

For more insights on how your sales people could manage better their agenda, click here to read the relevant article.

  1. The time spent on a sales route. Even when a sales route is carefully scheduled, it will hardly be optimised to its full potential. 

Even if you picture yourself the ideal situation, where your sales professional invests energy in a structured and rational planning, the total time left for meeting with clients still equals to 40-45%.

In the opposite situation where the agenda is managed without a due structured appointment planning, the time spent with the client drops to 25-30%.

According to the same research, the percentage of salespeople who don’t execute a structured scheduling is around an alarming 28%.

For more insights on how your agents could schedule effective sales routes, click here to read the relevant article.

How much time does your sales network actually need in order to sell?

To answer this question we first need to focus on what your client wants.

Today potential clients look for consultants and are not interested in a traditional commercial relation, where the sales person is a mere supplier of products and services. 

People in general are more aware and need sales consultants to offer added value, beyond the product they sell. The transactional understanding of the traditional commercial dynamics can damage your business, as it allows the client to perceive your product as a commodity. 

Instead, the relational aspect should be put at the centre of your attention, as it is a crucial asset to any company success.

In certain cases the client reads the commercial relationship as nothing less than a close collaboration with the sales professional who is therefore expected to offer a customised service, thus create value.

In order to offer an extra-commodity service and become an advisor to the clients, your sales agents need a lot more time to dedicate to them! 

The clients’ needs keep evolving and they pay increasing attention to the service quality. 

In order to free time to your sales people and provide a service that exceeds the idea of commodity, you need the right technological support, to help you optimise all those routine activities that are not strictly connected to selling or relating to clients.

Indeed, your sales professionals perfectly epitomise the immaterial value that clients look for in a service to the extent that their interpersonal skills are actually to be considered hard skills. 

In order to maximise the opportunity represented by their relational skills asset, your sales people should be allowed to focus on the core features of their professional role and manage scheduling tasks using priority criteria that can easily and rapidly be adapted to the ever evolving scenarios.  

Your sales network is likely to have a repetitive routine, a “modus operandi” that tends to consolidate over time.

More often than you may think, sales people make appointments with the same clients and build a personal routine that has nothing to do with data analysis. 

They plan the day choosing distance as the main criteria, although focusing on the itinerary may take attention off leads and those clients who may occupy a critical position inside the sales funnel, thus causing bad timing.

How is it possible to keep into consideration multiple relevance criteria in real time without spending hours and hours on planning activities? 

The solution is to invest on Sales Transformation, with the aim to free your sales people from all routine activities and any other responsibility keeping them away from your clients. 

The Algorithm Driven Execution (ADE) process developed by Mapadore allows you to get value out of your Salesforce CRM and automate all planning activities, helping you optimise time and costs.

It allows you to plan a sales route in few minutes thanks to two main components:

  • Geolocation helps you visualise your clients on the map and optimise transfers along your agents’ sales routes. This will allow you to increase the number of appointments on a daily basis, hence have more sales opportunities.
  • Artificial intelligence suggests the actions to make thanks to our algorithm, that was formally recognised by Gartner. We developed this powerful tool to allow you to turn your company data asset into optimised execution.

In order to free time to your sales professionals and allow them to meet more clients, you need to automate all routine planning activities that currently take a huge amount of time.

This way your agents will be able to only focus on visiting the clients, thus increasing the quality and the number of opportunities. 

Our automation tool allows you to focus on the best clients and increase the number of appointments and total revenues, meaning a concrete opportunity for your company growth. 

Are you a sales manager? Do you use Salesforce as a CRM?

If you are or you are going to, I invite you to learn more on the Algorithm Driven Execution (ADE) process, which will allow you to optimise your sales team’s scheduling times and costs. 

If you want to learn how you can optimise your sales network’s activities, watch our webinar: