Copyright (c) 2013 Mr. Intramural Sales
Recently I was asked toward a client what a best in class inside sales organization looks like. This got me thinking about all the businesses I’ve worked with, and after a spell I picked a client company in Canada that I believe is practicing the 5 crucial elements that diagnose it as “Best in Class.” Before we get into these elements, here is what they do and how we started working together.
A little over a annually ago, I met the C.O.O of a young companionship in Canada that sells HR Solutions over the phone to businesses across Canada. This company was already doing well and had been designated one of the fastest growing companies in 2010. They had a team of about 35 innards sales reps and in each of their first two years they had fractional new sales records. If we met over the phone, the C.O.O. told me that they had accomplished this without any official sales fabric or training and he was anxious to see what kind from parasite he could accomplish by implementing proper systems and sales processes.
After an initial evaluation, we identified several key areas that we could improve and after busy together for several months, we implemented the trailing 5 elements that would ensure his company’s continued growth and their “Best in Class” status. Here they are:
Number One: The first thing we worked on was defining his sales process. As is the case in most sales rooms, of the 35 sales reps prospecting and closing accounts, there were about 35 different ways this was being done. It took some reps 2 calls to close a deal, while other reps needed to make 4, 5 and even as many as 8 calls to close deals.
In addition, while interviewing the reps I begin that there were vastly different opinions on what was needed to close a sale. Some felt that extensive emails and information was important for gaining trust and closing the sale, while others used a demo about the website to convince a prospect. Quiet others relied on referrals from others within the prospect company, until others couldn’t tell me what the deciding factor was. They said they just sent out information to whomever appeared to be the sentence maker and then hoped for the best.
So the first thing we needed to do was to look at how the outdo 20% of their sales reps were prospecting and closing sales and then standardize those successful techniques into a best practice structure. We started by indentifying the bench marks in per step and then used these to define the most effective sales process. I call this apartment the DSP (for Defined Sales Process), plus once we had that in place, we could before develop a scripted sales approach that their entire tim could use to be more effective.
Number Two: Once we had the DSP constructed, we then needed to take these best practice steps and benchmarks and turn them into a useable, repeatable scripted playbook. In other words, we took each stair like their best practice sales process – starting with dealing with the gatekeeper, to identifying he decision maker, structure rapport, qualifying, etc. – and we scripted, word for word, each part of the sales process out.
Taking the time to comprehensively script absent each part of the sales routine – including best practice voice mails, emails and complete objection handling – allowed them to equip separate sales rep with the most efficient way of handling the sales situations they were in 80 to 90% of their day. By developing and subsequently practicing a outfit and proven sales approach, the reps were able to qualify better prospects which allowed them to close more deals in a shorter period of time.
Number Three: Omneity a Defined Sales Process and a scripted playbook were in place, the company was currently able to better empower their front tier managers and supervisors because straightaway they had a uniform way mentoring et cetera coaching their sales reps. Prior to this process, when the reps were adlibbing including unstructured, the style of management was reactive further inefficient. Without a standard to grade, coach and evaluate by, the managers made discrepancy consecutive and were generally ineffective.
This all changed, however, once both sales reps and managers were following a proven, objective sales process et al scripted sales approach. During this process we developed actual manuscript grading adherence forms so managers could regularly grade adherence to the best practice sales approach. In addition, script grading also allowed the managers to target problem areas for each rep and design very specific development plans for improvement. Because each step of the process was defined and objective, evaluating and changing performance and measuring connective tracking progress like these changes was now possible.
Number Four: Once these processes were in place, the company saw the need and benefit in rearranging personnel and redefining job descriptions to better manage and train their growing sales team. Some of these changes included reducing the sales quotas of their association leads/supervisors so they could spend more time in helping their reps improve their sales skills and close deals, and in tasking their sales administrator with more involvement in hiring and recruiting talent. In addition, they promoted one of their human resource members into a full time sales training position – something they had never had before.
A crucial change was the masterpiece of a qualify control person whose sole job it was to listen to and grade recordings of the sales team. Because an important factor in this process was to record besides grade rep’s adherence to the different sales playbook (and so analyze their sales skills and measure their improvement), it immediately became apparent that listening to 35 sales rep’s calls was a full time job. The innovative change this company made was recognizing this need and creating a position to fill it. Having a adequate time blood monopolize person allowed the front line managers to spend more time on the floor working with reps and it also provided the ‘real time’ feedback on how individually rep performed during the actual sale and how they were tracking in terms of improvement.
Number Five: Motivating a sales team is an important component of sustained and improved sales performance, and in this milieu the company deviated from the per diem long green bonus and spiff model of short term motivation and instead took a longer term approach. Recognizing the need to grow the sales team and the benefit of oblation its employees a more sustained livelihood model, the concern created a business advancement program that rewarded long term sales performance by promoting sales reps into different levels of responsibility and increased pay.
The company created new team lead positions, new supervisory positions and even new customer reorder departments that created new growth opportunities for performing reps. Apiece of these new positions became linked to bi-annual performance goals and replaced the short term bonus plans previously in place. The result was a more engaged and motivated sales force who’s focus was more on the long term goals of the throng rather than the short term goals of daily production.
While a lot changed in this company’s sales structure, fixate furthermore execution, the awesome act was they were able to make these changes in a four to six month time frame. The results in terms increased sales production were exceptional. Not only did they grow sales by over 34% in their existing word of new business, but they were able to expand their current accounts vocation by penetrating deeper and cross selling departments plus products.
The bottom line is that when this company took the time to regenerate and implement these 5 elements, they were able to leverage their existing sales personnel and create a scalable model for across the board sales improvement. And that is what I call a “Best in Class” sales company.